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Performing & recording with in-ear monitors sound problems

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by lior, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. lior


    Dec 23, 2006
    Hey there- recently i've started playing in a big production where we all play with in ear monitors.
    Bass (Warrior DM5) goes to DI(EBS MicroBass II), goes to console and then to my in ear monitors.
    All is well, except for the fact that i can't tolerate and play like should with the sound -it's super dry, treble-ish, metallic, etc...

    Same deal in the studio when recording live w/ a band/ a drummer.

    Started looking at the options i see on the web - Basswitch DI, Aguilar ToneHammer, Two notes audio CAB... question is - how is gonna be any different from the Microbass?

    I'd love to hear from those who has already found solutions to these problems, caue this sound is really hurting my playing.

    Thanks in advance, Lior.
    SeamzKing likes this.
  2. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Assuming you like the sound of your bass, when you troubleshoot where in the chain do you start to lose your tone?
  3. lior


    Dec 23, 2006
    I don't think it's losing my tone a much as something is not picking it up properly.

    For exemple - in the studio it gives a GREAT source and sounds amazing with an amp after that, but when i'm playing with nothing but the DI straight to my in ears, it sounds doll and thin..
    Same when playing live - outside in the PA it sounds great, but same as in the studio in my in ear...
  4. JJP_1984_LB50

    JJP_1984_LB50 Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    North Canton, OH
    I ended up feeding my ears the output of my Sansamp. Put the dry signal to my onstage amp (monitor for everybody else) and the DI to FOH. Happiness...
  5. What ears are you using?
    lior likes this.
  6. lior


    Dec 23, 2006

    I would do that, except that i can't go directly into my DI headphones output cause i also get everything else onstage to my inears, including the MD's talk-back mic, so it has to come back from the console first
  7. Two quick options would be to get a small 2 to 4 channel mixer, preferably with reverb. Put a lead from your bass into channel 1 and your foh iem sig into channel two. Now you can adjust your bass independently and the reverb will really help a ton. If your ears are set up in stereo you can pan the foh mix a bit to one side for even better clarity. Another choice is a rolls 351. There are many threads here detailing these sorts of threads. Good luck.
    nicopiano likes this.
  8. As another person wrote what buds are you using?
  9. lior


    Dec 23, 2006
    Thanks, ill try that as well.

    Im using Shure e2c(its pretty old, got it 8-9 years ago.. Still rocking them out though!)
  10. sawzalot


    Oct 18, 2007
    I found the buds I use makes a HUGE difference in my IEM sound. Couldn't stand the stock buds--my bass sounded lifeless and thin--but when I replaced them with a higher-quality set that was capable of reproducing what they were getting, it sounded great. My suggestion would be (if possible) to listen to the IEM mix with a pair of good headphones and see if the buds and/or the transmitter/receiver are the issue before you go adding all sorts of complexity to your monitoring signal chain.

  11. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Actually, that you're getting the tone you want at the recording and FOH consoles tells you that the problem happens downstream of the DI, so you can rule out the bass and the EBS Microbass as culprits. (If you're happy with the tone that the Microbass sends the console, then swapping out the EBS for an Aguilar or one of the other units in your OP won't address the downstream problem.)

    The problem could be at the console feed to your IEM unit, at the IEM unit itself, and/or in your buds. The console feed is an unlikely culprit—because the IEM tone problem dogs you from venue to venue. A simple test then: Hook up your bass-->DI-->IEM-->buds and play. Same tinny tone? Now leave the chain as-is, except swap in decent headphones in place of the buds. If that fixes the problem, then I'd suspect the earbud seal. (You could look into custom fit buds, but I'd recommend first using Sugru to make a custom seal using your current buds.) Another way to check whether the buds are contributing to your issues is to just use them to listen to recorded music.

    OTOH, if headphones also sound tinny with your IEM chain, then look for problems in the IEM unit, impedance or level problems b/w console and IEM unit, or problems w/ your cabling.
  12. Silas Stingy

    Silas Stingy

    Feb 19, 2009
    I had a set of those Shure in ears and thought they were awful, no bass, and lots of sibilance, a £40 set of Soundmagic will out perform them.
  13. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Get better IEM's; the cheap ones have no bass response. Custom fit ones are pricier but they sound and seal much better. For working live I second the idea of running your own mixer; I have a Shure P4M that I used with a wireless transmitter when I gigged with IEM's. A good addition to your IEM mix when playing live is an ambient mic; I always felt isolated from the rest of the band until I added one to my mix.
  14. lior


    Dec 23, 2006
    First of all - Thanks for all of your responses! gonna try all of the suggestions once i get the chance to.

    I would love to hear as well of good IEM models that you recommend that works well for you with your bass
  15. JJP_1984_LB50

    JJP_1984_LB50 Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    North Canton, OH
    Alclair Tour Customs...
  16. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Mine are the E.A.R. high end (three transducer) model, though I was playing guitar in that band. I have used them for recording monitors, though, and they work well for bass in that environment.
  17. The IEMs are the most likely culprit for lousy bass response. You can also try those IEMs you have with a good audio source, just listen to music with them. If they are lacking bass it'll be apparent there as well. Try both, play live once with good headphones you know have good bass response and see if that fixes it, and try listening to mp3 player with your IEMs, that ought to confirm independently if the IEMs are the issue. The electronics today are pretty good, I'd be pretty surprised if your electronics are the problem. Poor seals in IEMs, and IEMs with lousy bass response in general are notorious for making the bass response disappear, with thin and dull sound. Multi driver and custom fit IEMs are more crucial for bassists, cause we are the only ones that miss the low end when it disappears... :( Everyone else can get away with cheap, crappy IEMs and get along fine. They hear themselves better because there's less bass in their mix.

  18. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    Basswitch user here:)

    I have great experience with all my basses and the Basswitch through a set of Ultimate Ears Ue5 Pro .
    + 1 on the idea about running a separate line of your own bass signal (that you can eq to YOUR needs) into a small mixer or headphone amp.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  19. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    +1 more for better earbuds! you want something that's "dual driver" at the minimum if you want any kind of real fullness and low end.

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