So what’s the point of in ear monitors? Why would you want the hassle of adding ANOTHER thing to set up in your limited sound check times?
The answer is simple: you WILL sound better.
I hear you asking, “how will in ear monitors make me sound better? Isn’t it just a way to hear yourself?”
And yes! You’re right, all in ear monitors do is allow for performers to hear an isolated, custom mix at a level that they’re comfortable with; but let’s think about what that does to a performer and an overall performance…
Here’s 5 reasons why you NEED to add in ear monitors to your rig:
1: Overall Experience
With a live show it’s all about capturing the energy and excitement that loud music can create. However, as a performer it can be difficult to feel that energy without really boosting the wedge monitors and wrecking your ears throughout a half hour set. If you bring in ear monitors into the mix (if you’ll pardon the pun) it’s basically an instant fix.
You’ll be able to control exactly what you want to hear! Let’s imagine you’re a singer- you really need to hear the guitars and keys so you stay in tune and, ideally, you’d quite like to hear yourself and maybe the kick and snare so you stay in time; with the right in ear monitor mix you can cut out all the other elements of a live mix or control them so you can hear everything you need to without sacrificing the longevity of your ear drums.
This takes away all the worries of a performer and allows them to simply perform- no limits to where you can stand on a stage and no risks of nasty feedback from screaming wedge monitors.
2: Save Your Voice!
Now this reason is specifically for vocalists. One of the biggest problems vocalists run into when performing is monitoring- quite often you’ll find yourself straining and pushing your voice to be louder so you can hear yourself over the ruckus of cymbals, distorted guitars and thump of bass. With in ear monitors this problem is a thing of the past. Not only will they allow you to cut out what you don’t want to hear, as mentioned in the previous point, they will also allow you to crank up your mix to whatever level you feel comfortable with- saving your vocal cords from having to strain and burn out too quickly.
Top Tip for In Ear Monitor mixes for vocalists- ALWAYS make sure your voice is the loudest thing in your mix, the second loudest being whatever instrument you rely on for timing/ pitch. Drums and bass rarely need to go through a vocalists in ear mixes as, unless you’re playing at Wembley, you’ll be close enough for the bleed to be effective monitoring.
3: Tighten Up Your Performance
Drummers are usually the ones that everyone turns to when they need to cue a new section or end a song but what if you didn’t have to rely purely on visual cues? Now, we’re not suggesting never looking at your drummer throughout a set (because they do get lonely) but with in ear monitors you can kiss goodbye to the margin of error. No longer will you have to combat the ear fatigue and the haze of sweat blocking your eyes.
Matt’s Guarantee: In Ear Monitors will tighten up your band by at least 69%
4: Click Tracks Lead To…
One of the biggest perks of in ear monitors is the ability to start turning your gigs into proper shows. Whether you’re about to embark on a theatre tour or you’re still on the pubs and clubs circuit, in ear monitors can open up a great many doors for taking your performance to the next level. Starting with a click track, this element alone can be incredibly useful for taking a band to the next level of technical proficiency by locking everyone into the same tempo.
This can also help you add a little “professionality” to your gigs as, if you’re sticking to a click, you’re going to play an 8 song set in more or less exactly the same amount of time every time; say goodbye to the awkward “your set’s over” “but we have one more song!” scenarios forever.
Once you’ve gotten used to playing to a click this will allow you to branch out in many directions. Do you want to start playing to backing tracks that play all your synth/ orchestral/ choral parts live? In Ear Monitors are the first step. Do you want to start thinking about adding lighting to your shows that changes depending on your song? In Ear Monitors will make this a hell of a lot easier. Are you at the stage where someone’s offering to make live visuals for your show? In Ear Monitors and sticking to a click track make synching up live video possible.
5: Posturing Is Cool/ Fake It Til You Make It
Finally, and this point is a short one, showing up to a gig with an in ear monitor rig makes you stand out. For several reasons. For starters, as long as you don’t expect a sound-guy (or gal) to set them up for you, your show’s tech team will thank you for taking up one less wedge monitor mix and for (probably) having a much quieter stage than other acts.
The other aspect to showing up with in ear monitors is… people notice. Whether they’re musicians or not, people pick up on the little things that remind them of “real” shows. Fake it til you make it. In Ear Monitor rigs are a silent way of saying “I take this seriously, you should too”
Come in store over the weekend to grab yourself a deal on the JTS-SIEM In Ear Monitor system or ask some of our expert colleagues to help you pick out another one. In ears are the future.