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wireless in-ear monitors vs. full bass rig

This is a discussion on wireless in-ear monitors vs. full bass rig within the Music Man Basses forums, part of the Gear Talk category; When I was watching videos from the latest Rush tour I noticed that Geddy Lee had ditched his on-stage cabs. ...

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    Mu5icM@n is offline Registered User Newbie
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    wireless in-ear monitors vs. full bass rig

    When I was watching videos from the latest Rush tour I noticed that Geddy Lee had ditched his on-stage cabs. In his interviews he said he wanted to run everything through the wireless in-ear monitors, including his bass. To fill the space formerly occupied by the cabs, he hooked up some cool-looking washers and dryers that run throughout the show. Personally I think he must have picked up a great endorsement deal from Maytag.

    Anyway, has anyone else out there done the same thing (minus the laundry equipment on stage), and if so how's it working for you? My rig has been getting simpler and simpler over the years--it'd be nice to lose the QSC MX-1500 poweramp (read: boat anchor) and a couple of 4X10's if I could get a decent mix in my ears.

    Whaddya all think?

    td

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    It would work well if the sound man respects the need for bass. As long as you can hear yourself you can play well.

    Geddy is paying the bills most likely.

    IMHO

    tk
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    I play sometimes at our church and we use an Aviom system for monitors. I have tried Shure E2 in-ears and hated them. I was constantly pushing them as far into my ears as I could because they kept slipping out...not all the way, but enough so that I was losing the bass frequencies.

    I now use a set of Sennheiser HD280s and they work well even though they're ugly and people make fun of my "Mickey Mouse" headphones, but I still like to feel my rig behind me even with the headphones on.

    My best guess would be that if you want to use a set of in-ears as your only source of sound on bass, then be prepared to pay for a really good set of in-ears because the Shure E2s at about $80 a pop just didn't cut it for me. I've heard that the Shure E5s are a lot better, but they're about $500 and that doesn't include the wireless transmitter/receiver.
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    I have Ultimate Ears UE-10's, and they are the nuts for bass . . . with the dual low transducers, they have such a solid low that you can swear that you feel air moving in your ears. As others have said, though, not cheap . . . about $1K for the monitors alone, all things done. And the custom fit is awesome - great isolation, and if they ever feel out, my ears would go with . . . these things just fit GREAT!

    I use that with a Sennheiser 300 series IEM wireless, and the sound quality is unreal . . . better than most studio monitors . . .

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    I do prefer a good wireless in-ear setup over a big old rig myself. Easier to transport, faster setup, less overall noise. Ideally, I'd have my bass amp, mike it (for the tone) and then have a good in-ear system. I use an in-ear at church and have really began to like it. Now I just need to shell out the $300 for a good earbud like the Westone UM2s.
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    Ear monitors are the way to go, they give the shall I say necessary coverage!
    Last edited by Alz®; 05-31-2007 at 05:05 AM.

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    This is not quite what you're looking for, but it is on-topic.

    I had used in-ear monitors, but have since ditched our entire band's PA, monitors, backline amps, and all associated equipment and gotten some of the Bose systems.

    We're much happier now.

    The deal is that these things are positioned behind you and you hear what the audience hears. This is different from the stage sound you get out of a bass rig. With a conventional rig, you're not on-axis with the speakers -- they're basically pointing at the back of your legs -- so you don't get the same sound in your ear that's being projected out to the audience. Try it for yourself...next time you set up on stage, take a moment and step as far away from your amp as you can. It'll sound very different than it does when you're standing in front of it. When this is going on for the whole band, you get the biggest reason why the sound on stage sucks IMO.

    For this reason, with conventional gear IMHO in-ears are the way to go...they're better, but they are not without problems of their own. To get really good sound you AFAIK you need to spend a lot of money. Notice how the name artists are all, without exception that I've seen, using custom ear molds (~$750 for the ear plugs alone, not counting the monitoring equipment itself). And unless you can afford a PA big and sophisticated enough to give everyone their own monitor mix, you're stuck with some compromise overall mix. And you still have to take it on faith that it sounds good out front.

    Better monitoring was the biggest reason why we went away from conventional equipment. We'd gone to in-ear monitors but the sound still wasn't really good (I mean really good as in just like being out in the audience at a well-mixed show). We were starting to look at what it would take to give everyone in the band a really good stage mix and the Bose solution was just way, way simpler. Worked for us really well.
    Last edited by adouglas; 05-29-2007 at 03:24 AM.
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    I use wireless in-ears on a regular basis. the fidelity with mine is phenominal.
    BUt the other side of that coin is the guy who is mixing the monitors. they need to know what they are doing in reference to your needs while you are on stage.
    Plus in-ears sound like crap to me in mono mode. I'm spoiled by the sound techs that I work with every week.

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    I've used the in my keyboard life, but here in the bass guitar world I like the feel of moving air, lots of it!
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    Andrew, I knew that you used the Bose system but I had never thought about the monitor aspect of it. I had been looking at the Westone UM-2s with some kind of wireless set up. I would probably have to just have a generic mix if I did go that way.

    I guess I could pick up the Bose system at GC and try it out for a few gigs.
    Starting to think about returning to bass playing in the very near future.

    Larry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobay45 View Post
    Andrew, I knew that you used the Bose system but I had never thought about the monitor aspect of it. I had been looking at the Westone UM-2s with some kind of wireless set up. I would probably have to just have a generic mix if I did go that way.

    I guess I could pick up the Bose system at GC and try it out for a few gigs.

    Larry - we switched to Bose in March of 2003. My drummer and I picked up a few rigs at GC to try out. Took them to rehearsal and and within 10 minutes the other band members said "sell the brand new Mackie stuff". We hear ourselves so much better now. Audience likes the Bose too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mu5icM@n View Post
    When I was watching videos from the latest Rush tour I noticed that Geddy Lee had ditched his on-stage cabs. In his interviews he said he wanted to run everything through the wireless in-ear monitors, including his bass. To fill the space formerly occupied by the cabs, he hooked up some cool-looking washers and dryers that run throughout the show. Personally I think he must have picked up a great endorsement deal from Maytag.

    Anyway, has anyone else out there done the same thing (minus the laundry equipment on stage), and if so how's it working for you? My rig has been getting simpler and simpler over the years--it'd be nice to lose the QSC MX-1500 poweramp (read: boat anchor) and a couple of 4X10's if I could get a decent mix in my ears.

    Whaddya all think?

    td

    OK, now irt sounds like he is friggin loosing it....


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobay45 View Post
    Andrew, I knew that you used the Bose system but I had never thought about the monitor aspect of it. I had been looking at the Westone UM-2s with some kind of wireless set up. I would probably have to just have a generic mix if I did go that way.

    I guess I could pick up the Bose system at GC and try it out for a few gigs.
    Email sent....

    The monitoring thing is astonishing. I sing backup, and for the first time I could really hear myself...and everyone else...as clearly as the audience could.

    It was not a little bit intimidating, because you hear *every* mistake. It's made us all better musicians, though.
    Last edited by adouglas; 05-29-2007 at 11:24 AM.
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    AL AL AL AL ALALALALALALA LA LA LA LA

    Desert Gold F13843 05 Bongo 5 HHp
    Blue Dawn F11199 07 LE Bongo 5 Hp fretless
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    Tangerine Pearl F28251 2011 Big Al 5 SSS

    http://www.coolshoesband.com

    BP: "I am very proud of many of the creations at ebmm but none more than the Bongo. Every day the cult grows and it makes it all worthwhile."

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    mitch is offline Registered User Newbie
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    in ear monitors

    I've been playing bass 35 years both onstage and in the studio. Until a few years ago I hated not having my amp behind me. When I got my first set of FutureSonics ear phone monitors, it was hard to believe how deep the bass went while just listening to CD's. Then I went into the studio, when when they handed me a set of cans, I pulled out my EM3's and they sounded better than the studio headphones much to the suprise of the studio owner.
    At the time I didn't have a transmitter/reciever pack to use them onstage. This changed about a year ago when the band I'm in started using ear phone monitors for vocals. I still had my amp behind me for that kick in the back and thought the ear phones were great just for the vocals. The lack of feedback made it great all on it's own, then came the acid test. I had my amp die on me in Key West during soundcheck for a week long gig. With no music stores in the Keys and the closest one almost 5 hours away (one way!) and the start of the gig in 2 hours, this could have been ugly.
    I asked the house engineer to put my bass in the ears (we were using FutureSonics' FS1's by then) and after getting him to understand more bass ment lower frequencies not overall volume, the sound was superb. The house subs carried my bass in the house with no problems, and the recordings of our shows that week didn't lack for bass.
    By the third night I was wondering why I was carrying around my amp when we did gigs with good sized house PA's. My open E was clear and deep! If I made the reciever pack too loud I could start to blur my vision!
    Since then, we've gone to the latest FutureSonics model, the Atrio's, which have better defination than the FS-1's did. (I needed to A/B them to tell the difference) I use the foam inserts which provide a good seal and allow the Atrio's to generate the low frequencies I crave while also lowering the overall volume I'm getting. No more ears ringing when I'm done with a gig.
    Now, if we're in a place where I can lose the amp and go direct, I plug in my tube compresser/limiter (the SR-71 from L J Labs) and the sound is massive! At least as good as an angry SVT and the best part is it's at a fraction of the volume of an angry SVT.
    As an afterthought, I've tried a number of other brands of ear phones and none of them have been able to reproduce the bottom end like the FutureSonics do, even ones costing more than 2 or 3 times the price of the Atrio's. I won't go back.

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    We use Shure wireless stuff at our place, but personally, I feel bass is an instrument that needs to be... felt. Even with the 3-driver headphones like Ultimate Ears and Shures, I feel I am still missing out on the experience in playing.
    Jeff

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