This is exactly what we are doing with our live mixes. In my one band with the loud Guitarist, he can adjust his personal mix with his phone, but his permissions doesn’t let him adjust any other mixes. During a gig, he adjusts a lot, so sometimes I have to reset his mix to original, which takes 2 button pushes. It is also nice to be able to recall venue setups with a button push when re-visiting the venue again. Saves much pre-gig time. Digital mixers are the bomb, and the FX are high quality.
Wow, what a busy thread!
I’ll pitch in with my setup: for the past couple of years, I have been using the InEar StageDiver 2, same as @humphrey. Really great fit; no problems with losing their fit when singing or moving my head (no headbanging here…).
I use wired In-ear, since I’m tied to my keyboard anyway; no need for expensive and potentially problematic wireless setups. In my two bands, I have different setups:
In my main act, I run PA and monitoring on a Mackie DL32R, which provides sufficient aux outputs that all of us can have individual monitor feeds - our other lead singer and I even stereo mixes. Outputs go to a headphone amp; stereo cabling then goes out to our position on stage, where we have a FischerAmps mini bodypack to allow us to adjust volumes. We can also adjust our in-ear mix on-the-fly via iPads that control our DL32R, so if our guitarist goes overboard in his solo, it’s easy to turn him down a bit…
In my other band, I simply get a stereo line out directly from the desk (Behringer X32) and use a FischerAmps In Ear Stick (a small battery-driven earphone amp cum bodypack - very nice! Since the Berry desk also has an iPad app, I get to customize my in-ear mix myself.
In both setups, I can run an individual stereo mix - which to me makes a world of difference! I put my keys, guitar and vocals dead center and arrange everything else around me to have it out of the way.
Essential for a useful in-ear mix is to NOT try to have a full FOH mix in your IEMs, but really just what you need to know what you are doing (and when you are doing it). Of the drum kit, I only have the kick, snare and hihat/ride on my mix - these are necessary so I can stay on timing. But the toms go way down or completely off - our drummer plays pretty extreme tom patterns, which can drive me completely off-beat in some songs. Our lead guitarist is also turned way down - I only have him at a level so I am sure that he is really playing and where he is in the song. An I have my stuff significantly louder than the rest of the mix - I really want to be sure to hear what I am doing and not guess it. I leave the tasteful balancing to the person behind the FOH faders - need to have people you trust there!
Takes some time to get an in-ear mix right, but once you’re there, it’s dimensions better for intonation and timing!
BTW: in-ear monitoring also did a lot for my volume leveling - no more need to crank up my keyboard sounds so I can hear it above a song with busy drums (and for the soundman to turn it down because it’s too loud in the mix) .
Another BTW: during band practice, I usually use AKG on-ear headphones instead of the in-ears. Easier to just slide off one ear when you want to talk and slide on again to continue…
It only takes one time in moving past your cable limit to respect the in-ears. I haven’t headbanged in over 20 yrs, so I guess I am safe.
In my band we all have in-ears - custom moulded ones (or molded, to our US friends) from a company called Hear Wave. We all have our own separate mixes, sent wirelessly from our monitor mixer (Behringer X32), and we’re all able to control our separate mixes wirelessly via iPad/Android tablets…
It works really well for us, and in particular allows us to do some cool things we could never do before using foldbacks, with click tracks and synchronised effects tracks and so on. In terms of sound, I think we’re all getting a really good clear mix, and the ability to tailor the mix to our own separate requirements is really important for us. It’s also great to be able to establish a good mix and be able to roll up at a venue and already have a pretty good soundcheck mix, before needing any tweaking. Also, since the sound in a rehearsal is much closer to that of a live show, you don’t get that thing where everything sounds great in the rehearsal studio, then on stage everything sounds wildly different.
The only real downside for us is the lack of “connection” with the crowd - you can kind of feel a bit isolated if your in-ears have a tight seal and block out the outside noise (as they should), and you can lose the excitement of the live crowd sound. We’ve tried adding ambient mics to give some of the live sound, but it’s not the same. But the benefits in clarity and controllability are definitely worth that disadvantage.
Totally agree. The ambient mics do help, even in small venues. In a smaller venue, when we are running our own sound, I can mute the mains and talk to my bandmates, or countoff a tune, or tell that $@#$*^ guitar player to turn it down to 747 takeoff level.
Can’t agree more about stereo. We have an antiquated Aviom system at church (going away soon, I hope) and all its feeds are mono. You can pan them but anything coming in to it that should be stereo is summed to mono, including the drums. The phase cancellation is obnoxious on drums and guitars. The drums in particular are a joke; we get them subbed from FOH and they seem to think all we want to hear are hi-hats, with a huge peak right around 1K so they are truly unlistenable. Add to that that the sends are post trim pot on the FOH board so our levels change pretty much constantly because they havn’t figured out that that isn’t really where you adjust levels and it all adds up to me taking a BB gun to church eventually and shooting the soundman in the face with it. It’s coming.
I can see crowds of activists marching on Mattel Toys after your rampage. Oh the humanity !! Not that I haven’t thought about Soundmen writhing in pain on several occasions.
Not to go too o/t but half the band threatens to quit every week over our monitors. I just deal with it because on 30 years on the road I play to anything. lol We’ve made it clear that if/when they redo this we have to have a signal split before it goes to the front with our own board, our own subs and hopefully we’ll be able to have way more personalized mixes. This church spent over half a million or something redoing the main system 2 years ago. Meanwhile the actual band is in the dark ages.
Music-wise or technology-wise?
Tech-wise. The band itself is really good. I do have a jin-u-ine B3 to play Leslie miced in a closet with a single SM57. Under the stairs to the media room actually- I love hearing them go up and down while I play.
Wow. That’s crazy. At least you get to play a real beast. I do church gigs a couple of times a year. Get to put my hands on Hammond and smile for awhile.
Royal Studios still have the old Hammond used on the Al Green stuff. Got to sit behind it a few times.
I am blown away by all the very constructive help you all posted! I have one thread now to reference on this subject with a great bunch of experienced folks that pitched in. I am extremely grateful to all and hope to use some of the tips to improve my experience and I also will likely lust after some of the higher end earphones described!
I’ve got to try this. We use an XR18 with individual mixes to our in ears, so that would work well.
I have my personal aux mix coming from the XR18 to one input of my babyface pro, my mic going to the other and my electric and acoustic guitars to the instrument inputs. The babyface sends synths and processed guitars to one main output, the mic to the other, and my XR18 aux input goes by itself to the headphone outputs. Switching to this setup got rid of my headphone amp and 2 power supplies.
There is some ambient bleed-through from vocal mics, but an open mic, facing the crowd, signal ONLY to in-ears, adjusted volume, will give you some air moving in your headsets. Also panning will give you the feel of stage presence. Amazing how we have to re-create being on stage in a digital world. Kinda like a video game.
@dave_dore knows my set up all too well. I play in a duo and have a Behringer X 18 and a simple Behringer four channel headphone amp. My set up is very similar to Corky’s and I like to keep everything simple. Each of us has our own different monitor send which we can dial-in to our own preference. We run Shure 215’s as well and we both run wired set up’s. Since I am a keyboard player and I’m remotely stationary mine is not an issue but my guitar player is a bit more active so we run a 20’ foot extension for him that combines with his guitar chord and is Velcro’d up his guitar strap. The KISS theory reigns supreme in my setup. You can get very involved if you want, but why bother. Very happy with the whole setup
My friend Steve. Good to hear from you. Us old farts HAVE to keep it simple, eh?
Last Friday, I was playing keyboard, and had to play an extensive guitar lead at the end of the song. I stood up to start the lead with guitar strapped on, decided to approach stage edge ( it IS after all… rock n roll), knew I had a 25’ extension on my in-ears, but, forgot I used the SHORT guitar cable. : =
So did you yank out the cable or pull your amp over? I thought only I did stuff like that
Corky…I gotta ask what was involved to make that happen? I have often wondered about that. With my iPhone clipped to me and my earbuds, I can move around and not worry about catching the long cord on anything and I will be the first to admit, there have been times when I have forgotten at set breaks about disconnecting myself, but get reminded very quickly when I reach the end of the cord. Did a search and found this https://www.churchproduction.com/news/new-software-system-turns-iphone-into-wireless-in-ear-monito/
I am suddenly taking this wireless option more seriously because my search revealed other options as well. I would love to hear anybody’s input on this. Not having to throw a thou$and bucks into a wireless system and being able to use my iPhone would be sweet. As a former lead vocalist, I do miss mixing it up with the audience. I currently run 2 iPads (soon to be 4) on an external router running Songbook using the Studiomux app. I also have control of my Integra 7 via the iPad Editor app. I want the extra iPad to also run @dave_dore’s OSC Touch app, as well as one to serve as a remote mixer for my X18, when we play with in house PA. I have a line out for them, but as usual, the sound guy is not happy without full control. Between C3 and the in-ear, we get very close to a good mix right out of the gate, but this gives them a chance to do some fine tuning and keep them from bitching too much. But I digress. Anyhow, I would love some input on options to make that happen. I know I could invest in a wireless in-ear system, but if I can make it happen with my iPhone, I’m all (in) ears
I’ve heard of systems that let you control the system via cell phone but not one that lets you use the phone as the wireless receiver itself… that’s freakin’ brilliant. After all, we all have one… could be dangerous though. I’d want a wifi router on stage that put out a signal like a flame-thrower because you don’t rally have a redundant backup in case it fails. (I wouldn’t want to rely on 4G). And you need to make sure your phone’s regular functions are suspended and not going to interrupt the process, or need rebooting in the middle of the show…
It’s for that reason that I only used a single ear bud. Still got the live vibe. Maybe not practical depending on the stage setup? But worked well enough in the small theatres I was doing in Welsh Floyd.
100% agreed that having the click in the IEM is much better than foldback and it means no count ins are heard by the audience.
Be careful with that approach. When I was researching In-Ears, I read a few articles on how using one bud would really screw with your hearing. It will also defeat the idea of a stereo mix.