In Ear Monitors and Guitar Tone | The Canadian Guitar Forum

In Ear Monitors and Guitar Tone

Discussion in 'Recording and PA Lounge' started by mrfiftyfour, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. mrfiftyfour

    mrfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    VanCity
    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?
     
  2. Budda

    Budda Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    Where were the iems getting their feed from?
     
  3. mrfiftyfour

    mrfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    VanCity
    From the xlr outs on the PA board
     
  4. vadsy

    vadsy

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    greater metro area
    Are you using an interface of some type?
     
  5. mrfiftyfour

    mrfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    VanCity
    No. PSM 200 transmitter connected to xlr output on the board.
     
  6. mrfiftyfour

    mrfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    VanCity
    Is there a better set up?
     
  7. Budda

    Budda Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    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.
     
  8. vadsy

    vadsy

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    greater metro area
    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.
     
  9. mrfiftyfour

    mrfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    VanCity
    How do you set yours up Vadsy?
     
  10. zontar

    zontar

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Somewhere around here
    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)
     
  11. GuitarPix

    GuitarPix

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    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.
     
  12. Budda

    Budda Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    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.
     
    jbealsmusic and Milkman like this.
  13. vadsy

    vadsy

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    greater metro area
    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.
     
  14. dradlin

    dradlin

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location:
    Belle River, Ontario
    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.
     
    jbealsmusic, Milkman and mrfiftyfour like this.
  15. mrfiftyfour

    mrfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    VanCity
    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.
     

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