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Problem with Bass in IEM

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by kpinsonwv, May 31, 2011.

  1. kpinsonwv


    Mar 28, 2009
    We just moved to IEM and an Aviom system. I purchased a pair of Atrio M5 earbuds since most of the reviews I saw said that they had a pretty good bass response. My problem is that I seem to get lost in the mix whenever any other instruments are playing. I have to crank my bass volume way up in order to hear my notes when other instruments are playing. I have tried to turn everyone else down, but the bass still sounds muffled and disconnected. Tonight at rehearsal, I even switched to a floor monitor. It wasn't as bad, but the bass seemed to get lost in the mix.

    Any suggestions I can give our sound guy? He hasn't been doing this long, so right now he is guessing.
  2. Be sure the buds are sealing your ears and are fitting your well. I use Westone Um2 stock buds with the rubber tips and even my low B sounds great with a 5 peice band in them so look to the buds first.
  3. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Dial some midrange into your tone - that's where the note definition comes from. Somewhere between say 500 and 1500, depending on the tone you prefer.
  4. In my ears I take a lot of the low end out of my sound, and as TimmyP said, boost the midrange. This gives you definition and you can actually hear what you're playing! IMO a huge wall of low end in your just ends up as mud.
  5. kpinsonwv


    Mar 28, 2009
    Thanks for the advice. I'll work with our sound guy to get some more mids in my mix. The lack of definition and "mud" that Jimbob mentions is what I am hearing (or not hearing).
  6. jmeyers44


    Sep 20, 2008
    I played at a church with Aviom. They were having a gain structure issue with my signal and the result was my bass sounding terrible in my ears. As a temporary solution I brought in my Rolls PM351 headphone amp. I plugged a 1/4" out from my DI into the instrument in on the Rolls and plugged the Aviom into the other side of the Rolls while muting the bass on the Aviom. It was a little redundant but I was able to get my sound in my ears. If you wanted you could always add a preamp or EQ pedal of some sort in between the DI and the Rolls to get your sound more dialed in for you. Just another thought
  7. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Problem I encountered with the Avioms was with them being more of a 'listening' set of earbuds rather than a 'monitor' type of earbuds. Meaning IMHO they put some of their own influence on the sound... and to me was more muddy and boomy than I liked.

    Went back to Westone's, but this time went for UM3's rather than 2's. I think I may actually prefer the 2's but it's to soon to tell.

  8. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Looks more like an EQ'ing problem than an IEM problem.

    Ask the guy if he can switch the Aux send of your IEM mix to "Pre EQ" (some boards can do this) to have you IEM un-EQ'd

    One solution if he can't do this : split the channel , use one for FOH and one for Monitoring duties. ( very often done also for FX )
  9. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    My problem has been a combination of low signal strength and eq. They want to automatically pad the bass, so then I have to turn up the gain on my comp pedal. They also scoop the crap out of it.

    We have live drums and stage monitors for the g-tars. :rollno:
    So I usally only have a little acoustic guitar, lead vocals, little keys and bass in mine. I use Westone UM2 buds as well.

    Shame really.
  10. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Working with a musician who would do that , I would slam in a brickwall limiter.

    If the soundman is a human being , why not talk to him/them?

    Again , why not ask ?
    The soundman can't guess that you don't like your mix if you never say anything.
    There's maybe limitations too , if you have only one mix for everybody , you have to deal with everybody's demands.
  11. Don't rule out the possibility that your headphones have a blown driver. Just because they're new doesn't mean they're working right.

    See if the same earplugs work with a different pack, and with different things in the mix. Also keep everything the same and try different ear buds. See if you can isolate the issue.

    IME when musicians complain about their in-ears, they jump quickly to blame me (the sound guy). After doing everything possible--adjusting eq, gain structure, limiters, transmitters, receivers, patch chords, batteries, etc. -- 9 times out of 10 it turns out they have a blown driver in their ear buds.
  12. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    When they're asking for more signal? I'm not just turning it up willy nilly - I'd expect the limiter! The soundmen are all volunteers that do this as a hobby. And they work with different bassist each week.

    Man, I try. They are volunteers and rotate every week. Not giving up though, just responding to the OP since he may be having the same issues.

    Please refer to above.

    The soundman isn't mixing, its an Aviom in this case. (I've had it the other way in another church and worked out great. But those guys were professionals with day jobs.)

    The front of stage (about 10' away) monitors are one mix geared for the guitarists. I'm not sharing an Aviom - its not one mix. The guitarist really need to be on an Aviom as well.

    I have my own mix, but its the above signal issue and the mad amount of bleed from the front monitors. The acoustic drums are in a box, but its not very tight.

    But you bring up a good point: keep trying to work with the guys/gals to get it right.
  13. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007

    My next signature

    PS:maybe ask to lower the send of other instrument to have more headroom of yours.
  14. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Ah, thanks for the tip! Might help the OP as well. :cool:
  15. kpinsonwv


    Mar 28, 2009
    Please understand, I'm not trying to bash our sound guy. 3 weeks ago our church just did a major upgrade to the sound system which included the Avioms and a new sound board. We are all new at this and our sound guy is still learning. He's more than willing to make changes, I just don't know what to ask for and he doesn't have the experience to suggest changes. I'm just trying to understand what the issue could be so that I can better isolate what the real issue is. I've spent the last 2 weeks making continual adjustments to my mix trying to get one that gives me what I need.

    During this week's rehearsal I switched back and forth between a floor monitor and the ear buds. Even with a floor monitor, the bass was not cutting through the mix (I had the bass up all of the way in the Aviom and most of the other instruments turned down).

    I admit it could be the ear buds, but all of the other instruments and vocals seem to be coming through fine. It's just my bass that is getting lost in the mix. From this I assume that I don't have a blown speaker.

    I've also read in some other IEM threads that the pads used on the ear buds can make a difference. I've tried 3 different ones so far and they have not made a lot of difference in the overall sound. Our Worship Leader has a pair of Shure SE215 that I may get to try out, but we didn't have time this week.

    There's been some good suggestions in the thread so far and I appreciate the feedback.
  16. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Is your bass active or passive? If it's passive, are you buffering your signal through an active DI?

    What's in the signal path between your bass and FOH/monitors? Are you sending a pre- or post-EQ signal?

    If your signal is being routed to monitor world before FOH, the monitor mixer should be able to tweak the sound of your bass, and everything else in your mix, to your liking without affecting FOH sound. There are still options if your signal is going directly to FOH and thence to Aviom, though perhaps not quite as extensive.
  17. kpinsonwv


    Mar 28, 2009
    I have a Ibanez BTB 405QM which has passive pickups but an active EQ. It's plugged into an MXR M-80 Bass DI to FOH and then to the Aviom. I'm sending a somewhat EQ'd sound to FOH. I hesitate to mess too much with either the DI or Bass settings. I was using the same settings on both before with a local monitor. Before we got the Avioms, I was sending 1 output of the DI to FOH and the other to my personal monitor.
  18. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Not sure if this applies as I don't know the Aviom system, but here's what I did when I had a wireless bass/IEM system. I took an aux send from the board with a "FOH" mix in to one channel of a 2 channel EQ. I took my bass from an Avalon U5 to the other. I was then able to EQ them individually and send them to my IEM system where I could balance them however I wanted. Worked great. I think the key was the ability to EQ each signal. Even. With cheap buds I was able to make my bass sound like a bass.
  19. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    I use to jam with a few guys In a small basement and it was not anything serious so would plug the bass into a mixer with a pair of PA cabs hooked up to everything. Guitar player did the same. We played at very low volume but I was having trouble hearing notes and could not even tell if I was playing wrong notes. I looked at the guitar channel and noticed the LF 80hz was boosted. I backed it off and whoa that was it. I could hear what I was playing.......and then I had to argue with gui****ist.. Sorry for the long story.

    So..... Talk to your sound guy and see if there are 80hz HPF on each mixer channel. If so.... Tell him to turn them on for all channels except kick, bass, and maybe floor Tom. (IME churches usually have issues with LF anyway so cutting LF on toms too usually sounds better). If sends to aviom are post EQ and you have low/mid sweep EQ, cut some 150-200hz on guitar and vocal channels as well as some more 80hz LF on the channel Eq's if needed.

    You may be obscured by too much LF in other instruments. I know when I mix recordings and I can't get bass and kick to set well together I cut everything below 180-200hz out of guitar tracks and boost a couple db at 50hz for kick and cut a few db of bass @ 50hz. Then cut some kick @ 200-250hz and leave some room for the bass.
  20. I didn't think you were bashing the soundguy. Just saying the ear pieces themselves are often the last place you look, but are most often the problem.

    I worked with a band that all had IEM's, the bass player was having a similar complaint about his bass not cutting through, but all other instruments were fine. In that case, it did turn out to be a blown driver. He had ear pieces with triple drivers (low, mids, highs), and it was the low one.

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