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in ears for one show?

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My band (alt rock type stuff) just scored a gig to do a private party for 3,000 at the Chicago Theatre. The company doing sound said they'd set us up w/in-ear monitors if we want. The stage is huge and it seems like a good iea, but we've never used 'em. We should get a good soundcheck but we're not sure yet. Are the in-ears easy to get used to? Anything else we should know about using them? Thanks!
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IEMs have gotten a bad rap at times. I don't feel there is any "cheap" way to get great results.


We use in ear monitors at our church. We love them but we also have 3 Soundcraft monitor consoles that in total generate 18 individual stereo mixes. I designed the system and found it crucial(after doing it the lesser way first) each person has there on mix and that the mixes are in stereo(especially if the band is over 8 people). Also, room mics are nice so the musicians can "connect" to the crowd. A nice verb for the in ears comes in handy. Your drummer may complain he/she doesn't get the "feel" from IEMs. Many drummers are using a "butt shaker" on their throne to compensate. I'm the drummer in our band and I'm fine without it.


*The most important thing* is your band is comfortable using IEMs. They are quite intrusive. We have used them for over a year and would never go back. Setup properly you will be able to hear better than you ever have before. Definitely get a good sound check.


You might ask them the following questions:


1)How many mixes do they run?


2)Are they mixing in stereo?


3)Do they have a monitor engineer?


4)Which IEMs do they provide? (Shure, etc...)


5)If they are Shures which earpiece do they provide, E-1s or E5s? (E-5s are dual transducer and sound much better.)


6)Can we get a good long sound check maybe even a day early?


Our system may seem excessive however there is nothing worse than trying to perform and not being able to hear naturally. Hopefully even if they don't have individual mixes they mix in stereo. We are not used to hearing music(mono IEM mixes) in the middle of our heads 20db down with things stuck in our ears. If they mix in stereo and provide an engineer I feel sure you can attain satisfactory results even with just "one mix fits all". We have 14 in our band and it's a little more difficult to strike a winning balance. We had a few people sharing mixes until a couple of months ago. We were having problems. We added the third board and gave them their own mix. Now everything is great.


There is likely a difference in opinions on this subject. This is just the way we have chosen to do it. Our setup is a little different. All of our instruments, except sax and perc, are all run direct. This includes the V-drums. We have no amps on stage for reinforcement. The FOH engineer loves this as he has total control of the outcome. We also use an EAW 5.1 LCR setup live and mix in surround using a Lexicon 480L. So it is definitely unique. Control is mandatory. The results are unbelievable!


E-mail me and I will give you my phone number if you need anything else. Good luck!




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