On stage with INEARS only?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JWS, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. Works great

    6 vote(s)
  2. Forget it

    5 vote(s)
  1. Do you have experiece with INEARS-only on stage? Without a speaker cab? I want to minimise my setup, get away of all the big cabs. Just a really good preamp. I love the preamp with studioheadphone sound of my bass.

    But what headphones would I need on stage? Can you recommed one?

    I think it could be usefull to ad a subwoofersystem to the preamp (Like the aktive one Warwick produced) for the really deep lows to get the feeling. Like the BASSSHACKER(vibrating magnet fixt to his chair) which some drummers use.

    Would that be worth a try? What do you think?
  2. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    I use in-ear monitors. I have the Shure E5's with custom molds made by an audiologist. Our system uses a Furman headphone distribution center with personal mixers for each player separating vocals, guitar and keys, horns, bass, and drums. I run my bass through an Avalon U5 using one of the preset EQ's and get a good sound in the phones. But I feel the bottom end from my stage rig and it supplements the sound in the phones. It's the same principle as using one of those rumbleseats (Euphonic Audio product) in the studio. For me the feel of the bass in my body is essential. You don't need a very big rig on stage to get that though. Just my opinion.
  3. Yea, I used a Shure wireless system for about 6 months giging 2 to 3 nights a wk. I liked the fact that being able to hear myself sing and play was never an issue. The sound, however, doesn't have much life to it. You need to have a good monitor mixer on stage that you can get to or have a sound man running a seperate monitor mixer for this system to work at its best. In the end, however, I ended up going back to my amp and monitor. In ear just wasn't for me.
  4. I've been doing a gig since january that is in ear with no onstage monitors or amps. I actually just quit the gig, but not because of the in ears. They have Shure in-ear systems with a shaker attached to a platform. I used headphones (some really expensive sony phones) with my eden preamp. In-ears got better the more I used them, but I still greatly prefer amps and real monitors. There is just something about feeling real soundwaves that I missed. The thing that I would like to do is have in-ears for vocals and wedges for everything else.
  5. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    My wifes cousin played with Mark Chesnutt on his last tour. I noticed the bass player didn't have an amp on stage. In fact the only player on the stage with any amps was the lead guitarist. I got to talk with the bassist after their show and he said the advantages of the in ear was much lower stage volume which helped with vocal harmonies, much less stage clutter. His setup consisted of a rack with a tuner and his wireless. (the ultimate small rig) He could get any mix he wanted in his earpiece. I had to laugh though when he said "I kinda miss my pants flappin". Although I'm not much of a CW fan, they put on one heck of a show.
    Now if our 100 watt traynor PA could only handle bass. ;)
  6. timre


    Jul 9, 2001
    Vancouver, BC
    About a year ago I was starting to tinker with the idea of an in-ear system for my christian celtic-pop group. The sound is quite acoustic with acc. guitar, violin/fiddle, flute, whistles, bodhran, drums, and me playing bass, bodhran, upright, and mandolin. I decided to try and get the band over to in ears and wanted to know whether I would need stage gear. Well, it's been a year and my stage rig now consists of an Alembic F2-B, a TU-2, an OC-2, and a Trace Elliott Dual SMX comp pedal. That's it. Plus all my instruments of course! We are wired, and that has it's challenges but, all in all, I have the BEST monitor I have ever had onstage. THe only thing I am starting to feel weird about is the EUB through the in ears, I am thinking about running a stage rig just for this bad boy. My Modulus 6 sounds fine and feels fine through the in ears but my upright is not quite right. I may just have to mess around with EQ to fool my ears a little.
    The vocals are the biggest improvement with these things though! You will notice how harmonies will just tighten right up as it forces you to be a better singer. Have you ever been in the studio hearing your own voice through the cans and going, "Wow, I need to do some work on the voice!" Well, this lets you rehearse that way.
  7. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    We go back and forth from in ears to just monitors, depending on what we feel like doing at that time. We do not ever use both at the same time. The fear of getting feedback in your ears puts visions of blood running down the side of my face. Not good. They make feedback killers, but that's more money to spend.
    Our singer and drummer do not really like them, since they don't mask much of the vocals with the cab coloration you get from many monitors. It does help you get better much quicker. I like them because my ears don't ring when I am done. It still doesn't give you a "live" feeling though. I honestly like a loud stage volume, as long as the monitors are loud as well.
  8. T.B. Player

    T.B. Player

    Aug 10, 2002
    Orange, Texas
    I think using in-ears really depends on why are you using them. My current band situation went from using on stage monitors to in-ears for sound reasons. We play in the same auditoriums where stage monitor bleed kills the outside mix. The drummer has one of those Guitammer Buttshakers mounted to his chair that is very cool. If you are going to play with in-ears do not go cheap. The difference between the Shure P400 to P600s is incredible.

    Having actual ear molds made for your ear is a must if you want completely isolate your ears. I personally like playing with them more than a live rig because my in-ears (Shure P600) don't lack bottom end and everyone hears each other better this way. Its a good idea to have the mixer on the stage or near you.

    My band has had a history of its members turning up after sound check, so now its no longer an issue they just make themselves go deaf and the sound guy can still do his job. :)
  9. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    My whole band (trio) uses shure in-ear monitors. I still keep my rig on-stage though because the lows really get lost in the headphones IMO. Maybe that wouldn't happen with a really high quality set of in-ears. I like the in-ear/bass rig combo because the in-ears act as ear plugs from the loud drummer but I can still feel and hear the lows from my bass and hear everything else clearly.

    brad cook
  10. slonlo420


    Sep 20, 2002
    Washington, DC
    My band has been using IEM's for two years now. When I first got them, everyone I talked to said just run mono monitor mixes. Now after tasting the forbidden fruit of stereo monitor mixes I couldn't go back to relying on floor monitors to hear the rest of the band. We do alot of improv playing so it's essential to hear each other. As some of the above posts have said, I also miss feeling the bass (no cabs, just DB680 straight to the board) but I hear all the lows I need. It's like being in the studio all the time. A couple small diaphram condensers on stage and pointed toward the audience will give you all the ambience of the room you'll need. Plus you can hear when someone yell's "Freebird!".
  11. I did it for about 6 months 2 yrs ago. I used the Shure unit. Do you sing too? If you sing too then you will need to mix your bass signal with your vocal. The Shure unit would allow that but I'm not certain about others or even how you plan on using it. As far as it working, it works just fine. I didn't find it satisfying, however, I need to feel my sound as well as hear it.

    good luck
  12. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Not having tried these, it seems to me you would need to use IEMs in conjunction with a bass rig or rumble floor/seat. Otherwise, you just don't get the physical "oomph" of the bass's low end. I think some one called it the "pants flappin' effect".

    I fully agree that there is a tremendous benefit to the entire band using IEMs in order to achieve tight vocal hamonies.

    Looking forward to hearing more comments from the experienced cats on this.
  13. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    I have a love/hate relationship with our in-ear system. We've used it for a long time in the wedding band (years) and I go back and forth from using one plug in my left ear with just vocals to the full monty with both plugs and the complete mix. I have the Shure E5's with custom (audiologist) inserts. I'm back with the full mix at present. I added a very subtle touch of effects - reverb and a 100 ms slapback - to the vocal monitor mix. With six live vocal mics on stage there's a good bit of bleedover of other stuff including crowd noise into the vocal mix. This livens up the typically dead "studio" effect of the "in-ear isolation booth". The other four (monitor aux) sends from the main board go through a Furman Headphone Distribution System
    and include a drum mix, bass, guitar and keys (together), and horns. Each of us can control the levels of the 5 aux mixes separately using the little Furman personal mixers
    I use a stage rig for my bass - I absolutely need to feel the bottom. Some nights I get the whole schmutz going pretty good. Mostly I feel confined and frustrated and end up using just vocals in one ear. In my classic rock band we use floor monitors and I'm happy as a clam surrounded by the old familiar ear-damaging volume levels.
  14. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Damn you guys must have a lot of faith in your respective sound guys. Call me a control freak if U like, but using in-ears means sacrificing total control of your sound out front.

    From what I've seen, most people have a love/hate relationship with in ears. Singers are the exception. I've never met a singer who didn't love em.
  15. slonlo420


    Sep 20, 2002
    Washington, DC
    I often run sound and play bass at the same time in smaller venues. I use the set it and forget it method checking the overall mix in cans before I ever bring up the mains. During sound check I'll walk in front of the stage to make sure everything is kosher then make any needed adjustments and away we go. I really don't worry about the monitor mix as it's pretty much the same no matter what room we play in. Also, the monitor mix is almost the same for each member so we have a good idea of how the mix is out front and can control our dynamics accordingly. We record both rehearsals and shows. A two track feed off the board doesn't lie, the mix is usually on point. You guys are making me miss playing with cabs. My ears say yes but my back says no! I couldn't run sound from the stage if I had cabs. Right now the only sound coming off the stage is the drums. Everything else is direct. Now if only I could convince the drummer to get an electronic kit.......
  16. I love in-ear monitors. Only thing I haven't gotten used to is the seemingly seperation from the crowd. We've been trying to get the sound guys to put an audience mic up - but to no avail so far.
  17. I have used a custom pair of Shure E-5s on and off (depending on situation) for about a year and a half with excellent results. I am also an avid Meyer fan and own a Meyer PSM-2 stage wedge for my own personal stage mix when needed. I would agree with most that what you gain in isolation and quality of mix, you compromise for that thud in the chest. Fortunately, my primary gig uses Servodriver Bass Tech-7 subs(check out www.servodrive.com)
    The original design of the prototype Servo was for stress testing buildings for earthquakes by sending a given structure into low frequency resonance. Needles to say the lowend is usually there for me so I usually "feel" myself through the PA. 4 of these boxes a side is equivalent to 9 DUAL 18" sub cabinets!!!!! That is 18 18's!!! You have to experience it to really appreciate it!!!!!!!!
  18. I use in-ear monitors, AND and amp on stage, so I can FEEL the bass.

    I currently use cheapy "The Plug" by Koss - ($10) they have better bass response than Shure E-1's, but are unreliable (however $5 gets you a new set!). I can't afford E-5's. I got some E-2c's on eBay for $71 and I'm trying them out when they arrive.

    The biggest problem, though, is communications on stage, as when the lead singer decides to skip around the set list, I can't hear what song she calls out for us to do next!!

    Any ideas??

  19. timre


    Jul 9, 2001
    Vancouver, BC
    In our bands we use in ears and we have a couple of mics setup on stage as communication mics. They are at high gain but in no danger of feedback as we only send them to our in ear mix. This way you can crank them to get a stage sound. Our drummer uses V-Drums though and I don't use an amp (how much bass are you guys wanting???) on stage.
    -Little side rant here... I would suggest that everyone entertain the idea of leaving your rig at home and go through a really good pre. I use an Alembic F2-B with some good 5751 tubes and a Trace Comp and I get everything I could want for my bass. Better than my Eden 2X12 XLT was giving me (more consistent from room to room) and I get just as much fundamental as I was from my cab. It's not thumping my chest, but does it have to? It is amazing what you will get used to and you have such an intimate response to the bass drum that I don't see a problem.

    Sorry, anyway...

    The high gain (not in the mains or wedges!!!!) mics will provide ambience and talk back between members. You could also have them at lower gain if you have a drummer or a really loud room and just talk straight into the mic. You can use the tobacco stained old 57's that sit in the mic bag (you know the ones) and put them all on a y or three way split to one channel of the board. We're not looking for amazing fidelity here, especially if they're going to be at a lower gain. The best is if you have a keen soundperson who can mute the channel when you play and pop it on between songs, though you may want it on for that sudden 'inspiration' the singer gets (read: forgets words and screws up the form!)
  20. gflowers

    gflowers Sadowsky Nut Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I've been playing bass for 30 years and while I love the feel of moving air, a partial hearing loss has been the price paid. I've been using in-ears for the past year and only wished I had started sooner. My entire band uses in-ears and we have added some processing to our 6-way monitor mix and an ambient room mic and the sound is incredible. We also have total control over the volume and no feedback. The best thing is that at the end of the night I don't have a splitting headache and my ears aren't ringing.