Our new in-ear monitoring solution

When it comes to monitoring, we have a couple of issues when it comes to using traditional wedges. Firstly, the vocal effects mostly come from a Boss VE-20 which sometimes creates problems with feedback. In our live set especially song "Morgaine" has traditionally suffered from that. Secondly, the cello is pretty much impossible to play in tune without hearing both the instrument and everything else properly. Since venues and the provided monitoring systems vary a lot, we decided it's time to get our own.

 

It was clear that in-ear monitoring would suit our needs best. We looked at wireless options but decided to go with a cabled system in the end. We don't move that much on stage so the cable isn't really a problem. A cabled system costs much less than any decent quality wireless system and additionally we avoid the hassle of managing frequencies and risking anyone's radio or karaoke performance getting to our monitor lines.

 

We got a rack model Behringer X32 digital mixer for monitoring. It has more inputs, outputs and features than we currently need, but in the future we are planning to add some new stuff to our live set so we needed to account for that as well. It comes with software with which we can connect our smart phones to it wirelessly and mix our own individual monitor sends as we like. This alone is a biggie. Additionally we can easily connect a laptop and record live performances and rehearsals. This, in turn allows us to do a virtual soundcheck if needed. In an emergency we can even do the FOH with that as well, although that obviously isn't optimal.

 

The Shure in-ear headphones did take some time getting used to. The overall feel is much more isolated and quite different compared to wedge monitors. On the other hand the sound is very clear and clean. We feel we can hear some stuff in our performance we never did before (both in good and bad sense) but at least now we can adjust accordingly.

 

So far we have only used the new system in the rehearsal room (and feel there is no going back to the old system). On Saturday we will use it live for the first time. We'll add to this post if catastrophes occur.

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