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Thread: In-ear monitoring from the FX send

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    In-ear monitoring from the FX send

    I have a customer with tinnitus who wants to use in-ear monitoring to cut down the rest of the band but still hear his own guitar during rehearsals and small venues where no desk is being used - just backline amps and only the vocals put through the PA. It needs to be a simple and low-cost setup. I'm thinking along the lines of a Behringer P2 monitor amp running Shure SE215 in-ears. He uses one of three amps - a Marshall JVM410 which has an emulated line-out, a Marshall MG50 (which has an emulated headphone out but this kills the output), and a Marshall DSL100.

    The JVM is straightforward to run directly off the emulated output. The other two I was thinking of running off the FX send via a speaker emulator.

    Does anyone have any practical experience of this type of arrangement and if so what did you use for the speaker emulator? Most seem to be phantom powered and this would involve yet another box and PSU as no phantom power is available.

    Another option is to use a single mic on front of the amp or cab and use a preamp to boost this to line level to drive the P2. The only possible issue is maybe signal bleed in tight situations.

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Tell him to buy a $12 package of Hearos and turn down or use a speaker attenuator as necessary.

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    The Hughes & Kettner Red Box DI is a good one.

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    I'm a little worried an in ear speaker would accelerate his hearing loss, unless it was very carefully controlled.

    On speaker emulators, there's a lot of circuits out there. Which one's the best? I can't say, not much experience comparing them. When I need to put in a "speaker emulator" output, simple hi frequency rolloff filter is what they get, say for a line out that's meant to go to a console for live or recording.

    Sure there are fancy ones with low frequency limiting, built in compression & whatnot, like what you find in those Rocktron "Juice Squeezer", and similar Groove Tube devices from the 80's, H&K's "Red Box" DI too. If you wish, could copy any of those circuits, but that's no simple solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    I'm a little worried an in ear speaker would accelerate his hearing loss, unless it was very carefully controlled.
    Yup. I've heard some people with hearing issues say the same - hearing loud from a distance is better for you than hearing "sort-of loud" pumped straight in. Also, with hearing loss, is it possible to turn up louder than you realize & cause even more damage? Like if you cut yourself when your hand is numb - you don't feel (hear) to the same degree, so you keep going...

    Justin

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    I too suffer from tinnitus - really badly in my right ear. I have ear defenders and earplugs all over the place and rehearsal rooms damaged my hearing so much that I had to give up live playing altogether. The sound levels live were fine, though - everything miked up and shoved up front through the PA so on-stage level was fine. I sympathize with the guy who's having the problems as he's only just begun to suffer symptoms. With me, I can't even see live bands any more as even with the best earplugs bone-conduction gets me. My particular hearing damage has caused a serious increase in sensitivity to noise and the level that triggers really bad episodes gets lower and lower.

    My customer has tried earplugs of various types but it's the same story as my own - the sound is too muffled and you end up with them loosened to hear your guitar better, then they're letting through damaging levels of noise. Most of my pro customers are using sound-isolating in-ears and wireless monitoring off the desk, with the ability to set their own volume level for their instrument or vocal and mix in the rest of the band. Not quite dentist's waiting room levels, but nice and comfortable. Some use wired systems - again, coming off the desk. But all of these are expensive setups. I did a cable replacement for a par of in-ears that cost over £2000. Many I get are over £1000. That's no good if you just want to try something out, hence my arrival at the sound-isolating Shures.

    I understand the issues with in-ear volume; you can get a much higher SPL than intended and it's an issue with kids suffering hearing damage with music played through earbuds. In the UK the sound level is supposed to be limited but many are capable of 103db or higher. I have to be really careful with headphones as they can give a false perception that the volume is lower than it really is. I guess its the same with in-ears and ideally the volume needs to be limited to a safe level. Whether a safe level is a listenable level is another question. If the rest of the band are just way too loud then nothing is going to work well.

    The idea at this stage is to put together something inexpensive but of a decent spec to try out. If it doesn't improve things, then it's maybe £200 to find out. One aspect that troubles me is the rest of the band sounding too muted and dull and the guitar coming through crisp and clear on top of this. It reduces the pleasure of playing with a band. The main problem in tight rehearsal rooms is that everyone is competing with drum kit volume.

    Perhaps the best way for everyone is to use an electronic kit when appropriate and get the stage volume down altogether - a lot of corporate events are done like this. No one wants to hear a loud band while the winner of the 'Resins, Grouts and Adhesives Sales Manager of the year' is being announced.

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