Live Bass - Use A Stage Amp With IEM?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by nervous, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. nervous

    nervous Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Beautiful Central, NY
    OK, forgive me if this has been asked before but with more and more folks moving to IEM's, and assuming a solid FOH PA support, what is the point of a bass rig beyond aesthetics?

    For you bass players that use IEM's do you still use a stage amp? If so, how and what does that do for you? Can you hear it?

    Just curious because I am mulling the move to IEM, either personally or whole band.

    Thanks
     
  2. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I still use a stage amp.. but on low volume, and I send the direct out to FOH.
    G90 in, Carvin EM900/1964 Quads out from X32 console.

    I still have stage volume (I can't hear it) as one of our gee-tar players recently moved away from IEM's, (whole 'nother topic) and back to stage wedges and needs to hear it. In his case, it was the usual "it's not working for me" problem, but my guess is that he's partially deaf. He continually changes up his rig (implies "not happy" with his "sound" to begin with) and was using the single drivers PSM200 (E215) system. That is a recipe for failure before you start.

    If you go IEM, I highly recommend multiple drivers (especially for bass) whether universal or customs. Save the $$ and get decent buds.
     
  3. Kamikaze3955

    Kamikaze3955

    Oct 16, 2013
    Panora, Iowa
    Our band is moving to all IEMs and a clean and quiet stage. We are working towards each person controlling their own IEM mix via iPad etc. I do my best to run the sound but I have tired of the volume wars... keys can't hear themselves because guitar is too loud, then guitar turns the stage amp up to compensate, then keys can't hear again... ad infinitude
     
  4. Assuming everyone is on IEM the only reason to have an amp is to generate tone you can't get from fx and processors. And looks.
     
  5. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Just something to watch for: if you also sing, the spill from your stage rig into your vocal mic can introduce phase issues in your IEM mix.
     
    Rocksolid likes this.
  6. bassofthe

    bassofthe

    Jun 5, 2011
    My guitarist and I are already ampless/DI, and I'm hoping to move to IEMs as soon as possible. We use electronic drums with a Jamhub and headphones for rehearsals, so we're already used to having no "stage volume" at all.
     
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    There should be no reason unless it's looks/prop.

    We're all IEM and DI and it's the best thing for FOH mixing - and your monitor mix. We use Presonus/QMix and it's great. Everyone does their own IEM mix and the FOH does that. No bleed from stage amps. All you'd "hear" on stage is acoustic guitars, vocals and the clickity click of sticks on drum pads.

    Yeah, you need decent gear to do it well, but when it's good, it's really good.
     
  8. dropitonthe1e

    dropitonthe1e Inactive

    Dec 21, 2014
    My church uses iem. I keep an amp/cab on stage. They actually often ask me to turn up. Insert smiley.

    I put one ear in for the click and the great guitarists and keep one ear open. I like the room sound, maybe just cuz I can never get the iem mix right. However, more often than not, the iem, when I used two, loses snugness over a few minutes and you lose bass which, once not snug, can't keep up with the higher frequency instruments/voices.. If you just want to turn yourself up then that's cool but I'm in it to hear everyone rather than just me. Plus, nothing like moving air. Iem are not bassists' friends. Wear earplugs if you're worried about hearing, as I am.
     
  9. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    Isn't it supposed to be really bad/harmful to do the one in, one out thing? I thought I read
    somewhere on TB.
     
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  10. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    YES !! It is... basically because one cranks up the ear with the IEM in it to balance out the stage sound in the other ear.
    That's how our brains work.. we like balance/order, and since you can't turn down the stage sound, your only choice is to turn up the IEM to compensate. NOT GOOD for your hearing !!

    With 2 IEM's in... stage sound blocked out.. the IEM levels can be up to 80% less and you still hear it all... and save your ears too!
     
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  11. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I have to disagree.. I have multiple drivers in my IEM's (1964 Quads) and they have soooo much bass its ridiculous.. it's probably your ears you are using that make you reach that conclusion!
     
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  12. dropitonthe1e

    dropitonthe1e Inactive

    Dec 21, 2014
    Yes, that's why I use an earplug in the other ear. The plug cuts out the highs, hence boosting the great guitarists in my iem. Try it out. everybody likes the bass on stage as bass should be felt.
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    A very rare occurrence. Plus the same can be said about drums, but even most IEM bands still have drummers using real drums.

    And if you're on IEM's but your PA can't hang pushing bass. It happens.

    I've only done a couple IEM rehearsals and no gigs, and my stage volumes have never been excessive since I was 19 and realized it would cost me gigs, so I'm still undecided about having an amp onstage as a monitor. What I WOULD care about, however, is the tendency of IEM's to make the bass sound like a giant banjo. I like hearing music move through the air, especially bass. Does something pleasing that I don't get out of headphones. But I also don't think I'd enjoy hearing a stage mix that was only bass and drums either, so I'd probably go the "When in Rome" route and skip the amp. Fortunately nobody's asking me ;)
     
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  14. nervous

    nervous Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Beautiful Central, NY
    This statement struck me particularly hard as this is exactly what I bought as my entry point into the IEM world. I guess if nothing more I can go in with these eyes wide open knowing that a better option might be in order if I get past all the other hurdles.

    I am also on the fringe of moving the FOH to a digital mixer and the recommendation of the PreSonus QMix really interests me. I was wondering how folks were doing their own individual mixes.

    Lastly I had no heard of the 1964 brand of monitors so will check those out in the future. My problem with much of this is that it's pricey and with all the options an expensive way to make mistakes. Which is why I appreciate all thd first hand experiences you all share.

    Lots of great info here and I thank you all.
     
  15. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    Canada
    One of the bands I'm in has been using IEM's for the past 18 mths. I joined that band 2 yrs ago and I've never used my rig since joining. Originally we were using floor monitors but eliminated them and went with IEM's. We have never used amps (on stage), drums are a electronic set of Roland's. We all use DI's to the sound board so stage sound levels are non existent. We all have wireless IEM's along with our own separate mixes that we control with our individual iPads that we each have. The iPads also run Set List Maker which in turn are connected via USB cable to our vocal and effects processors. As each new song in the set list comes up, Set List Maker automatically calls up the vocal and guitar/bass effects on the floor units which in turn eliminates the need for us to fumble around onstage in between songs switching things up for the next tune.

    As for IEM's I'm using Shure SE425 which have dual drivers in them for my bass. But I do intend to have a set of custom moulded BassEarz made for me next month. These are specifically designed for drummers and bass players.

    TD
     
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  16. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    To be clear.. there's really no such thing as decent "cheap" or "budget" wireless IEM systems.

    My comment on the PSM200 was in reference to the included E215 single-driver buds... with 2 guitars in a mono mix (PSM200 is NOT stereo), there is too much overlap and they tend to cancel each other out.. hence the recommendation on multiple driver buds and my comment on it being doomed for our guitar players from the start.

    I have a Presonus 16.4.2 (not AI) and we tried the Qmix. It works, but you need a laptop + router to make it work. More pieces parts. After much research we settled on the X32 Producer and connect a router to it. No laptop interface required and use X32Q (Qmix equivalent) via ipad/iphone to control our IEM mixes. Same mixer/IEM interface whether we are plugged into a house PA or our own.

    Yes, you can get cheaper packages, but the cost cutting is usually made to the included ear buds.. the Senn G3 or PSM1000 systems are pricey because they include decent ears. The hardware has some extra features, but basics are basics.

    If you compare the ($500 range) PSM200 to the ($350?) Carvin EM900 system I use, they are about the same specs wise.. The E215 buds are better than the Carvin buds. When you add in the $550 I spent for my quad driver 1964 ears, I basically spent about $1000 (E3/PSM1000 price range). But, I've had the Carvin for 3+ yrs and simply switched out buds.

    So.. factor in price of transmitter, then consider what it will cost to get decent/workable buds.
    I recommend lots of research on the topic, because the "buy once, cry once" rule, really does apply to IEM system. You'll not be happy if you skimp!!
     
  17. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Not rare at all, if you listen for it. Only rare that it will create enough havoc to throw you off your game unless you run your IEM vocal very wet. If you're particular about your IEM bass tone, though, it's an issue.
     
  18. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    The stereo subs take care of that.
     
  19. bassfuser

    bassfuser

    Jul 16, 2008
    Here is a real good site for IEMs. But there is a lot of info to sift through:

    http://www.head-fi.org/f/103/portable-headphones-earphones-and-in-ear-monitors
     
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  20. dropitonthe1e

    dropitonthe1e Inactive

    Dec 21, 2014
    Yeah, muddy and tangible milliseconds later. It works for lumbering, grooveless lines but not very well for punchiness, distinct notes and groove....and I'm pretty sure my superchurch has ridiculous quality stuff so it's not just the equipment I deal with.