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Author Topic: New to IEM's  (Read 1077 times)

Stephen Swaffer

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New to IEM's
« on: October 01, 2019, 01:09:43 pm »

I'm heading into a project for our church where the pastor and some of the other talent would like to go to IEM's-and I certainly agree with their desire.  I'm a bit worried because I will have  short runway, so to speak, to get the system up and running well before a high profile event.

I am thinking to go with a Shure PSM300, IEM's are for vocalists singing to a track in a musical/theatrical production.  I am thinking I will only need the one mix-perhaps track on one of the stereo channels, vocals on the other so they can a least mix that as desired.  Obviously, will do wireless coordination as we will have 8-12 Shure SLX systems and perhaps other wireless on site.  Our location is relatively free from offsite interference-we are usually our own worst enemy.

Its about 60' line of sight (FOH is higher than audience's heads).  Do I gain anything significant by either running antenna coax to a location above stage or placing transmitter close to stage?  I should have snake channels for audio available.  I'd like to have transmitter at FOH just for my comfort level if i have to change something-but not necessarily a huge issue.

What about the antenna/transmitter for a 72 Mhz assited listening system-any concern an all as far as relative locations?  Pretty wide frequency separation there.

I've read about antenna separation for IEM transmitter antennas and wireless mic receiver antennas-but what is best practice for talent using both-so they are wearing an IEM receiver and a mic transmitter?  Just opposite side of the body or?

Any thoughts or pitfalls to avoid would be appreciated.
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Steve Swaffer

brian maddox

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Re: New to IEM's
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2019, 09:39:27 pm »

I'm heading into a project for our church where the pastor and some of the other talent would like to go to IEM's-and I certainly agree with their desire.  I'm a bit worried because I will have  short runway, so to speak, to get the system up and running well before a high profile event.

I am thinking to go with a Shure PSM300, IEM's are for vocalists singing to a track in a musical/theatrical production.  I am thinking I will only need the one mix-perhaps track on one of the stereo channels, vocals on the other so they can a least mix that as desired.  Obviously, will do wireless coordination as we will have 8-12 Shure SLX systems and perhaps other wireless on site.  Our location is relatively free from offsite interference-we are usually our own worst enemy.

Its about 60' line of sight (FOH is higher than audience's heads).  Do I gain anything significant by either running antenna coax to a location above stage or placing transmitter close to stage?  I should have snake channels for audio available.  I'd like to have transmitter at FOH just for my comfort level if i have to change something-but not necessarily a huge issue.

What about the antenna/transmitter for a 72 Mhz assited listening system-any concern an all as far as relative locations?  Pretty wide frequency separation there.

I've read about antenna separation for IEM transmitter antennas and wireless mic receiver antennas-but what is best practice for talent using both-so they are wearing an IEM receiver and a mic transmitter?  Just opposite side of the body or?

Any thoughts or pitfalls to avoid would be appreciated.

Okay, there's a lot to comment on here, so here's some thoughts in no particular order.

1.  Short runway and IEMs with people that have never used them before [on both sides of the snake] is not a good combination.  Transitioning as a singer from an open ear experience to a closed ear experience is a VERY big change.  Mixing for IEMs is NOTHING like mixing for wedges.  IEMs done right are Amazing.  Done just slightly NOT right is AWFUL.  There is basically no middle ground.

2.  In general, transmitters closer to receivers is always a good idea.  If i were doing this, i would put the transmitters on stage and use an antenna combiner and a Helical Antenna.  It makes a HUGE difference.  remember, PSM300 receivers are NOT diversity like microphone receivers are.  Dropouts are FAR more common for IEMs than they are for Microphones, so using best practices wrt transmitter and receiver placement is quite a bit more critical than you may have had to deal with in the past.

3.  Opposite sides of the body for Beltpacks is a good idea, but if this isn't possible with certain costumes you're not likely to have huge problems so long as you do a proper coordination.

4.  If your plan for mixing this is to create a single mix for all of the IEMs [or a track mix and all voices mix] i don't think this will work.  Each singer is going to want/need their own individual mix, preferably in stereo, even though this is just a track situation.  Remember that once you put the IEMs in your ears you hear NOTHING unless it's in the mix.  So the house sound and ambient sound etc. that singers often work off of is gone.  In a Non-IEM situation performers adjust their position on stage or the direction they are facing or any number of other things instinctively in order to help them hear what they need.  IEMs completely eliminate the ability to do this, which is weird and offputting until you've adjusted to it.

5.  Did i mention that short runway and introducing IEMs is not a good combo?  :)  I've made this mistake personally on both sides of the snake as well.  Story Time: i sang a solo in a giant full costume Easter production with an orchestra in front of a couple thousand people after i had handed my shiny new PSM600 to the sound guys right before the show.  The song began and i couldn't hear anything because the sound guys had only put piano in the IEMs thinking that's all i would want/need [totally not their fault since i was the idiot that sprung this on them AFTER rehearsals].  So i'm standing alone in front of 2K people trying to sing without being able to hear myself or anything else and unable to rip the things out of my ears either because i'm on IMAG in period costume. That was 25 years ago and i still die a little inside every time i think about it.  Moral of the story...  If you can lengthen the runway in ANY way, i would do that.  You'll be very glad you did.


Good luck!

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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: New to IEM's
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2019, 10:28:57 pm »

Thanks for the insight-obviously this post ws inteneded to virtually lengthen the runway if at all possible-these comments will certainly help.
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Steve Swaffer

Steven Cohen

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Re: New to IEM's
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 09:58:59 am »

We are in the same situation as we are now purchasing IEMs for the first time. I was concerned about finding RF bandwidth for 4 channels of PSM 1000 while having about 15 wireless microphones operating in the 400 and 500 MHz range. I have since learned that Shure will have a few 900 MHz bands available for IEMs. Normally I would not choose 900 MHz for wireless as it does not penetrate obstructions well, but we will keep the IEM transmitters on stage so obstruction or long distances wont be an issue.

I'm heading into a project for our church where the pastor and some of the other talent would like to go to IEM's-and I certainly agree with their desire.  I'm a bit worried because I will have  short runway, so to speak, to get the system up and running well before a high profile event.

I am thinking to go with a Shure PSM300, IEM's are for vocalists singing to a track in a musical/theatrical production.  I am thinking I will only need the one mix-perhaps track on one of the stereo channels, vocals on the other so they can a least mix that as desired.  Obviously, will do wireless coordination as we will have 8-12 Shure SLX systems and perhaps other wireless on site.  Our location is relatively free from offsite interference-we are usually our own worst enemy.

Its about 60' line of sight (FOH is higher than audience's heads).  Do I gain anything significant by either running antenna coax to a location above stage or placing transmitter close to stage?  I should have snake channels for audio available.  I'd like to have transmitter at FOH just for my comfort level if i have to change something-but not necessarily a huge issue.

What about the antenna/transmitter for a 72 Mhz assited listening system-any concern an all as far as relative locations?  Pretty wide frequency separation there.

I've read about antenna separation for IEM transmitter antennas and wireless mic receiver antennas-but what is best practice for talent using both-so they are wearing an IEM receiver and a mic transmitter?  Just opposite side of the body or?

Any thoughts or pitfalls to avoid would be appreciated.
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Re: New to IEM's
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 09:58:59 am »


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