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Author Topic: Ambient mic tips for IEMs  (Read 2030 times)

Jay Barracato

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Re: Ambient mic tips for IEMs
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2014, 09:59:40 am »

With no front monitors, lav type mics or I use pro35 mounted on front line mic stands work well and are low profile.

In my world of bluegrass (and cover bands) it seems 3-4 open vocal mics handle the ambient aspect fine. But the players also tend to stand closer to each other than in a large stage rock show.

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Jay Barracato

Jim McKeveny

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Re: Ambient mic tips for IEMs
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2014, 10:34:50 am »

With no front monitors, lav type mics or I use pro35 mounted on front line mic stands work well and are low profile.

You are correct! There is no reason to over-spec mics here. I've seen Neumann TL's and Senni shotguns used (on same show) for IEM capture in a 500 seater. For a signal that is going to be filtered and merely returned to IEMs at a low level it is absurd. Put the cost difference between theoretical top-flight performance and reality-flight performance in the MON mixer's pocket, which is always reality-light.
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Christian Tepfer

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Re: Ambient mic tips for IEMs
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2014, 11:29:40 am »

I would like to add one aspect of ambience: it's relative.
In big setups I have a pair of ambience mics for the drummer, the keyboarder etc. Plus the audience mics.

Having dedicated ambience mics helps getting a consistent mix of the band with the ambience at the given spot on stage.
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Christian Tepfer
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Ambient mic tips for IEMs
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2014, 01:30:51 pm »

I would like to add one aspect of ambience: it's relative.
In big setups I have a pair of ambience mics for the drummer, the keyboarder etc. Plus the audience mics.

Having dedicated ambience mics helps getting a consistent mix of the band with the ambience at the given spot on stage.

Yep, that was behind my original idra of stashing a mic on their mic stand rather than the more tradition l/r.

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Jay Barracato

Mark McFarlane

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Re: Ambient mic tips for IEMs
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2014, 05:04:58 am »

Do any IEM receivers (body packs) provide for an optional hardwired input e.g. an omni lav worn on the musician's clothing?  If so, anyone tried this setup?
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Mark McFarlane
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Jamie Chappa

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Re: Ambient mic tips for IEMs
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2014, 05:29:59 am »

Do any IEM receivers (body packs) provide for an optional hardwired input e.g. an omni lav worn on the musician's clothing?  If so, anyone tried this setup?

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Audio-Technica-M2-In-Ear-Wireless-Monitor-System-105004774-i1391363.gc

I use these. Never tried the mic input yet.
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Chris Johnson [UK]

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Re: Ambient mic tips for IEMs
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2014, 09:24:35 am »

Sensaphonics and ACS IEM drivers can have electronic ambient options via beltpacks.

I have to say though, speaking from professional experience mixing monitors for large concert tours and TV shows, these kinds of things tend not to be used.

I think this is mainly because a good IEM mix shouldn't need additional stage ambience to capture the performance element. You have mics in front of all the instruments right? If the guitar sounds dry because its close miced, add 'verb. If the drums sound too dry, add some overheads. etc...

Ambience, IMO, should really be there to capture the bits that aren't miced. Like the crowd. Most artists switch to IEMs to gain more control over what the hear and reduce stage volume. Adding back lots of local ambience mics would undo that pretty quick...
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Mark McFarlane

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Re: Ambient mic tips for IEMs
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2014, 03:26:37 pm »

Sensaphonics and ACS IEM drivers can have electronic ambient options via beltpacks.

I have to say though, speaking from professional experience mixing monitors for large concert tours and TV shows, these kinds of things tend not to be used.

I think this is mainly because a good IEM mix shouldn't need additional stage ambience to capture the performance element. You have mics in front of all the instruments right? If the guitar sounds dry because its close miced, add 'verb. If the drums sound too dry, add some overheads. etc...

Ambience, IMO, should really be there to capture the bits that aren't miced. Like the crowd. Most artists switch to IEMs to gain more control over what the hear and reduce stage volume. Adding back lots of local ambience mics would undo that pretty quick...
 

Chris, I readily acknowledge your experience and truly appreciate your guidance.

FWIW, my concept of a lav mic on the musician was to reintroduce some of the normal stimulus they would get if their ears weren't plugged, thereby hopefully removing some occsaional early-adoption objections to 'it just doesn't feel right' (I am working with a guy this weekend whose entire band is on IEMS,except him).  The musicians would still have the benefits of isolation, stage volume control, and detailed mix control of IEMS, but they would also be able to dial in some of the 'pre-IEM' sound.

I didn't mean to propose this as the only ambience mic, just one possible ambience feed combined with near and far audience feeds. 

Perhaps the lav-on-musician approach would work like training wheels for artists who don't immediately take to IEMS, and over the course of several gigs they would slowly dial down the local lav mic.

Just thinking out loud,... I frequently have ideas that don't pan out.
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Mark McFarlane
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Samuel Rees

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Re: Ambient mic tips for IEMs
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2014, 04:38:51 pm »

The IEMs with simple ambient ports (non-electronic) might accomplish a similar goal (warming someone up to IEMs) but won't require additional RF gear.
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Josh Hana

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Re: Ambient mic tips for IEMs
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2014, 05:00:58 pm »

I've seen a few acts using lav mics on their lapel, but in setups I've seen, they have only been used as talkback/banter to the rest of the band/crew between songs - not for ambiance. The AT M2 is the only system I know of that has an additional input for an ambiance mic, but it's at the transmitter, not the beltpack.

I have used the Sensaphonics 3D active ambient and they are pretty incredible. Even dialing in just a tiny amount of ambiance can really "open up" the mix. I would imagine it's the same for mics placed individually for each performer. I was never a fan of the shotgun mic approach when I was playing on stage with IEMs, I definitely prefer more LDC from the stage (capturing the first few rows of audience), maybe with a small amount of shotguns picking up the "roar" of the crowd in the distance. But I play bass, so a mix that is a bit heavy on ambiance isn't going to intrude on my mix (which is mostly bass, kick and some mid range keys or guitar)
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