#1
Have use molded ear plug for years now, but do miss that power 'live music feeling' you get from not wearing any, but am still more concerned with protecting my ears. Probably because, essentially, I've always been a boring old man.

Had thought about in ears, but wondered, do those actually protect your hearing? Like if you've got the mix going directly in to your ear, after a long set, won't that cause pretty heavy hearing fatigue?

Any thoughts/experiences y'all?
#2
The custom molded IEMs block out a vast majority of noise from outside, so you can have the mix at a fairly low volume when you play. But. You only get the mix, and nothing else. In a way its even more isolating than earplugs. You literaly need a mic that feeds into the mix to pickup the crowds and whatnot. So yeah, it wont give you that "im playing live again!" feeling andy more than your earplugs give you, if anything, its the oposite. 
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#3
If you want the "I'm playing live!" drop the guitar and go down front. 
If you want to protect your hearing, and hear what's happening with your mix, turn down your IEMs and get the custom molded ear pieces. 
#4
Quote by JbfMusic
Have use molded ear plug for years now, but do miss that power 'live music feeling' you get from not wearing any, but am still more concerned with protecting my ears. Probably because, essentially, I've always been a boring old man.

Had thought about in ears, but wondered, do those actually protect your hearing? Like if you've got the mix going directly in to your ear, after a long set, won't that cause pretty heavy hearing fatigue?

Any thoughts/experiences y'all?
Missing the "live music feeling" is easily solved by using IEM's alongside ambient mics. That is preferably two mics, stereo, panned in the IEM, pointed towards the audience from the stage. You can also get IEM's that have ambience mics/ambient bleed built-in. Having stereo imaging with IEM's is very beneficial so you can pan sound sources relative to where they are. You can get by with mono imaging, though.

The "mix going directly to your ear" part: Yes, the mix is going directly to your ear but you reduce the volume to casual listening levels. It does not have to be loud, you just have to hear what you need to perform properly.
#5
IEMs were strange to get used to, but once you do a few shows with them (and everyone tells you how good the sound was out front), you get used to them. I love them now. 
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
#6
Hmm, interesting. Maybe didn't explain that too well, it's more about the power and volume of live playing than crowd noise, so ambient mics wouldn't really to that- although I can see how they would help some people.

With IEM, if you do a 2-3 hour gig, or say a longer function with a break, won't you get hearing fatigue and need to keep creeping up the volume?

I'm fairly happy using my ear plugs, but just wondering if there was some ultimate solution, with no downside that I'm not aware of.
#7
I have used them all and still do.  IEMs can work but even with ambient mics and a personal Aviom mix, I still feel pretty isolated from the room and other players.  I have been using them for 10 years and do tend to keep my IEM volumes low for hearing protection.

A loud stage volume with maxed out floor wedges & ear plugs is also pretty isolating because everything turns to mush due to reflections and stage rumble.  You can feel the music but can't hear the sonic detail available with IEMs.

My personal preference when I have a choice is fairly low stage volume and small active personal monitors for vocals and keys only like the Mackie or TC Helicon.  No stage rumble, good sonic detail, and the sense of being part of the room.  If I want I can step away from the monitor to alter my mix on the fly for solos.  This is what we usually do with the Road Dogs band because setup and sound check is simple and everyone can control their own monitor levels.  When I play with other musicians I am often at the mercy of whatever gear they use so I have learned to adapt. 
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Mar 25, 2017,
#8
I use in-ears, quality ones will lock out the sound so much that you don't need much volume for them to be heard clearly, so they save you from hearing damage, no more ringing ears after shows. Yes you do need to have an ambience mic or two to feed in some outside noise if you want that vibe. If you're a singer then the moulded ones can be a bit of a pain as the seal will break based on the position of your jaw, even if you do the moulds with your mouth open (usually biting on something as the moulds set).

Our drummer started with moulds but one of the drivers blew and now just uses the non moulded Shure in-ears, which he rates really highly. I would never go back to not using ear protection though, you're a musician and they are your most important tool.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
Last edited by Bigbazz at Mar 25, 2017,