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Discussion Starter #1
Used in ears for the first time for a gig on Saturday.
Guitar tones were horrible. Nothing but thin and buzzy tone.
I like to control my tones with the volume and tone knobs on the guitar, but I couldn't tell what the effect was.
The acoustic guitar was even worse. So distorted I couldn't make out what I was playing.
Soundman said everything sounded good out front, but what's the point of it all if I'm not enjoying myself!
I was always led to believe that IEM's was the greatest thing ever. Is it all a big lie? I'll quit gigging if I have to live with the horrible sounds in my ear every gig!
For reference my gear is:
Mesa TA-30 combo with pedals mic'd with a SM57.
IEM's are Shure PSM 200.
Acoustic was plugged straight into the board.
I have processors, so I could go direct.
Rather not go that route because the tone I get from my LP Jr into the TA-30 is fantastic.
Anyone have any tips or tricks to transfer amp tones to IEM's?
 

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Where were the iems getting their feed from?
 

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Either a) thats the tone you have diallned in as captured by the mic or b) you need a processor between the board and iem.

I think most people who use IEMs have an output specifically dialed in for them.
 

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hard to say.

I used to hate these system but now that so many more are available and dialled in they make it so much easier to control a personal mix and isolate yourself from noisy stages. Sometimes I don't like the sound of my amp but rarely is it terrible and I sure do hear everyone else a lot better, acoustics, vocals, synths, etc.

I'd look at some tutorials to see how your Shure system should be hooked up in a live setting, maybe you're missing something or maybe the board is set up wrong.
 

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I have never tried IEMs--but some interesting info--certainly being able to set your own mix is nice--but hopefully not at the expense of any decent tone like MrFiftyfour's issue.

On the other hand I really hate things sticking in my ears.
(But I have worn ear plugs in loud situations before)
 

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I haven’t had that issue - usually great sound.

I suspect if you’re going to a separate aux out (which is preferred) it might not be set right.

If you’re on main outs it might be set with the subs on another output which might make your in-ears sound weak, depending on what the sub outs are set to. Would be better to piggy back off someone’s monitor feed that has a good overall mix.

I’d experiment at your rehearsal space to see what works for you.
 

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IEMs are definitely not something I would try first time at a show. GP is right - most people find their mix at practice and then bring that to the gig.
 

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How do you set yours up Vadsy?
I actually have no idea how everything is hooked up, someone else takes care of all of that. I know that two places I play at use a Sennheiser set up, which works really well, and another uses a Behringer. I like the Senn EK packs for the fit and the control while the Behringer is a little more cumbersome to deal with. I know it gets the audio signal via Cat5/6 cable and it doesn't sound all that terrible either.
 

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I gig with IEMs exclusively, in fact my whole band does.

It took some time to adjust, but the benefits far outweigh the detractions. I say that first as a vocalist, second as the sound guy, and thirdly as a musician needing to hear a clear mix.

The guitar tone in my IEMs is important and is true to my tone, and there was a process of evolution and learning to get comfortable. But I place my needs as a guitar player subordinate to the bands needs. So while I too love the “amp in the room sound” I far more enjoy a great FOH sound and host of other benefits.

To your specific situation, if even the acoustic guitar is distorting then sounds like something is clipping. That may be your biggest problem and first to resolve.

Next, IEMs need to fit your ears properly and form a seal (couple with your ear drum) else the bass and low mids won’t develop... if you have the IEMs half hanging out of your ears then shrill will be what you hear.

Lastly, IEMs will reveal displeasing aspects of your guitar tone. Stick your ear directly in place of the microphone (kidding, but not) and I suspect that what you are describing in your IEMs is originating at the source... the sound directly in front of the speaker will be much sharper than off axis.

As guitar players we often dial in our rigs to the “amp in the room sound” while standing off axis. The room softens the high frequencies leading you to exaggerate them on the amp/pedal setup... then stick a mic directly in front of its speaker without room effect and harsh is the outcome.

In your situation there may be a bunch of EQ applied to your guitar channel strip and mains so the guitar sounds okay out front, but your IEMs are likely getting the direct pre-EQ sound of your guitar so what you are hearing may be the raw truth.

Good luck with it... for me and my band there is not alternative.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks so much with your reply.
I'm gonna be taking your advise with me into the next rehearsal.
Could you give me a rundown of your setup?
Are you micing an amp? Which mic?
Which IEM system are you using?
I'm really looking to learn as much as possible.
I gig with IEMs exclusively, in fact my whole band does.

It took some time to adjust, but the benefits far outweigh the detractions. I say that first as a vocalist, second as the sound guy, and thirdly as a musician needing to hear a clear mix.

The guitar tone in my IEMs is important and is true to my tone, and there was a process of evolution and learning to get comfortable. But I place my needs as a guitar player subordinate to the bands needs. So while I too love the “amp in the room sound” I far more enjoy a great FOH sound and host of other benefits.

To your specific situation, if even the acoustic guitar is distorting then sounds like something is clipping. That may be your biggest problem and first to resolve.

Next, IEMs need to fit your ears properly and form a seal (couple with your ear drum) else the bass and low mids won’t develop... if you have the IEMs half hanging out of your ears then shrill will be what you hear.

Lastly, IEMs will reveal displeasing aspects of your guitar tone. Stick your ear directly in place of the microphone (kidding, but not) and I suspect that what you are describing in your IEMs is originating at the source... the sound directly in front of the speaker will be much sharper than off axis.

As guitar players we often dial in our rigs to the “amp in the room sound” while standing off axis. The room softens the high frequencies leading you to exaggerate them on the amp/pedal setup... then stick a mic directly in front of its speaker without room effect and harsh is the outcome.

In your situation there may be a bunch of EQ applied to your guitar channel strip and mains so the guitar sounds okay out front, but your IEMs are likely getting the direct pre-EQ sound of your guitar so what you are hearing may be the raw truth.

Good luck with it... for me and my band there is not alternative.
 

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Could you give me a rundown of your setup?

Are you micing an amp?

Which mic?

Which IEM system are you using?
I use an XR18 for a five pc band, which has six aux sends so six independent monitor mixes.

I mic my amp with an SM57, but have spent time working at my tone and how it translates to both FOH and my IEMS.... that is done in rehearsal.

If you need to apply a lot of EQ to make the FOH or IEMs sound good, then you likely have a problem at the source... that being your tone, not the mic.

Mic positioning is important, but not as important as your amp tone... garbage in means garbage out, not meaning to be offensive.

I can use either a wired IEM connection from the aux send (behringer poweplay) or wireless (CAD Audio or Shure)... they are all equally effective and none have a superior sound over another.

I use basic Shure ears buds... single drivers, nothing fancy.

I also sometimes use an atomic ampli-firebox as an ampless rig, but that’s a work in progress. Recently I’m exploring a direct out from the Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb. But I’m most concerned about the FOH sound since I either run stage level low or silent... with IEMs the whole “amp in the room” sound is irrelevant.

If you can run a stereo IEM setup and pan the elements of the mix that goes a long way to improve IEM mixes. Thats more costly and you need to get into ultranet hardware and that gets costly.

A sealed ear fit delivers best frequency range AND blocks out external noise... run your ear mix at a low volume to reduce ear fatigue.

I have the ability on the XR18 to EQ each aux send, but I run the sends flat... again, if source is good then you don’t need to apply more that subtle EQ. My approach is to EQ each channel to suit the voice/instrument then EQ FOH to suit the room. With no floor wedges and IEMs then no need to fight feedback in wedges... greatly simplifies things.

In my early experience I’d also setup a room mic with a “ducker” to feed ambient noise into the IEM mix... I moved away from that it delivered mixed results. I prefer no ambience now.

I think that’s about it in a nutshell...
 

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IEMs are definitely not something I would try first time at a show. GP is right - most people find their mix at practice and then bring that to the gig.
That’s what I did, but it was so much of an improvement at rehearsal, I knew damned well I’d like it at a gig.

The tone seems pretty much the same in the IEMs as it does in the mains, depending on the quality of buds you use.

I’m not gigging now, but I’m convinced IEMs are the best solution for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks a million Dradlin!
I'm using pretty much the same gear as you, so with some persistence, I should be able to come up with some better tones.
 

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I found I was adjusting (and improving) my FOH tones as a direct result of implementing IEMs.

You hear what you’re doing with brutal honesty.

I have a QSC TM30 Pro.

Lots of Auxes so as many people as you’ll have in most bands can all have discrete mixes.

Getting a good monitor mix with IEMs is much, much easier than with wedges in my opinion.
 

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The last band I was in used IEMs, we had a Mackie digital system that allowed all of us to dial in our own mix via the iPad app which was very nice. Don't think I would enjoy going back to a traditional mixer.

Having said that, the way I used mine was to focus on mostly dialing in the vocals. I kept my tube amp pretty close to me on stage and found I could hear it out of my left ear if I loosened the ear bud, sometimes I would take it right out, that way I could hear my guitar in the room, and vocals in the IEM. Worked for me, maybe ask the sound person to dial in mainly vocals in your mix and try that?
 
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