In Ears or Stage Monitors? What's your preference!

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by codamedia, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,586
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Western Canada
    I'm not sure why they would be like that.... especially when the entire theory behind in-ears is to block out the stage and listen to "what you want" at the "volume you want".

    If anything with in-ears, I find singers (more than players) will hold back compared to having a wedge. Too much of themselves, and something they might not put the emotion and energy in that they used to. But that's the opposite of what you are describing!

    Those mixers are getting pretty common for many groups. I've toured with two, and know several others that use that setup. When they get to a venue (including a festival stage), they patch in the mixer for monitors and the band it ready to go. Sound checks are getting to be a thing of the past for monitors as long as the band is consistent with the levels they feed the board(s).
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
  2. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    21,402
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    The North Coast
    Stage monitors only for me. No IEM’s. Ever. I think they’d be awesome if I were strictly an instrumentalist. But I’m also a vocalist, and usually the primary one. If I stick anything in my ears I go flat immediately. I don’t think I do, I think I sound great. But tape doesn’t lie. If I have stuff in my ears I sing flat.

    Same thing in the studio. I have to pop one side of the headphones. If I have both my ears covered I’m a pancake.

    The thing I find humorous (cause I’m kind of *****) is that this phenomenon is not isolated to just me. About 80% of the singers I hear using IEM’s, from club gigs to arena stages, are flat. And they don’t even know it. I’m not sure how or why more people don’t notice, accept that maybe they don’t listen to live recordings of themselves. But it’s definitely not a niche problem.

    I’ll stick with my wedges.
     
    haggardfan1 likes this.
  3. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,672
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Big D
    @Jakedog
    I have noticed that my singers who seemed to be on pitch most of the times do seem to have trouble staying on pitch now. Some more than others, I actually like hearing my voice in my ears but I also haven't played it back on tape as I am not a vocalist (talk back guy). I will have to check that out with the singers.
    Any idea why that is?
     
    Jakedog likes this.
  4. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,164
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    That depends on whether I am playing or mixing. If I am mixing house, I prefer the band on ears. I am selfish that way. If I am mixing monitors, or playing the gig, I prefer wedges. I always prefer drummers to wear ears, as their monitor mix can get busy if they don't know how to listen. Personally, I find wearing ears to be a distraction. If I have to wear ears, I prefer a "more me" controller for each band member, such as those from Aviom and Allen & Heath.
     
    opticnerv likes this.
  5. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,207
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    eh, what'd you say?
     
  6. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    21,402
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    The North Coast
    I do not have a scientific explanation for it, I just know for sure it happens. I never knew it til I started hearing myself back. Then I had an “a-ha” moment about why so many pro singers I was hearing seemed to be flat all the time. I started paying more attention, and the common denominator definitely seems to be the IEM’s.
     
    haggardfan1 likes this.
  7. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,394
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Location:
    The Dry Side
    I have two pair of $22 IEM earbuds from Amazon. They were the cheapest ones without an inline mic (I wanted IEM's, NOT phone earbuds). I can't offer a comparison to high dollar IEM's but I absolutely love them, and will never go back to headphones. For info's sake, I play drums in a band, using electric drums, and we route everything through a JamHub mixer, out to headphones/IEM's. The IEM's don't get sweaty like headphones do, and the sound, even in these cheapos, is hands down better.
     
  8. haggardfan1

    haggardfan1 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    3,926
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Location:
    Texas, Louisiana, Texas again
    Amen to this.
    To be truthful: I've only tried IEM a couple times, and I immediately hated the isolation from the stage energy--regardless of whether conventional or electronic drums are used.

    I can work okay under headphones in the studio, but if wedges ever become obsolete I guess I'll just retire from live performance :lol:.
     
    Old Deaf Roadie and Jakedog like this.
  9. opticnerv

    opticnerv TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    79
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Location:
    kentucky
    IEM's may be the reason 2 shows I saw last year at a smallish local club which featured big name, international acts sounded so bad. Not the vocals. The guitars! All were direct via sims/reactive loads, etc. No speakers on stage (except for bass). Tone was awful out in the house. Thin, mushy, too compressed. Couldn't even make out many of the notes when they were soloing. But I bet they sounded great through their personal IEM mixes.
     
  10. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Tele-Holic

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    774
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2019
    Location:
    Canada
    This is my concern with IEMs.
     
  11. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,586
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Western Canada
    They either don't know how to dial in the sims/modelers, or the sound tech is crap!
    I've been going direct for years... whether I use a wedge or in-ears. Tone is NOT a problem for me. Never has been!

    Removal of an amp on stage should NEVER hurt the sound out front.... quite the opposite actually.
    (note: I am talking about rooms where everything is miced and mixed!)
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2020
    Jakedog and opticnerv like this.
  12. opticnerv

    opticnerv TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    79
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Location:
    kentucky
    I attribute it more to the FOH engineer. Though he may have had instructions to not mess with the "stars" tones.
     
  13. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    1,470
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2018
    Location:
    Colorado Front Range
    I've found the "mee sport headphones" for $10 on amazon work great for in-ears. If I'm singing, I wear them just a little loose to battle the aforementioned intonation issues.
     
  14. Alter

    Alter Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    416
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Location:
    Greece
    I largely prefer monitors. I prefer the way you hear the music on stage through them (where iems are more like being in a studio where you hear more detail and differently), i like having control to change the sound by moving between monitor and my amp, i prefer amps to modelers, and i don't like that many dbs in my ears. I do use custom ear plugs.

    If done in a top notch professional manner, iems do work, but when you start to compromise, either by sharing mixes, onstage volume due to drums or amplifiers present, pa speakers bleed, poor sound mixing etc.. things start to get too problematic.
     
  15. nomadh

    nomadh Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    1,224
    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Location:
    san diego
    This is all very interesting. I was just wondering as long as your head is going wireless why not the full headset with the iem and mic off to the side. Youd double the bandwidth but its certainly been done. As long as my monitor was wireless iem why not full stage freedom. I think Sammy Hagar used to do that. Is just because its now too associated with britney spears or Madonna?
     
  16. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,586
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Western Canada
    This phenomenon is very real, but not the same for everyone. I actually have the opposite problem, I tend to sing sharp once I put something in or on my ears while I know others that never seem effected.

    I just have an educated guess on this subject (key word is guess :)). When we hear through our heads (not our ears) some will "hear sharp" and tend to sing flat. Others (like myself) might hear flat and tend to sing sharp. You don't hear through your head with wedges... but it can certainly come into play with ear plugs, headphones & IEM's... especially if you take advantage of one of the benefits of IEM's which is monitoring much quieter than you normally would.

    @Preacher and @Jakedog
    I think there are two things at play...
    • If your vocal is too loud in the IEM (compared to the mix)... you won't sing the same, you will hold back and this can cause problems with control.
    • If the overall mix in the IEM is not loud enough, your "head sound" can wreak havoc on your vocal pitch.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  17. igor5

    igor5 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    377
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Location:
    Chicago
    Never try in-ear system... Maybe I'll try this year.
     
  18. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    1,775
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2019
    Location:
    Between reality and imagination
    Never tried in ear monitoring, but I can't stand ear buds. And I don't even like to use high quality headphones for very long. Both make me start to feel annoyed after very long.
     
  19. tonytrout

    tonytrout Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    2,887
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    Location:
    Murphy, North Carolina (USA)
    As much as I'm a fan of Brad Paisley, I think that he should stick to the old tried-and-true monitor wedge instead of IEMs because he's darn near "flat" every time he has a set of IEMs when playing live.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.