IEM and shared mixes

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pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 622
We are thinking of going in-ear. We are a seven-piece cover band and floor-space is a premium. Are there any General rules of thumb of who can share what as far as mixes go?

This is an attempt to save buying one transmitter per member. We have three vocalists who generally harmonise rather than one lead and two backing vocals. Two guitarists (one occasionally plays a saxophone). One drummer and one bassist (that's me). 
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  • MusicwolfMusicwolf Frets: 141
    We are a 4 piece.  3 of us run in ears (2 x guitar / vocals + bass) the drummer has a small monitor.  We run 4 quite distinct mixes.  I’ve listened to the other guitar / vocalist’s mix and there’s no way that I could use it.  How many mixes can you run from your mixer?  Also, does everyone need wireless?  Only one of our guys does, 2 of us use wired.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2360
    Are you going to use isolating in-ears, or something like the Shure SE215? If you’re using isolating plugs then each person needs their own mix. With non-isolating plugs you can use monitors to boost your own instrument.

    With our old desk the two singers each had their own mixes so that they could have their own voice a little louder than it was in FOH. The keys player and I used the lead singer’s mix, with a small backline speaker adding more of our own instrument.

    With the new desk, and a much louder drummer, I’ve switched to isolating IEMs. I now have my own mix, and it’s a lot easier to hear. It’s also quieter.
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2583
    Anyone that is essentially immobile or seated (Drums/Keys) can use a hard wired set of in ears and save money/complexity. How far you can streatch that to bass and guitar will depend on if they are already wireless and you play big stages.
    However one massive saving with IEM is the weight an shear lugging of gear they no longer require. Also the repeatability of monitor mixes from one venue to another means set up can be quicker. To get this you are advised to look at a digital desk with multiple aux sends and then work out which folks absolutely must have stereo or mono IEM mixes. Whilst you can get away with less than perfect, you run the risk of putting people off the idea altogether and ending with a compromise thats neither one thing or the other so you lose many advantages and still have the disadvantages.
    At least getting rid of wedges frees up floor space and you can still sell them for something.


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  • We did this a good few years ago when we first got into wireless IEM's and had a basic analogue mixer.

    We only had one transmitter, so the 5 of us in the band all bought compatible receiver packs.

    We only used to put vocals through (1 lead and 2 backing vocals) the monitor mix. It worked to a certain extent, but it wasn't ideal and I really wouldn't recommend it.

    Me and the other guitarist only used to have one earphone in (for me it was the one on the side of the drummer) so we could still hear the rest of the band.

    We now have a digital desk with multiple Monitor mixes for each individual person, which everyone can control from an app on their phones. It's really the only way to do it correctly.
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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 14422
    edited February 12
    This is all about your mixer and what it can produce in terms of pre-fader Aux sends.  This will be your limiting factor rather than the number of transmitters.  Secondly, you don’t have to go wireless if you are on a budget.  Wired is perfectly possible if nobody is running around the stage.

    Edit; sorry, I didn’t read your question properly..  I would question the value in having shared mixes.  Our drummer & bassist tried it for a time and it wasn’t ideal.  If there’s seven of you, then spend the money on what you need to get individual mixes.  The band will play far far better as a result.
    Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3752

    Sharing IEM mixes is barbaric, never really works out as the whole purpose of a good personal mix is it's generally a lot of someones vocal and instrument and then everything else in less amounts. You can't do that on a shared basis you need individual mixes 

    The amount of individual mixes you can get out of one mixer depends on it's routing and buses. Dedicated pre fader aux sends are ideal, you can use one per performer for basic mono but stereo needs 2 per performer meaning you need a lot of aux sends. Because of this most modern desks have digital splits on Cat 5 which basically pass all channels on to Cat 5 personal monitor mixers which can be daisy chained from one performer to another .... meaning you all get stereo without running out of aux sends and you can adjust your own mix in hardware.

    I've been on IEM's for 8 years or so now. First of all I built a wired system to test if I could get on with it then I brought a wireless transmitter and pack. After trying a few different brands of IEM wireless systems I went back to being wired because wired quality is superior even to a £900 Sennheiser system and being wired means no batteries and immunity from interference.  As a guitarist I was tied to the amp with a wire anyway so I just combined the signals into one cable and built a nice little headphone amp in a box with some ambient mics as well. It works like this :-1: 



    Another cheap way to achieve the same as the above is a dual cable and cheap Behringer or similar headphone amp  .... some people lash their own cable together or you can buy a nice dual IEM \ instrument cable with volume control for £40 ish 



    Wired IEM's have become really popular recently amongst the pro wedding \ function circuit players because they  don't get massive stages to run around on and they don't want the hassle of batteries going flat or radio interference . 

    So basically it all starts with your desk, look what that can do in terms of outs and if that's too limited (which it probably will be ) think about upgrading that before you get into IEM's 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • mike257mike257 Frets: 215
    Don't know what your current mixing desk set up is, but the cheapest way to do this from scratch would be to grab a Behringer XR18 tablet mixer, which gives 6 aux outs for individual mixes, and add a single Behringer P16 personal monitor unit . All in, you'd get that for about £500. Give the drummer the P16 to run his own monitor feed. That leaves the six outputs on the mixer to run individual feeds to the rest of your band on whatever wired or wireless kit you choose to use. 

    As Danny has said, there is an argument for saving money by going wired with guitarists/bassist if they're already tied to a cable anyway. Good wireless kit isn't cheap and cheap wireless kit often isn't good!
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  • BigMonkaBigMonka Frets: 1528
    I'm looking at dipping my toe in the same waters. Looking to go wired first, so thought I'd mention that the Behringer P2 has finally (after months of being on back order) become available in the UK. Less than £30 and will do stereo or mono, so I might pick one up in a few weeks when my broken arm has healed!
    https://www.gear4music.com/PA-DJ-and-Lighting/Behringer-P2-Ultra-Compact-Personal-In-Ear-Monitor-Amplifier/26FN
    Always be yourself! Unless you can be Batman, in which case always be Batman.
    My boss told me "dress for the job you want, not the job you have"... now I'm sat in a disciplinary meeting dressed as Batman.
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3555
    edited February 14
    I'd agree with the sentiments about shared IEM mixes wired or not. Doesn't work well at all.  I've done the opposite for my vox as I sing flat if I can't hear - my mic goes to weeny mic-preamp (that I control), bypass goes to mixer, line out to wired/wireless IEM (the Behringer P2 looks perfect),usually the ear away from the band only - bit pfaff to setup, but works for me.
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2360
    mike257 said:
    Don't know what your current mixing desk set up is, but the cheapest way to do this from scratch would be to grab a Behringer XR18 tablet mixer, which gives 6 aux outs for individual mixes, and add a single Behringer P16 personal monitor unit . All in, you'd get that for about £500. Give the drummer the P16 to run his own monitor feed. That leaves the six outputs on the mixer to run individual feeds to the rest of your band on whatever wired or wireless kit you choose to use. 

    As Danny has said, there is an argument for saving money by going wired with guitarists/bassist if they're already tied to a cable anyway. Good wireless kit isn't cheap and cheap wireless kit often isn't good!
    Even cheaper, you can use the XR18s Aux outputs for personal mixes, and each control your own mix and volume from an iPad.
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  • mike257mike257 Frets: 215
    Roland said:
    mike257 said:
    Don't know what your current mixing desk set up is, but the cheapest way to do this from scratch would be to grab a Behringer XR18 tablet mixer, which gives 6 aux outs for individual mixes, and add a single Behringer P16 personal monitor unit . All in, you'd get that for about £500. Give the drummer the P16 to run his own monitor feed. That leaves the six outputs on the mixer to run individual feeds to the rest of your band on whatever wired or wireless kit you choose to use. 

    As Danny has said, there is an argument for saving money by going wired with guitarists/bassist if they're already tied to a cable anyway. Good wireless kit isn't cheap and cheap wireless kit often isn't good!
    Even cheaper, you can use the XR18s Aux outputs for personal mixes, and each control your own mix and volume from an iPad.
    Yes, that's what I'm suggesting he does, but he wants seven mixes - so adding a single P16 means one person can get their mix from that while the other six use the aux outputs. 
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  • Thanks for the advice chaps. Not sure when we will go with IEMs, but tempted by the advice to go wired rather than wireless. 
    Although I'm a bassist I don't stray too far from my pedalboard. 
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  • Thanks for the advice chaps. Not sure when we will go with IEMs, but tempted by the advice to go wired rather than wireless. 
    Although I'm a bassist I don't stray too far from my pedalboard. 
    Wired is so much better to your average wireless setup. You would have to spend an awful lot of money to get the equivalent sound quality in a wireless setup.
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