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Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)

Darren Raleigh 16 Jul 13 - 09:36 AM
leeneia 16 Jul 13 - 10:15 AM
Darren Raleigh 16 Jul 13 - 10:40 AM
GUEST 16 Jul 13 - 07:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jul 13 - 07:36 PM
Backwoodsman 17 Jul 13 - 01:58 AM
treewind 17 Jul 13 - 04:49 AM
leeneia 17 Jul 13 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,Rev Bayes 17 Jul 13 - 01:49 PM
Backwoodsman 17 Jul 13 - 02:14 PM
Backwoodsman 17 Jul 13 - 02:15 PM
treewind 17 Jul 13 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Jul 13 - 02:49 PM
treewind 17 Jul 13 - 02:59 PM
Backwoodsman 17 Jul 13 - 03:00 PM
Backwoodsman 17 Jul 13 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,JHW 17 Jul 13 - 05:25 PM
GUEST 18 Jul 13 - 09:27 AM
cooperman 18 Jul 13 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,Guest 18 Jul 13 - 02:28 PM
JohnInKansas 19 Jul 13 - 01:00 AM
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Subject: Tech: Advice on IEM's?
From: Darren Raleigh
Date: 16 Jul 13 - 09:36 AM

Hello!
I just found out about In-Ear Monitors and I'd like advice on whether or not I need some.
I'm a Celtic Harper, Singer and Storyteller (shameless plug)http://www.darrenraleigh.com/(/plug).
I'm just a soloist - just Aoife (the harp) and I. So far my gigs have been small festivals and house concerts, apart from busking. But I have a gig coming up on September and I'm wondering if I should get some IEM's.
I've gotten into the habit, when practicing at home, to hook up Aoife to the amp and wear headphones - partially to isolate me from everything except the sound but mostly because our oldest cat has a voice that will cut glass and gets bored. So I've had the sound of the harp and my mic in my ears for a while, but only today have a heard about IEM's.
I wore CEP's (Communication Ear Plugs) while piloting helicopters in Afghanistan, which thankfully I'm not doing any more, so I'm not bothered by the idea of wearing a pair of plugs.
I just want to know if my situation sounds like it would be worth it to me to get some IEM's or not?

Thanks most awfully,
Darren


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's?
From: leeneia
Date: 16 Jul 13 - 10:15 AM

I don't know the answer to your question, but I went to your site and liked your playing. Good work!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's?
From: Darren Raleigh
Date: 16 Jul 13 - 10:40 AM

Thank you!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jul 13 - 07:34 PM

They can work well in band environments, but I wouldn't say they're particularly common in the folk/acoustic world, compared to other genres.

One thing to be aware of is that they can increase the perceived isolation between the performers and the audience.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jul 13 - 07:36 PM

I can never find in- ear phones that will sit properly in my ears. I must have the wrong shaped ears, I suppose.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Jul 13 - 01:58 AM

I saw Bob Fox a couple of weeks ago, and he used them. Probably he got used to them during his prolonged spell in War-Horse, and continued to use them. I like to hear my guitar and voice through a monitor when I'm playing through a PA, but I'm used to floor wedges, and I've never used IEMs. So I'd guess the answer is "Try them and see". An expensive experiment, but probably the only way to know if they're right for you.

Usual disclaimers.......IMHO, YMMV etc.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: treewind
Date: 17 Jul 13 - 04:49 AM

I can't see why you'd need IEM for a solo harp and voice.
If you need monitors at all (which is debatable), a simple speaker turned up to a level where you can hear it should be enough. If it's fed with the FOH mix, you can use it to check and control balance between voice and harp.

Monitoring in general is to solve the problem of not being able to hear yourself, or other players in your band, because of high levels of noise on stage. The presence of a drum kit or instruments with on stage amplifiers is usually a good indicator that monitoring will be needed. The additonal advantage of IEM is that you can have it as loud as you like without feedback problems.

None of this is applicable in your case, is it?
Also as Backwoodsman mentions, it's expensive...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: leeneia
Date: 17 Jul 13 - 10:17 AM

Hmm, if it's just a question of dealing with the elderly cat, I have two thoughts.

1. For far less money, try Mack hearing protectors, (which Google) either the 'High Fidelity' or the pillow version. Me, I like the pillow version and take them everywhere. I've never tried the High Fidelity.

2. Is the elderly cat truly bored or is the amplified, high-pitched music hurting her ears? I could tell you all about high-pitched noises which hurt the ears, but it would take too long.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: GUEST,Rev Bayes
Date: 17 Jul 13 - 01:49 PM

In ear monitors are good for complex mixes in larger bands where you only want to monitor certain inputs (drums, rhythm, etc). For a small number of players (4-5 or less) there's no advantage over a good old fashioned wedge.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Jul 13 - 02:14 PM

A set of IEMs will fit in your pocket, or with the transmitter and receiver pack they will fit in your Bits 'n' Bobs bag. A floor wedge won't. Which, I guess, is a good reason for a solo artist using them, especially one who, like me, is getting well beyond State Pension age and finds the prospect of lugging another heavy speaker somewhat less than appealing! :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Jul 13 - 02:15 PM

But, of course, that's IMHO, and I'm perfectly happy that YMMV, :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: treewind
Date: 17 Jul 13 - 02:36 PM

"A set of IEMs will fit in your pocket,"

Well yes (in the hole left by all that money you paid for them?) but if you are using a PA system, either:

- you are brining you own PA, in which case it not all going to fit in your pocket anyway, or

- PA is supplied by the venue, in which case there will be monitors on the stage if it's a big enough room to need them.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Jul 13 - 02:49 PM

What's YMMV?

Bear in mind that this question had to do with practicing while the family cat yowls.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: treewind
Date: 17 Jul 13 - 02:59 PM

YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary (i.e. (whatever) may not work the same for you as it does for me)

For practising at home, shut the door and keep the cat out.
If you can't do that, headphones may be better at cutting out the extraneous noise. IEM earplugs are NOT much good for that compared with closed back headphones.

But I think this is about gigs:
"I have a gig coming up on September and I'm wondering if I should get some IEM's"


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Jul 13 - 03:00 PM

True enough on point 1, but I think I'd prefer to lug two speakers than three (and find room in my car for them).

Regards point 2, I like a monitor no matter what the venue, I like to hear the sound direct, especially my guitar, and I don't like the 'etherial' disconnected sound from the main speakers, so AFAIC any room big enough to warrant a PA also warrants decent monitoring. And I've played venues where the PA is supplied but no monitoring is available - I'll bet you have too?

So, I'm in broad agreement, and I reckon it's an individual decision whether the expense is worth the reduction in weight and volume of gear to be lugged.

As always, IMHO and I'm happy to accept that YMMV.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Jul 13 - 04:35 PM

Leenia - Your Mileage May Vary.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 17 Jul 13 - 05:25 PM

'I can never find in- ear phones that will sit properly in my ears.' Same here. I assume current production of earholes meets reqd spec.

I was seriously seeking a personal foldback as I went largely deaf in my right ear which greatly reduced my hearing of the acoustic guitar. I didn't know in ear monitors existed and played about with hearing aid loops to no avail. in the end I just got used to knowing that the audience can hear the guitar much louder than I can. My cat Roland is sadly long gone.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 13 - 09:27 AM

Roland? Was he a midicat instead of a kittycat?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: cooperman
Date: 18 Jul 13 - 09:57 AM

At a fairly intimate gig I think this could ruin any rapport between you and the audience between the songs/pieces. Also you would lose the opportunity to put your foot up on the wedge and show off your spandex!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 18 Jul 13 - 02:28 PM

I wonder, would an IEM fix my problem? I'm hearing impaired and wear a good quality hearing aid. When the band's noise level gets cranked up (usually near the end of the gig, of course) I experience confusion with pitches on my fiddle's E string.
Very annoying - muscle memory is all I have to help me but that's very difficult to execute against the sound level. Recently I had the same experience hearing the over-excited guitar player's high notes, so I don't think I can blame my Pirastro gold plated string any more.
Any help will be highly appreciated.!!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Advice on IEM's? (In-Ear Monitors)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 01:00 AM

The obvious solution for the cat is to give the cat a set of earplugs. These would need only to block the sound that annoys the cat, so they could be quite cheap. Unfortunately cats can be quite finicky about what you poke into their body spaces, so trying out a sufficient variety even of very cheap devices could run into a fair dent in the budget. Professional advice might be needed.

In any situation where you don't hear your own instrument as clearly as you'd like some kind of monitor could be a help. This would more likely occur in a group, where other players (or just another one) cuts through enough to cover what you're doing; but even for a solo instrument with a lot of "directional projection" a monitor that picks up what the audience hears and lets you know how you're sounding "out there" could be a help.

(Adjusting things so that what you hear is close to what the audience hears may require some control panel accessories, and sometimes a good sound techie - even if it's you.)

I've seen quite a few reviews of a variety of "ear hole fillers" in (formerly) tech newsletters, but most of them (and everything else they now call technical reporting) looks more like advertisements than reviews. And unfortunately I didn't recognize them as an "item of interest" that justified keeping notes.

In the UK, "PC Advisor" is a fairly well known source. In the US one of the Ziff Davis mag sites (PC Magazine, Extreme Tech, etc.) might be more appropriate. Once on a site, a search "on this site" for "ear buds +reviews" likely would find recent blather that might be helpful. (Google has an icon for "search on this site" but you can write the query to do it with most search engines.)

Warnings do appear that "in the ear" devices are much more prone to being turned excessively loud than speaker monitors or headphones, and the "my thing is smaller than your thing" fad has led to lots of use of tiny in-ear things that people apply to the destruction of ear drums and ancillary sensory equipment. With sensible use this should not be a serious problem, but without awareness of the hazard it's easy to blow away something you might miss later. Just be cautious until you get the feel of your new toys.

John


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