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In Ear Monitors and Guitar Tone

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

  1. dradlin


    Feb 26, 2010
    Belle River, Ontario
    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...
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
    Milkman and mrfiftyfour like this.
  2. Milkman

    Milkman Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    Brantford, Ontario
    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.
  3. mrfiftyfour


    Jun 29, 2008
    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.
    dradlin likes this.
  4. Milkman

    Milkman Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    Brantford, Ontario
    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.
    dradlin likes this.
  5. WhiteFalcon


    Jun 8, 2015
    Narnia, Ontario
    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?
  6. tonewoody

    tonewoody Gold Member

    Mar 29, 2017
    Using an xlr out (+4?) to your iems?

    Try using a dedicated Aux. channel (line level) from the mixer to a headphone amp/iems.

    * Experiment with inserting one of the iems halfway to let some of the stage sound (your amp...) fill things out.

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