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Live Mixing with IEM

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by musicman7722, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. I have read the occasional reference from people that do mix with IEM on. I know you can't get the room feel but I am hoping I can at least keep an overall balance.

    I plan on a sound check out front with OUT my IME and adjusting the mixer accordingly and then using the setting as a reference in my ears for any blatantly off changes.

    I will take them probably once a set and pop out front for a quick listen and reality check.

    I have to mix now from stage and I've been use to a FOH person doing it for us. All that time I used IEM and forgot how loud the band can be (or seems to be) onstage.

    I have tried to mix us without my IEM on using a FOH mix in a wedge but my ears ring at the end of the night. I refuse to allow that to happen "again" and there is no way the guitars and drummer will relax so it is IEM for live mix.

    I welcome comments from those that have actually tried this. No offense meant but no theorists please.
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    it's what i do, and usually with no real soundcheck;

    i have to spend the first two or three songs running out front with my guitar wireless, dialing in the mix; once things are right, in go my IEMs for the rest of the set. (we pick songs with extended instrumental intros and no backing vocals by me as "soundcheck songs")

    subsequent sets work the same way, to account for level changes due to crowd size and on-stage jager consumption :D (actually, the band is professional and consistent, so an initial mix usually "holds" pretty well. this is key to DIY sound mixing.)

    i see no way to "fake" a FOH mix for me on stage, either with wedges or IEMs; it's not remotely the same, so you have to hear it out where it's really happening.
  3. Dear Walter

    Thank you for the reply it was just the sort I was looking for. Tell me, what mix do you have in your ears? i will have a FOH mix in mine. I realize that the bass guitar will be to low for me to play to so i will send it throgh a more me mixer (I forget the brand but very well known) and once I settle in I can adjust the bass just enough into my IEM mix to play to.

    Is your IEM connection wired or wireless?

  4. After trying tons of places still seems easiest to have foh plus a personal pass through "more me" mixer

    Periodically I'll turn it back to neutral for a check

    Or it's foh only

    Never a personal aux mix
  5. Rolls pm351 (or pm350) should be in everyone's system
  6. The Rolls device is the one I have and will use this weekend for this purpose. I agree a FOH mix is the way to go. An Aux would do one no good. I plan to go wired off the board (presonus 16.0.2). I will leave the bands wireless IEM running off the aux we use. This way (if I have the time) I can switch back and fourth and see what they are hearing and make any adjustments needed. there as well.

    Thanks again.

  7. It's totally crazy --- I was hired to run sound last month.... As a test, we ran a traditional mixer.... Then a splitter mixer for their iem mix

    When all the players were happy (5 mixes) it was "foh+more me" accross the entire band

    The leader called me before with an elaborate plan (that was going to cost $15000). .... More me is the most standard mix request (or more me + click if a drummer)
  8. But just wondering what does that have to do with trying to mix from stage through an ear monitor setup?

  9. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    Using headphones off the mixer is not gonna give you the best mix. It might sound even/balanced in the mixer, but what about the amps on stage/stage volume that is part of what you're hearing in the room but not in your headphone mix.

    Let's say the guitar is too loud in the mix, so you turn it down on the mixer, but the guitar amp on stage is louder than the PA.

    Only way it would work well is if using electronic drums, and every instrument on stage was direct with no amps.

    Or put room mic's up and solo the room mic(s) then adjust the mix listening to the room mic's mix.
  10. Thank you for your comments and I agree but I really want people to share their experiences not theory. Do you mix via an IEM?

    Also an IEM is different from a headphone.

  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    actually mixing the out front sound onstage while wearing IEMs is just not going to work.

    you have to actually hear it out in front or you will not mix it right.
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    also, the "FOH+more me" thing is interesting, but wouldn't work at all for my band; there's not a single one of us who would want any drums in their mix except the drummer (and a little kick for the bass player).
  13. It's possible you're not the ideal iem candidate there is compromise depending on gear, staffing and time
  14. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    It's not theory it's fact.
    IEM or headphones does not change the fact that you can't mix properly without hearing it out front. The room size and shape, as well as PA cab placement effects everything. You can't hear that with IEM or headphones.

    If it worked well you would not see the FOH eng at a concert out in front of the system as they would not waste their time setting it up if they could do it from back stage.

    Even if your IEM/phones had the exact same freq response as the PA, you can't hear how loud it is in the room, you can't hear bass freq build up/or lack of caused by the room.
  15. Again thank you
  16. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    We use the "FOH+ more me", but our monitor mix for the FOH doesn't include any drums, (definitely don't need 'em in the monitors). The vocal mics pick up plenty of the drums anyway.
    Our guitar player does our sound, he does a good drum sound check, then we add in the rest of the instruments just to get a good baseline mix. Then he puts in the in-ears and away we go. We are ampless onstage, so the only loud instrument to worry about is the drums.
    It works out pretty well, but having a set of ears out front is always better, and we usually do have "people" we trust helping us with the mix. There is no way to hear the room, and get a really good mix from the stage. There are just way too many variables...
  17. Ghetto work around

    Run mains in mono.... Pan drums hard right.... Even without full drums may make sense to have some kick and bass
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    I'll accept that :)

    We're a loud rock band playing in small clubs, and everybody but the drummer uses universal-fit ears; thus, there's enough stage bleed to give us all the drums and most of the bass and guitar we need without them being in the IEM mix. (again, our drummer uses real custom mold UEs, so he needs a complete mix.) that plus the fact the the FOH is mostly balancing out stage volume, and it's no good as a substitute IEM mix.

    I guess for "church band" type stuff where everything is quiet and controlled, the FOH is more of "studio mix", and thus more usable.
  19. You're right.... The less stage noise the better iem gets..... Not because of the noise --- the feeds

    If were me, I'd use an ambient mic... With mains... With more me mixer... Or none
  20. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    for us it's 4 straight-up individual aux mixes out of a mixwiz. ambient mics and stereo mixes would be sweet (out of channels for all that :(), but at least we each have our own complete mix.

    +1 to no IEMs at all being better than suffering with the wrong balance in them.

    either way (and back on topic), they have to come out and you have to be out front to check the FOH, there's no getting around that.

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