#1
Alright, rookie question here, I know, but here goes.

I am working with backing tracks and in ear monitors for the first time in my musical career with my band Summerfell (for fans of Paramore, The Starting Line, Taking Back Sunday, All Time Low, Knuckle Puck, etc). We are getting ready to start up the live performance, but are not quite sure how to do it all in all, or if maybe there is an easier way than I'm doing. We currently have a little 4-ch mixer going to a di box and straight into the main mixer, but our in ears have a 1/4" to the back of the transmitter, and then a 1/4" - A/V cable to go A/V into the main mixer's aux out. Is this the most common setup? Is there an easier and/or better one that could help minimize our setup? Any experience or advice helps, I have only a basic clue what the hell im doing haha

Equipment used:

Behringer xenyx 802 mixer for backing
Beheinger ultra DI straight to main (general house mixer at our local rehearsal studio)
Takstar wpm-200 IEM system straight to main
#2
You should know that in ear monitors have a little problem, as do headphones - it is a proximity effect which makes you hear the sound at a little higher pitch than the actual frequency in the signal. If you have ever put on or taken off headphones while music is playing through them you will have noticed that just as you move them to your ears the pitch of the music sounds like it goes a bit sharp, and then goes flat as you take them off.

For instruments like bass and piano (and drums), this is not a problem because what you play will be sharp as you hear it, but you won't know and it won't matter because you are not controlling the pitch - the instrument plays the correct pitch. The problem is for guitarists when bending notes, horns maintaining their pitch with the mouth/breath, and vocals at all times because these musicians are using the pitch they hear through the phones to set and alter their note pitches... but the pitch they are hearing IS NOT the signal frequency. They are hearing it sharp, so they bend, blow, and sing sharp so that it sounds right as they are hearing it, but compared to the actual signal frequency their notes are sharp as picked up by the pickup or microphones which are NOT subject to this pitch shift.

The result is that the bass and piano sound right to the audience or on the studio recording, but the the guitar's bent notes and all of the horns and vocals sound sharp. This has always been a known issue in the recording studios, but for most of that time the volume levels were low enough that it was barely noticeable. The problem grows quickly with higher volume levels like stage level during a performance, and modern loud level recording studio methods now adjusted with ProTools, etc.

I was in a project that was performing old 60s music (lots of Beatles) in which we had three excellent singers. We tried using in ear monitoring and the singers began complaining that they were having trouble hearing themselves clearly. What was happening was that they were hearing three versions of the music - the sharp version in their phones, the correct bass, piano, and rhythm guitar pitches through the air, and the sound of their own singing conducted through their head. The variance was causing a perceived diffusion of pitch precision which they heard and interpreted as a lack of clarity. We had to abandoned the use of in ear monitoring.

I'm not saying it can't be done; perhaps the big shows that do this have some ways to fix this... I'm just suggesting that you should be on the lookout for this problem. For some styles of music it may not matter, but with vocal featured music it might.

Maybe if there are some around here that have some performance experience using it, they may know how this pitch shift problem is addressed or techniques to avoid it.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#3
PlusPauli have not experienced the shift you're talking about with using them so far in any of our practices, but I have not been looking for it either, so I will be on the lookout for what you're mentioning!
#4
yeah, I've never had a problem with pitch using in ear monitors. I've used them a number of times the last year without issue.

The upside is that you have a reliable mix and volume. The downside is that it's a whole bunch of extra wires and batteries, all of which are guaranteed to stop working at an inconvenient time. Just about every time there's been wireless gear on stage, someone needs new batteries, a new mic, or a new receiver.

The viability of tracks and in-ears also comes down to the competence of your soundperson. You'll definitely want a professional, and to use the same person every time. You really don't want to figure out the set up from scratch at every gig.
#5
I've definitely experienced this with my wireless guitar systems that I've used over the last 6ish years. Murphy has his hands VERY wound in my wiring haha.

Although these are all great points that I very much appreciate, none of them are really answering my main topic of the hardware and wiring it up live itself. I can wire the di to house for the backing tracks, but is there a way to run the in ears in line with the backing tracks somehow, so I can end up just giving the sound guy one plug to work with? I've seen the ones where you get all your own mics for the amps and run them to your backing track mixer and take the output from there for the in ears but there has to be an easier/cheaper way.
#6
Quote by ntformes
I've definitely experienced this with my wireless guitar systems that I've used over the last 6ish years. Murphy has his hands VERY wound in my wiring haha.

Although these are all great points that I very much appreciate, none of them are really answering my main topic of the hardware and wiring it up live itself. I can wire the di to house for the backing tracks, but is there a way to run the in ears in line with the backing tracks somehow, so I can end up just giving the sound guy one plug to work with? I've seen the ones where you get all your own mics for the amps and run them to your backing track mixer and take the output from there for the in ears but there has to be an easier/cheaper way.

Unless you really need your tracks in stereo, I don't see why you couldn't stick them in a spare channel on the soundboard. Then they'd be mixed in the mains and monitors just like the instruments. Run the monitor out into your wireless broadcast gadget.