floor monitors vs. in ears

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floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby jahozer » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:00 am

Do any of you use in ears? We toyed with them a bit with a headphone amp, and wired isolation buds. It was great for me to hear the vocals in my head, but we didnt mic the guitars into them. I couldnt hear the guitars well at all, and we were having issues keeping them in. This was just a test before we sink more into them, but I am not sold on them at all. Was wondering what all your thoughts were on them.
Our monitor system was very lacking, and we typically just run our amps for guitars in smaller clubs, so making it work right will be a big departure from what we do, and I just would rather buy two powered monitors and be done with it.
Any advice or experience is appreciated.
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Re: floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby strumminsix » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:07 am

There is a 3rd option - Sensaphonic 3D Active Ambient which allows you to be the only one with IEMs.

I use those and they are great but have some fit issues I'm working through.
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Re: floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby playingdead » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:22 am

We've experimented. I didn't particularly like the feeling of being isolated onstage, much as I do when I use ear plugs on particularly loud nights. The real problem is what the Dead faced, you are better off getting all the amps and everything but the drums offstage, to avoid having to turn them up loud to overcome the stage volume in the first place, which will wind up deafening you anyway. Mickey Hart said the IEMs took what was left of his hearing. It's like having earbuds in on an iPod in a quiet room, you have the volume way down and hear great. Wear them in the subway and all of a sudden you've got the volume cranked to hear the music over the noise of the train, but it's that much louder in your ear at the same time, and you will pay for it down the road if you do it every day.

In my experience, having a wedge on the floor with your guitar in it in front of you is way better than having a cabinet behind you, in terms of clarity and how you are treating your ears all night long. We are happier with using individual monitor mixes to supplement what we're hearing (or not hearing) onstage.

Healy said once that he felt it was best to hear Jerry from Jerry's speakers, and so forth. He said that you can get your monitor scene so worked out that everyone's completely isolated and hearing only what they want to hear. "But then look what you've done."

I think that's where the Dead wound up in 94-95 and the music suffered as a result, although it helped vocally, I'm sure.
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Re: floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby jahozer » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:46 am

interesting. I didnt think of cranking them over stage volume. The sensaphonics look cool. About what did that run you, Strummin?
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Re: floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby jahozer » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:50 am

It does help vocally. Our rehearsals have been more vocal oriented, but our newer guitar player made a point, that we are "playing music" not accompanying vocalists. While there is a balance, I have to admit he was right. One vocalist liked the IEM the other didnt, drummer wasnt crazy about them, bass player liked them, and Im torn. Im not that good of a singer, and having that "in head" clarity really helped me stay on key.

But even with one in and one out, one of the guitars went away.
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Re: floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby strumminsix » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:16 pm

Having 1 plug in and 1 plug out does other whacky to the ears. Can't recall that was though. But can say the only thing that has done effectively to me is protect an ear that was facing a loud player.

Honestly, I think the ideal situation is for EVERYONE to model into the PA or be behind plexi-shield and good monitoring.

For every one to be happy they have to hear and feel like they are being heard.
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Re: floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby jahozer » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:58 am

Im sending the headphone amp back. I dont like all the extra cabeling (nobody wants to drop the coin for wireless, and its a general pain in the ass. Im going to try the personal monitors that fit on the mic stand. Any experience with those? Musicians Friend has a very generous return policy, so its not too hard to experiment.
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Re: floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby strumminsix » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:11 am

Let me ask, what its your problem or challenge you want to overcome? the mic stand monitors doa decent job. But my experience is getting major ear fatigue with cheap monitors and amps. Sadly, some of those sound cheap to my ears.
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Re: floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby jahozer » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:34 am

strumminsix wrote:Let me ask, what its your problem or challenge you want to overcome? the mic stand monitors doa decent job. But my experience is getting major ear fatigue with cheap monitors and amps. Sadly, some of those sound cheap to my ears.


Well,
We have 4 ten inch passive monitors that we currently use. I have a nice crown amp UT 2020, and we drive the mains with that, and I had a cheaper monitor amp that recently died. Smaller gigs, I run one side of the crown to the mains and one side to the monitors, and daisy chain them.
We play a variety of rooms, but our "home gig" is a very small stone outcrop of a room that projects into a velvety loungy type of a room. Ear fatigue is just awful in this room, and the sound bounces around creating feedback. By the time it gets FOH, its rather nice, but in the stone cave of death, its just awful.
We fight ear fatigue, and everyone bitches about the the cheapish monitors. "we need new monitors" translates roughly to, "buy us new monitors, dude" . Its gotten a bit better, but we dont play out a whole lot and nobody wants to drop too much coin. I certainly dont want to finance more live sound myself. The new guy who will be leaving added a whole bunch of shit to our vocal rig, with a delay unit, compressors, eq, etc. The vocals are clear, but he feeds back alot. Each solution he comes up with really overcomplicates the setup.

I also own most of the live sound gear and I hate all of it. I love my guitar gear, but I get no love from a new rig in my live sound. I relatively understand it better than most in the band, so I become sound guy, guitar player, singer, maintainer of equipment, etc.

I guess Im looking for more vocal clarity and volume. I like the small footprint of the Mic stand monitors. Only one person was in love with the IEM and he really wont be with us anymore, so the consensus is to look for something else.

I saw the mic stand ones, and it seems to be not too bad of an option. I understand the want for nice headroom and clarity in your monitors, and want to avoid a cheap radio sound if possible, but the directional nature of it is appealing to me. I guess Im just wrestling with what we need. Powered floor wedges? another monitor amp and bigger passives?
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Re: floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby NSP » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:18 pm

jahozer wrote:
strumminsix wrote:Let me ask, what its your problem or challenge you want to overcome? the mic stand monitors doa decent job. But my experience is getting major ear fatigue with cheap monitors and amps. Sadly, some of those sound cheap to my ears.


I saw the mic stand ones, and it seems to be not too bad of an option. I understand the want for nice headroom and clarity in your monitors, and want to avoid a cheap radio sound if possible, but the directional nature of it is appealing to me. I guess Im just wrestling with what we need. Powered floor wedges? another monitor amp and bigger passives?


I don't have personal experience with the mic stand monitors, but have heard from reliable sources that they're not the proper tool for what we do. (i.e. full band settings with louder stage volumes) May work decent for an acoustic trio.

In our live rig we use my powered JBL's for monitors (PRX512) and love them. You'll need to drop some coin, but you get what you pay for. Buy once, cry once I believe the saying is. With those and my Allen and Heath MixWiz we have four individual monitor mixes to dial everyone in where they want to be. But, the key ingredient is always going to be managing stage volume, especially during vocal passages. We also started using a plexiglass shield in front of the drums.
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Re: floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby tcsned » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:59 pm

I have used mic stand monitors for an acoustic jazz group I played in and in a theater pit and they are barely passable. In a low volume acoustic setting I could hear what was going on but fidelity wasn't great. In the theater gig - totally awful. They sounded like ass and couldn't get up over the volume of the horn section. Speakers that small can only do so much IMHO
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Re: floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby strumminsix » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:07 pm

NSP wrote:
jahozer wrote:
strumminsix wrote:Let me ask, what its your problem or challenge you want to overcome? the mic stand monitors doa decent job. But my experience is getting major ear fatigue with cheap monitors and amps. Sadly, some of those sound cheap to my ears.


I saw the mic stand ones, and it seems to be not too bad of an option. I understand the want for nice headroom and clarity in your monitors, and want to avoid a cheap radio sound if possible, but the directional nature of it is appealing to me. I guess Im just wrestling with what we need. Powered floor wedges? another monitor amp and bigger passives?


I don't have personal experience with the mic stand monitors, but have heard from reliable sources that they're not the proper tool for what we do. (i.e. full band settings with louder stage volumes) May work decent for an acoustic trio.

In our live rig we use my powered JBL's for monitors (PRX512) and love them. You'll need to drop some coin, but you get what you pay for. Buy once, cry once I believe the saying is. With those and my Allen and Heath MixWiz we have four individual monitor mixes to dial everyone in where they want to be. But, the key ingredient is always going to be managing stage volume, especially during vocal passages. We also started using a plexiglass shield in front of the drums.


Similarly I use the JBL PRX 615,mains, and 612 , mons, and love them.

Owning the PA really does suck sometimes well worth it when you have the good gear.

Buy once or once indeed and I very much agree. Honestly when I mentioned your fatigue above it's less to do with volume more to do with an assault from cheap speakers.

With today's technology you can often find powered speakers with great power amps and actually equal weight as passive speakers. In my opinion good powered speakers with the passive mixing board is the way to go!

You know there are options when you consider costs like taking a certain cut from shows where you use the PA or buying the mains and a monitor for yourself , and having other numbers purchase their own monitors.
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Re: floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby jahozer » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:39 am

good points, all. I understand the ear fatigue from cheap speakers. Our mains are good yamaha 15" so we are set there. I appreciate the advice on the mic stand monitors. My wife is in the band so buying 2 of these would be 300 bucks for me. Then the other guy would need one, bringing a total of 450. I could probably buy some decent powered floor wedges for that price.
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Re: floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby strumminsix » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:19 am

jahozer wrote:good points, all. I understand the ear fatigue from cheap speakers. Our mains are good yamaha 15" so we are set there. I appreciate the advice on the mic stand monitors. My wife is in the band so buying 2 of these would be 300 bucks for me. Then the other guy would need one, bringing a total of 450. I could probably buy some decent powered floor wedges for that price.


Quality mains and monitors are both important to avoid ear fatigue - keep the band hearing, keep the folks happy!

I went from Yamaha BR12 monitors to JBL PRX612 and the upgrade was huge! Also for the mains BR15 to 615s and it was even bigger since I could get them higher AND pitch them downward. Great coverage!!

I'm sure I'm in the minority here but for most bars you only need 2 front line monitors. Set them up so all can hear them and just go for it.
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Re: floor monitors vs. in ears

Postby Dozin » Tue May 15, 2012 7:12 pm

The problem I had with them is I was cranking my vocal up in my ear and I thought it sounding great. What I didn't know was that it was causing me to back off the mic and I ended up not coming through the mains so no one else could hear me. I had to find the sweat spot between the mix.
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