My Church just informed me that they are going to In Ear Monitors SOON...

Discussion in 'Worship Service Players' started by GoldieLocks, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    That is absolutely true for as far as it goes. I come from a bluegrass background. I am used to listening to everyone else, and having all the musicians play with and off of each other. To play that way, you have to not only be able to hear the other musicians but you have to actively listen to them. I've used IEM's in various settings for a long time, and with the right people, they are a legitimate way to do the job. I think they are really great for stadium shows where you have multiple amps and maybe more than one 4x12 cabinet going full tilt on stage. They can work ok in a small venue also, but they are not ideal and are not nearly as good as being able to hear your band mates acoustically in a small setting. Most churches have this backwards, at least in my opinion. I've played in both these types of settings, and I'd much rather have the IEM's on a really loud stage vs. a church stage. Again, that is my personal preference.
     
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  2. SBClose

    SBClose Tele-Meister

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    OUR CONTEXT- a pole barn cleverly disguised as a gymnasium.

    We went to IEM because the wedges had to be cranked to cover the drums which made for a lot of sonic confusion in the house. We went to IEM to get rid of the wedges. After going to IEM we switched to a hybrid drum kit. If I had it to do over again I think we could have gotten to where we needed to be by merely going to the hybrid drums...but don't tell my church board.
    ANYWAY
    We still have amps on stage at pretty low volume (including an amp for the kit) because I believe in ambient sound taking up some of the space in our room. Some of my guitar players go without in ears and find that they can still play in the pocket because there's music happening on stage rather some little room in the back. My main concern is that they can't hear my vocal BUT they're good players, they watch me, and, in most cases we've been playing together for a decade or more.

    I remind my musicians that both wedges and IEMs create an artificial sonic environment. You use one set of moves to fight wedges, different moves to fight IEMs...provided the engineer doesn't mess with the gain too much. THAT will trigger an immediate conversation.

    Goldie indicated the the wheels of time move slowly and there's more said than done when it's all said and done. Perhaps there's time for a more musical solution to be explored.

    PS- I'm sold on the hybrid drums as the best solution for most churches. I got rid of the big plexiglass "Monkey Cage" leaving flexibility for stage set up, our drummers are mo longer isolated in worship and they don't end up soaking wet when the set is done, we get enough ambient through the drum amp that it fills the space and the engineers have a reasonable amount of control in the house. We've had a few guest drummers in over the last 18 months who's first reaction is, "I hate electric drums". Then they play our kit and ask how they can build one for themselves.
     
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  3. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Can you provide pics or video of that drum kit so we can
    see how some churches work around the IEM trend? Thanks.

    Currently, our church has wedge monitors and IEMs.
    The musicians use IEMs, the vocals use the wedges.
    Drummer in plexi with IEMs.
     
  4. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    You can get there on acoustic drums with a drummer who can actually play quietly. Rods help tremendously, and choosing the right cymbals makes a huge difference. Zildjian K's for instance are pretty dark and not overbearing. I've found that the drummer, not the drums, is the determining factor when it comes to being able to use a real drum kit in a small venue.
     
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  5. SBClose

    SBClose Tele-Meister

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    AGREED, but when you have to take what you get in terms of volunteer musicians with limited experience and not a lot of rehearsal time to learn what "playing the room" means. Well, you gotta put them in a cage.
     
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  6. SBClose

    SBClose Tele-Meister

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    I'll start a new thread rather than hijack this one
     
  7. GeetarPlayer

    GeetarPlayer Tele-Meister

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    After using IEMs for 10 years, I like them now. Would I rather not have them? I have not clue - haven't played in that setting since switching. The one thing I don't like about them is that each member of the band isn't hearing the whole mix. I know that's part of the advantage - get rid of what you don't need, and thus have a cleaner mix - but there is a lot of value in knowing what you are playing is being heard by the others. It brings you together. I personally dial in everyone to some degree. I want it to sound like a good overall mix, except just with the lead guitar too loud.
     
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  8. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Don't get me wrong, I totally agree with you. Drummers who can play quietly, with energy and dynamics, are rare as hen's teeth. Also, people make fun of guitarists for being resistive to change or trying anything smacking of digital or new technology. Try convincing a drummer they should try to play anything but the loudest maple drums with heavy sticks...….
     
  9. GoldieLocks

    GoldieLocks Tele-Afflicted

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    That's the big problem i've heard. And it seems rather common. Even the Jerry Garcia had this problem in the Grateful Dead. He was playing like crap for a few months ---- someone realized that all he had in his IEM was a bit of keys and vocal. (from what I remember?) Basically, he forgot to PLAY WITH THE BAND as a whole. Hence: No more Jam Band.

    My wife suffered as a translator at a Gig last night. Band of celebrity TV stars was gigging at a conference. Her IEM's were loud, then louder, THEN DEAFENING. The band couldn't control their volumes. She came home with ear problems...

    I think we should all go back to BIG side fill monitors - with the whole mix in them. Old School.
     
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  10. Uncle Butch

    Uncle Butch Tele-Meister

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    The church I previously played at had a tiny stage we called the phone booth. I used IEMs because the bass player said he couldn't play unless he felt the floorboards shake. We had avioms so I could dial in or out what I needed. I moved on to a different church with floor wedges and the sound tech running the monitor mix, and guess what? Another out of control bass player! We just last week started using IEMs and a Behringer Aviom copy and I had no problem getting dialed in. Bass player and other electric guitar are complaining constantly. They both had their minds made up before the system even arrived they weren't going to like them. WL and singers are still using wedges, but electric guitars, bass, keys, and acoustic drums are all using IEMs now. No amps on stage, direct in. I like the fact that I can get my own mix without being at the mercy of a sound tech, and I can eliminate some of the "unneeded" vocals and just get rid of a lot of clutter. Would I rather hear my tube amp? Heck yes! But when you have a bass players monitor so loud that it overrides the the house and just turns everything into mush, you have to take steps.
     
  11. FluffyDog6

    FluffyDog6 Tele-Meister

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    The ability to follow a click, a guide, have commands from the music director and communicate back and forth with the soundboard greatly outweighs whatever "feel" is lost by not having amps on stage.

    The band is tighter, more in time, and can change plans in an instant, like when the pastor says "Lets sing that one more time!!!" when he was supposed to start preaching.

    There was a lot of resistance when we went to Avioms. Adding an ambient mic channel to the system helped some of the nay-sayers to overcome their resistance.

    (BTW, Issues with the soundguy are issues with the soundguy, not IEM system.)
     
  12. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Issues with the sound guy can absolutely be an IEM issue if you have an inept sound guy. With and IEM system, the sound guy can turn your IEM off or down or anything he wants to do. It's always fun to have him jack around with the input gain on multiple instruments in the middle of the service, or throw a high pass filter on your channel mid song, or better yet mute your channel (I've had that happen numerous times)..….. He'd have to walk up on stage and un plug your chord from your amp or turn your amp off to get the same effect and level of control. As a monitoring solution, IEM's are a complex system compared to other options and are definitely less than ideal with amateur sound people and amateur musicians. Again just my experience. As far as the band being tighter, you and I have 180 degree opposite experiences. The people I play with all mix their own mix and play their own thing. It's like 8 individuals playing in their own rooms. They may be in time, but musically it is a mess a lot of the time because no one is listening to everyone.

    Once again, if you have a really good sound guy, count your blessings. For the rest of us who do not, the struggle goes on.
     
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  13. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are a few types of sound guys and girls:

    Unlearned

    Unteachable

    Underappreciated

    Unruly

    Understaffed

    Under Equipped

    Over Achiever

    Over Whelmed

    Over Driven

    Over Spiritual

    and everyone's nightmare, Hung Over!
     
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  14. stratman54

    stratman54 Tele-Meister

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    You must be such a blessing to your WL.

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-X103F using Tapatalk
     
  15. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    ?? Seems random, but OK.
     
  16. GoldieLocks

    GoldieLocks Tele-Afflicted

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    Got me thinking:
    The reason I was happy to play electric through an amp was ---- I set up my gear and tone and volume... and put a mic infront of it. The sound guy can then do WHATEVER he wants after it hits the mic - and I really don't care. He ain't messing with my tone and playing FROM MY END. I had to make sure my guitar wasn't put in my monitor (I don't want to hear how he EQ's it).

    But with IEM's??? Depending on what system they get (current Beringer x32 board). WE may not have full access to the tone and volume before he gets it. (unless they splurge for the whole monitor system with at least 8 mixes).
     
  17. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    You nailed the crux of it. The piano players, the keyboard players, heck even the drummers (all of which play the church's instruments seem to not really care what is done to their tone before it comes back to them in the monitor. The guitar players, who spent their hard earned money on a Dr Z or vintage Marshall, and spent a lot of time agonizing over their pedal board, seem to take notice however. This is why I said that you are truly blessed if you have a good sound guy.

    After using IEM's for probably two years, I stopped playing in the middle of practice one evening, I told the band leader that there was something wrong with my guitar signal. He said, I can hear you. I responded ya, but it sounds like a kazoo being played through a wet paper bag. I played a little more, and he said hold on a second. He put his guitar down and went to the monitor board, in about 10 seconds my guitar and amp sounded like they should again. He then turned to the sound guy and had a heated discussion that I could not hear. This kazoo sounding signal had been happening for months at random times in practice and also on Sundays. After practice I asked him what was going on and he told me that the sound guy liked to put a high pass filter on the guitar, and that he had been instructed not to do so many months ago. I told him that he had been doing it all along at random times. That sound guy now does not mix sound for Sunday services. It literally took over a year for the powers that be to trip to the problem. I've also been muted in the monitor mix many times.

    There is no free lunch, and dependance on a monitor tech comes with some costs that go along with any perceived benefits.
     
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  18. GoldieLocks

    GoldieLocks Tele-Afflicted

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    So YOU'RE that guy i've been hearing in all those churches I visited!!! Personally, I'd rather be inaudible and playing infront of a cool amp: than be the KAZOO guy. But that's just me.
     
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  19. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    I don't know, maybe the kazoo will really take off in modern worship ;)
     
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  20. mRtINY

    mRtINY Tele-Afflicted

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    That gives me an idea.....
     
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