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Author Topic: Moving band to IEMs - a couple questions, please.  (Read 11903 times)

Robert Piascik

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Re: Moving band to IEMs - a couple questions, please.
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2016, 05:52:48 pm »

Another thing I thought of: "try to" (insist) get all the performers to set their pack levels the same (I usually recommend at max). Some will want to cheat by setting their packs at less than max because they're afraid of getting "blown out" and then you'll find that you'll run out of gain at the board because one guy's pack will need waaaay more of everything than everybody else's. Your life will be so much easier if they all have a common starting point.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Moving band to IEMs - a couple questions, please.
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2016, 06:20:14 pm »

Another thing I thought of: "try to" (insist) get all the performers to set their pack levels the same (I usually recommend at max). Some will want to cheat by setting their packs at less than max because they're afraid of getting "blown out" and then you'll find that you'll run out of gain at the board because one guy's pack will need waaaay more of everything than everybody else's. Your life will be so much easier if they all have a common starting point.

But isn't the pack volume just another part of the gain structure?
I find that if everything else is set correctly i.e. gains are all good, aux faders close to unity, input meters and output meters on both mixer and transmitters firing nicely then if  the pack needs to be turned down to be at the desirable volume, then surely it should be. If I was to insist that the packs all be at max, I'd have to turn something else down to compensate.
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Tom Roche

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Re: Moving band to IEMs - a couple questions, please.
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2016, 07:17:06 pm »

I used to provide mono iem (Senny EW300) but after trying stereo, there was no going back. Much better separation and not as much need to have 'more me' turned up so high.
Most of my musicians prefer an ambient mic set up but they usually only use it to hear the audience and room. I use my headset and I have a pack also to communicate to the band members.
I give them full control on their iPhones/ smart phones/ iPads etc for their own mix. Most digital mixers these days offer free apps for this purpose.
I usually give wired to drummers or keyboard players freeing up my wireless systems. I use Behringer P1's or if I need more than 2 wired systems- Presonus HP60

Limiters built into Senny packs and P1. You could also use whatever the mixer provides.

I also use the iems with wedges on the same stage with no issues.

I suggest you organize a band rehearsal to get everything ironed out before a show. I have done this with each band I have provided iems for and it helps a lot.

Debbie, in your opinion how well does the built-in limiter in the Behringer P1 work?  Behringer claims the P1 runs up to 12 hours on a battery.  Have you found this to be accurate?  Thanks!
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Moving band to IEMs - a couple questions, please.
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2016, 07:46:53 pm »

Debbie, in your opinion how well does the built-in limiter in the Behringer P1 work?  Behringer claims the P1 runs up to 12 hours on a battery.  Have you found this to be accurate?  Thanks!

The band I have run sound for about 4 years - the drummer uses it. He likes it a lot and has suffered no spikes in the 2 years he has been iem.
The batteries last for ages it seems. I get 3 - 4 shows out of them. The really nice thing is that the red light low battery indicator comes on so early that you can go a good hour or more before the battery needs replacing ( only reliable for alkaline - I replace rechargeable 9v every 2 shows just like my Senny pack AA's to be safe)
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Robert Piascik

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Re: Moving band to IEMs - a couple questions, please.
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2016, 10:56:36 pm »

But isn't the pack volume just another part of the gain structure?

Of course. My point is that all packs need to be the same (or close). If three are at max and one is at half it will be difficult to get enough gain to the pack at half. If I can get everyone to set their packs at max before I send them anything, everybody can get enough of what they want and no one gets "blown out".
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Trevor Jalla

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Re: Moving band to IEMs - a couple questions, please.
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2016, 01:27:34 am »

Of course. My point is that all packs need to be the same (or close). If three are at max and one is at half it will be difficult to get enough gain to the pack at half. If I can get everyone to set their packs at max before I send them anything, everybody can get enough of what they want and no one gets "blown out".

With my Senny G3s I hand out the packs turned up 7/10. The transmitter's input attenuators can be backed off if I'm struggling for gain from the desk. If the transmitters clip then yes, pack needs to be turned up. Headphones sensitivities and voicings vary too. eg dynamic drivers lack the HF extension of armatures, but can be overly-present around 3-5khz before they roll off. That'd would have a performer reaching to turn down the volume knob sooner.
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: Moving band to IEMs - a couple questions, please.
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2016, 10:04:39 am »

Stereo or mono is often determined by the mixer used and number of musicians.

Most of the hardwired packs are only mono. Like the Rolls. I use the Whirlwind PW-1. Will do either. Plus the sound quality is better.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 10:10:35 am by Jamin Lynch »
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: Moving band to IEMs - a couple questions, please.
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2016, 10:13:28 am »

Another thing I thought of: "try to" (insist) get all the performers to set their pack levels the same (I usually recommend at max). Some will want to cheat by setting their packs at less than max because they're afraid of getting "blown out" and then you'll find that you'll run out of gain at the board because one guy's pack will need waaaay more of everything than everybody else's. Your life will be so much easier if they all have a common starting point.

I find that the Senn G3's get a bit noisy with the packs all the way up.
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Trevor Jalla

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Re: Moving band to IEMs - a couple questions, please.
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2016, 11:15:22 am »

Stereo or mono is often determined by the mixer used and number of musicians.

Most of the hardwired packs are only mono. Like the Rolls. I use the Whirlwind PW-1. Will do either. Plus the sound quality is better.

Shure P6HW and Behringer P1 are both stereo. I have one of each.

The multipin connector on the Shure y-cable is a PITA once it fails however... and the cable itself costs more than a P1.

I concur re Senn G3 floor noise when cranked. Hence 7/10 on the volumes as a start.

EDIT: Stereo or mono is also a hardware function. Wireless stereo = more transmitters = more RF coordination = laptop, antennas, combiners, knowhow + setup time.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 11:23:56 am by Trevor Jalla »
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brian maddox

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Re: Moving band to IEMs - a couple questions, please.
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2016, 12:37:31 pm »

I have converted many bands to IEM over the years beginning when the idea was in it's infancy in the 90's.  So i have a lot of thoughts on the subject.

The first page of this thread has a LOT of great information in it and i basically agree with all of it.  I'm just gonna focus on expanding a few things and then disagreeing with something.  :)

1.  Frequency coordination isn't a difficult thing.  Learn to use Shure WWB6.  It's free and works with all major manufacturers gear.  The ability to coordinate frequencies is essential in our current RF environment regardless of the use of IEMs.

2.  Customs are Much Much Much better than universals.  Alclair will sell you a set of customs for 250 bucks that will give you a better experience than much more expensive universal options.  And not having to buy tips all the time means you'll likely save money in the long run.

3.  Ambient mics are nice, but require a very light touch.  Basically when the band is banging away they add muddiness to the mix.  But during quiet sections and between songs they open up the space nicely and allow audience interaction.  There is no right answer to exactly how to approach this.  It totally depends on the band and the environment.  I have used them with ducking so that they are turned down during loud passages and come up some during quiet ones.  But this has to be tweaked carefully.

4.  Communication mics are a bigger deal than you'd think, especially during rehearsal.  It's a pain to put your ears in and out every time someone talks.  During rehearsals it's worth it to set up a switched mic of some kind for every player that doesn't have a vocal mic so that they can communicate between songs.  A cheapie 20 dollar mic with a switch will work fine.

5.  Stereo requires twice the resources but produces a 10 times better experience.  I understand that sometimes the resources just aren't there, but i cannot emphasize this enough.  Stereo is a Really Big Deal and if there is any way you can do it you should.

6.  Always hardwire wherever you can.  It's Way Cheaper.  It's Way More Reliable.  And it will Always Sound Better, even if you use the cheap Behringer P1.  Drums are obvious.  But try to convince anyone else that you can to go wired.  I've wired guitar players that moved a good bit by just marrying the IEM cable to their guitar cable.


Okay, and now my disagreement.  It was suggested above to possibly have everyone turn their packs to Max to make sure everyone is at the same level.  IF their packs are hardwired, this is fine.  But if they are wireless, Do Not Do This.  The reason is simple.  Many IEM beltpacks have very simple limiters or no limiter at all.  Running the pack wide open may lead to a fairly low input level into the transmitter and therefore the beltpack if the performer doesn't require a lot of volume.  The danger is this.  When RF hits happen [and they will] they will come at the beltpack at MAX LEVEL and with the beltpack's headphone amp wide open will deliver VERY LOUD NOISES straight to the performers ear.  Ask me how i know.  In my hundreds of hours of performing with IEMs every serious hit i have taken has been a result of this issue and not the result of some sudden loud sound happening on the input side of the transmitter [dropped mic, feedback, etc.].  Ultimately, you should try to hit the transmitter at a fairly high level regardless of mix and then have the performer adjust their volume to taste.  This will minimize this issue.


That's enough typing for now.  Maybe next time we'll talk Occlusion Effect and Latency and it's affect on singers and horn players.  :)
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Re: Moving band to IEMs - a couple questions, please.
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2016, 12:37:31 pm »


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