IEMs, wedge or Amp - What would you do?

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slowlearner
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IEMs, wedge or Amp - What would you do?

Post by slowlearner » 14 Jan 2019, 10:43

I've watched all your IEM threads with interest in the last few years. Seems like I get a chance to dip my toe in the water. Thing is I'm not sure what to do with it. So here's the situation...

I'm playing bass for a large Christian convention next week with a couple of thousand attendees. The music coordinator (also a pro-muso/bass player) has offered me one of three options.
1. Bring my own amp
This is my current plan. I'd take my mini-stack (1x10", 1x12" & TH350).
2. Have my own 1x12" foldback wedge
For IEM's or the foldback, I'd take my Zoom B3. I've used it before for this sort of thing and it was pretty great. Having my own foldback might be ok, but I'm concerned about enough headroom. I'm also concerned the drums will be too loud for the wedge and that other instruments in the wedge will make the bass hard to hear well. I can see they're trying to keep the on-stage level down (which I'm supportive of), but if there's an acoustic kit I'm nervous about one wedge.
3. Have IEM's
This is where I'm really out of my comfort zone. Not that I'm not willing to try. The IEM's are supplied by the sound techs. I'm just worried that IEM's won't do low frequencies well. I also don't have buds to go on the IEM's and my ears are radically different shapes. I have issues trying to keep earbuds in my ears for exercise. I'm concerned whatever they offer me won't fit very well.

I'd appreciate people's input here. Trying to make life easy for the music coordinator/FOH engineers but also not spend the whole week struggling to hear what I'm playing and kicking myself. :shrug: :help
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Rocksolid
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Re: IEMs, wedge or Amp - What would you do?

Post by Rocksolid » 14 Jan 2019, 11:15

I love my IEMs, but with one week to go and not having ear buds that you can trust, I'd go for one of the other 2 options.

As for the wedge, I've played gigs with a acoustic drums using a QSC K12 happily, but not every foldback wedge is the same.

Maybe a small rig with some in your wedge to keep your volume out the front down?
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Re: IEMs, wedge or Amp - What would you do?

Post by vin-tone » 14 Jan 2019, 11:25

If they're offering "your own foldback wedge" I wouldn't worry about other instruments being in it - you've got a dedicated send - just tell them what you need.

That said - just take your own rig. You know it and it'll be fine.
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Re: IEMs, wedge or Amp - What would you do?

Post by BazzBass » 14 Jan 2019, 12:18

sounds like a nice gig, all the best for it :)

take what you know, your rig.Nothing sounds better :)
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Re: IEMs, wedge or Amp - What would you do?

Post by basshack » 14 Jan 2019, 12:37

I'd be willing to bet that the acoustic drums will be behind plexi glass too.
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Re: IEMs, wedge or Amp - What would you do?

Post by slowlearner » 14 Jan 2019, 13:16

basshack wrote:
14 Jan 2019, 12:37
I'd be willing to bet that the acoustic drums will be behind plexi glass too.
I might ask about that.
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Re: IEMs, wedge or Amp - What would you do?

Post by PilbaraBass » 14 Jan 2019, 15:28

Acoustic drums can be absolutely gruesome to deal with. Bring ear plugs!

The 2x10 wedge that I used in regular church, worked "ok" when I played with acoustic drums at a large convention, but I couldn't hear anyone else over the drums. It's hearing everyone else that was my biggest challenge (and getting blasted by the drums).

A single sheet of plywood or plexiglass is really all you'll need between you and the drummer to make life much more comfortable for you.
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Re: IEMs, wedge or Amp - What would you do?

Post by Petebass » 15 Jan 2019, 07:45

Ahhh the double edged sword of plexiglass. The band, sound person, and audience love them. Drummers hate them. They can't hear the band and feel like they are in zoo enclosure.... And sometimes their smartass band mates (me) sneakily put up a sign that says "Do not feed the drummer" :)
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(drum cage commentary)

Post by david1234 » 15 Jan 2019, 08:02

:yep
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Re: IEMs, wedge or Amp - What would you do?

Post by david1234 » 15 Jan 2019, 08:06

I'm a fan of IEM + bass amp with acoustic drums and unknown sound guys. It's fiddly but clear - as long as you have control over your mix (via a phone or tablet for example).

IEM alone is more ideal, but on a stage with mixed monitoring approaches you may have other performers who need to hear the bassline so you can navigate through the tunes for them. If you're being given these varied options, probably everybody else is too. Bass tone from your amp means less bass tone being mistreated by wedge mixes.
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Re: (drum cage commentary)

Post by Petebass » 15 Jan 2019, 08:10

* 2 Stingray 5's (one heavily modded), Ibanez SR805, Ashbory, + more...
* Carvin B1500, Epifani PS1000, Ashdown Superfly amps.
* Lots of DIY neo/lightweight cabs including one made from composites http://www.ozbassforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2546

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Re: IEMs, wedge or Amp - What would you do?

Post by slowlearner » 15 Jan 2019, 08:29

PilbaraBass wrote:
14 Jan 2019, 15:28
Acoustic drums can be absolutely gruesome to deal with. Bring ear plugs!

The 2x10 wedge that I used in regular church, worked "ok" when I played with acoustic drums at a large convention, but I couldn't hear anyone else over the drums. It's hearing everyone else that was my biggest challenge (and getting blasted by the drums).

A single sheet of plywood or plexiglass is really all you'll need between you and the drummer to make life much more comfortable for you.
I have moulded earplugs that I take everywhere. :)
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Re: IEMs, wedge or Amp - What would you do?

Post by WestOfBen » 15 Jan 2019, 11:41

Gonna throw my opinion in here and I may get flamed *puts on armour* :D

I love having an amp on stage, but there are times this doesn't work well, in some venues and particularly worship settings.

So, I have grown to like IEMs. I use Shure SE215s (the special blue ones that are essentially no different to the standard ones). For the $130ish I spent, they are absolutely fine to me. People rave about the KZ brand that is even cheaper.

Do I care about having 16 drivers? No. Do I want bottom end and rumble in my ears? No. Why? Because I know the rumble will be at front of house. Some people I have shared spaces with have their monitor feed bottom end boosted, so I always ask for it to be flattened.

I aim for a good clear articulate sound in my ears, because no matter the quality of your IEM pods, things will turn to mud, especially if you have a lot of the other instruments in your ears also. The engineer will do what he will do to your sound. I ask that I be given exactly my sound in my ears, untouched, no EQ, very little compression, as I handle that with my hands and a Boss LMB-3.

Don't be afraid of IEM. I say this is a fantastic opportunity for you to experience a decent IEM-type setup, sans-amp lol. You would only get a similar opportunity at another big venue, else you would be forking out more $$ to have your own setup at your church or wherever else you play.

I have just joined a project which I cannot speak about yet, quite significant to be part of this artist's touring and possible recording band, and also my own band will be part of that journey. The plan is to move toward IEM for as many gigs as possible. For now though I will be taking the big rig along, just because!
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Re: IEMs, wedge or Amp - What would you do?

Post by Jass » 15 Jan 2019, 13:26

I've recently gone ampless with over-ear monitoring, I just couldn't get used to the in-ear buds. They were always falling out, or having to fiddle around with them to get the proper seal etc almost sent me back to using an amp. Do I look like a dork with over-ear headphones on, probably, but it works for me. For interest sake I use:
Big Al bass into a Digitech BP90(has a basic clean sound with compressor), left channel into a Line 6 FX100(used for effects distortion etc), then into a little Yamaha 6 channel mixer, the BP90 right channel goes into the mixer as well for clean/low end mix under the effects. The signal is then sent to FOH mixer and I use the headphone out. I run an aux send into my little mixer from the front of house mixer for vocal monitoring, and sometimes run a mic onstage into the little Yamaha as well to get an ambient crowd/drums/guitar mix.

Works well for me, but I made the decision to look a bit silly with the big ol' headphones on :lol:

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Re: IEMs, wedge or Amp - What would you do?

Post by slowlearner » 15 Jan 2019, 14:54

I think I'm gonna take the amp as insurance. I can see what rehearsal is like and if it all goes bad, I can just plug the amp in. The music coordinator actually suggested the opposite. Take my amp and if I get a chance to try the IEMs, then do that. But yeah, the amp's going along. :)
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