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Weird one - Forbidden to use in-ear monitors....

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Geri O, Jul 9, 2017.


  1. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    This is a little risky, as I know there's folks following this forum that knows my situation, but the frustration level has grown to the point that it may not matter...

    A few months ago, I was called out of the blue on a Monday morning by one particular band's manager (also the star's father) and told that the band had decided that they didn't want me to use my IEMs any longer. They say I don't play properly with the IEMs in, although I have several multi-track recordings that prove this is hogwash (but reveals other issues elsewhere that shall go un-mentioned, of course). I think it boils down to the fact that when I play bass AND provide the PA, I may not be as attentive when two particular people want monitor changes during the show. It's claimed that I'm cut off from communication with the rest of the band, but with 4 vocal mics and a little drum overheads in my ears, I hear everyone and everything fine. And it turns out that it was only two people with this problem, not the star of this band who wears in-ear monitors themselves, and not the entire band. The situation was put to me as "non-negotiable" and "I have to please the majority and you're the minority". So I came back with "being the guy that books a lot of the gigs, provides a lot of logistics, and provides the PA when necessary, I'm putting YOU guys on probation to see if I can manage without the ears". I refuse to use a wedge, why do we need more little screaming boxes on the floor spewing more volume onto an already loud stage volume?

    This has rocked along now for a few months, but as I figured, I'm getting tired of ringing ears and not hearing the bass well unless it's at a hideous stage volume. Not to mention, getting pounded with 2 guitar amps and the aforementioned hideously loud monitors. At 59 years old, I still hear pretty well. I depend strongly on good ears to play music, tune pianos, and occasionally, mix for an event. It's my living.

    I really don't see another solution except to exit the band, which will be two bands since the same rhythm section plays with two different artists (one originals, one cover materials). But with 3 other bands, getting other opportunities to play, and involved with the church band (where the use of my IEMs is perfectly fine with everyone of these other groups), it's getting very hard to justify staying in this particular situation. So I have a decision to make and soon.

    Just wondering if anyone else has dealt with a similar situation and how you did or didn't handled it. I'm not certain that there is a good way to deal with it. I don't think for a second that I can make the case and these guys will say "oh, now I understand, then fine, feel free to wear your IEMs". I fully realize that IEMs aren't for everyone, it solves certain problems while causing others, but I know how to deal with those problems.
     
    Buster Brown and FenderB like this.
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I don't have a solution, but when I hear things like "non-negotiable," and "I refuse to," I doubt there will ever be one. Communication and compromise is what's needed, and it seems neither side is willing. I think it's time to either walk, or open yourselves up to communicating and finding solutions that work for everyone.
     
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    quit the band?

    how did you not laugh in the guy's face?
     
  4. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    what, no iphone monitor control so they can do it they damn selves?

    still, this means they're getting two people's worth of work out of you (sound and bass). unless you're charging them enough for both put together, they need to accommodate you, not the other way around.

    if the two in question are having problems where their monitors are not making them happy then of course as the soundguy our pride dictates that we make it right, but if they're getting a fatter paycheck from not paying two different people then they need to make allowances.
    yeah, that's just not cool at all. you know probably better than i do that those little hair cells in our cochleas don't grow back once they get mowed down by too much volume.

    i understand that it's fun to play, and especially with good players, but c'mon; if she's really "up and coming", what does that mean for you as a "middle aged" player in her local backing band? if she somehow makes it big you're not gonna be on an album and you're not gonna be on a tour, so what's even in it for you?

    otherwise, we're back to a local situation with some dude (the "manager" :rolleyes:) trying to dictate aspects of your gig without paying you commensurate to those demands.
    yeah, and when i hear things like...
    ...i know it's not likely to be a good scene.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
  5. hondo4life

    hondo4life

    Feb 29, 2016
    SC
    If you don't wear IEMs, will you wear ear plugs? You probably should. Of course, that makes communication more difficult. I would demand more money or something to make it worth dealing with their stupidity.
     
  6. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    HiFi AKA Musician's earplugs don't hinder communication at all IME.
     
    eff-clef, Bassngtr, gebass6 and 2 others like this.
  7. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Oh, and tell male Yoko to go **** himself :dead:
     
  8. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    So you're ruining your hearing by removing technology to help please the "majority"?

    With all you do for the band you should be getting an extra cut or two, not being threatened.
     
    marmadaddy, leto, bolophonic and 2 others like this.
  9. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    If you provide PA, I assume you get a bigger cut? Sounds like you are the band leader.
     
  10. hondo4life

    hondo4life

    Feb 29, 2016
    SC
    I agree, but that doesn't stop ignorant people from complaining about them. My last band was always giving me crap for wearing them. It's an insecurity about perception/image. Anyone wearing earplugs must not be a real hardcore rockstar. I don't do cocaine, either. Damn, I guess I'm not a rockstar.
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    OK, three responses in, i'm obviously invested in this topic! i've been the player/soundguy forever, it's only in the last couple years that i've been in bands that had actual soundguys, so i know where @Geri O is coming from. (hell, i still walk out front, pop out my in-ears and find myself wishing it were mixed differently).

    if everybody in the room is an actual adult, maybe the problem can be resolved without ultimatums (and without suffering hearing damage).

    if the issue is a couple players having a hard time getting their monitors right, how can we fix that specific problem?

    are they just too loud? could we set up extra talkback mics on stage for those players to request stuff? what about the aforementioned tablet/phone self-mixing options?

    the manager's :rolleyes: (unless the band is full time and touring i can't say that without the ":rolleyes:"), the manager's solution may be inappropriate, but the actual complaint may be legit, and may be solvable.
     
    RiffwRiter, cchorney, Stumbo and 2 others like this.
  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah it's sort.of ultimatum time unfortunately.

    Am I correct in guessing the two with problems are guitar players, or guitars and keys?
     
    walterw likes this.
  13. craigie

    craigie

    Nov 11, 2015
    calgary
    Nothing to add except anybody who demands that you remove your hearing protection doesn't give a **** about you and is acting very selfishly. **** them based on that principle alone. "Hey, we realize you don't smoke and it causes cancer, but we're the majority."

    Since one other band member uses IEM'S, sounds like you need to swing one other player over to IEM'S and you'll have the majority. Then guess what back stabbers? NO wedges, reasonable stage volume. It works for many bands.

    P.s., My partner provides the PA and we've agreed on a bigger cut for that so I hope you're not getting used.
     
    Gabriela, skwee, gebass6 and 3 others like this.
  14. ThePresident777

    ThePresident777

    Oct 6, 2013

    I have not dealt with this exact situation but here is my opinion for whatever it's worth. Be kind to yourself. Don't sacrifice your hearing for anybody, least of all a bunch of assholes.

    If you want to give this a last chance, you could ask them if they considered your inevitable hearing loss from not using IEMs. They probably haven't and their response may be enough to make up your mind for you on the spot.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
    Gabriela likes this.
  15. Meghans Dad

    Meghans Dad Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2016
    California
    As I write this in the quite of my practice room I am reminded of the constant buzz at about 8 kHz in my ears that reappears daily in the afternoon. DO NOT work for or with anyone who will not allow for some kind of adequate ear protection!
     
    Gabriela, jhb138 and Bassngtr like this.
  16. Kerplunk

    Kerplunk

    Sep 29, 2015
    I wouldn't accept what the BL said, unless all band members were there to verify his claims. 'Not negotiable' is an ultimatum that would see me rage quit. And "have to please the majority"??? Says who? You've been doing that all along, so, I'd say it's time for those unappreciative knobs to pay back what you do for them by shutting the eff you and pulling their tiny little heads in.

    Plus you've let it rock on for a few months. What??? Have some self respect. I'd have just kept on using the IEM's.

    Okay, so probation time is over. Give 'em the news.
     
  17. Contrary to spiritual and theosophical thought, the order of importance for a musician is;
    -Self
    -The band
    -The audience
    ...not the reverse order.

    If you don't take care of self, it will effect the band and you'll not have an audience.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
    kikstand454, CapnSev, Mktrat and 2 others like this.
  18. Max Blasto

    Max Blasto

    Nov 29, 2010
    San Diego
    The guy that books the gigs and brings the common gear _is_ the Band Leader.

    Unfortunately, not every BL knows how to lead. OP: At this point is that means you.

    Action Plan (real leaders do this):
    1) tell Pops to book his own gigs or pound sand.
    2) Isolate the complainers and line up replacements.
    3) you conspicuously mentioned a problem that you weren't willing to explain on this forum. That means you're screwing up. Clean up your own yard.

    Talk Bass is chock full of cats who bitch about BLs but don't have the nuts to take charge themselves.

    If you're not the Band Leader, do what you're told.
    If you are the Band Leader, Lead!
     
  19. Adienn7

    Adienn7

    Jan 26, 2007
    Simple. never listen to drummers and lead guitarist.. their usually knuckleheads. And you're dealing with idiots. put your iems or hifi earplugs in just tell them to shut up.
     
    james condino likes this.
  20. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    Two points:
    1. Protecting and preserving your hearing is much more important than anyone else's petty objections to your doing so.
    2. Quit the band.
     

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