IEM Help and advice needed

  • Let me start by saying, this has nothing at all to do with the Kemper, when I plug my IEM’s into the earphone jack, it sounds beautiful! Clean, crunch and high gain tones are absolutely perfect…
    1) My tone sounds great through FOH… Clean, crunch and high gain tones are perfect
    2) Allen and Heath iLive T-112 with twin iDR-48 Mixracks, Allen and Heath ME1 personal monitor mixer.
    3) My signal goes out of the KPA - XLR master mono (-20db) to sound board, then back to my ME1 Into my ears. My IEM’s are Ultimate ears UE7’s...
    4) My tone seems pretty good although the clean sounds are much better than the dirty crunch/ high gain tones but it gets worse as more instruments are introduced into the mix… My tone becomes very mushy and my gain tones have too much gain, if that makes sense…I have tried panning instruments, and keeping my guitar in the center, I am wondering if I need to have a stereo mix of my guitar to make it sound proper? My low gain tones and medium gain tones and high gain tones are all almost no discernable difference in my ears . It’s not a question of too much presence or high frequencies as much as it feels and sounds like an over-abundance of gain.
    5) we have veteran sound guys who know what they are doing and I am not clipping or hitting the board with too much of a hot signal…
    6) I am using the best profiles that I can find, Berts Friedman pack, Guido’s Bogner pack, Guido’s SolDano SLO pack…
    7) My guitars are are set up properly, I use Seymour Duncan pick ups, they are not too close to the strings…
    The building is a theatre-like hall that seats 1500 people, I am getting so displeased with my tone that I find it difficult to even play anymore, it is so discouraging and I don’t know what to do or try anymore. I get many compliments on my tone and I know it’s good through FOH, but what I am hearing in my ears is total and absolute garbage/crap, completely UNinspiring, which is so sad because like most of us, I play to my tone… If my tone sucks, my playing will be very poor…
    I don’t understand how professional artists can play to this, there is something wrong, I just can’t find it.
    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  • I’m in the exact same boat as you on this. Unfortunately I haven’t found the answer. What suspect is a big issue is the overall stage volume and even FOH volume. I have found at band practice that if I am in a separate room from the drum kit and whole band is on IEM with no guitar/bass cabs it sounds decent. When playing a gig with loud PA and no amps on stage, just drum kit with whole band on IEM’s my guitar sounds terrible. Unfortunately I am probably giving up on IEM’s for gigs and only using it for rehearsals. I’d rather have a more inspiring tone to play on and not have as good of overall mix than have have a crappy uninspiring tone to play on which impacts how well I play.

  • There is a thread on here about that exact problem with IEM's and an M1, just do a search. I run mine from the in mono from the KPA XLR out to FOH. I receive the FOH send into my transmitter and normally have the sound man adjust the EQ with and roll back the high end. Been like that for a year and will never go back to a FRFR cab.

  • Hi Doc, they tell me that it’s not hitting the ME1too hard, but something is certainly happening between my XLR out of the kemper back to the soundboard in my feed into the ME1…
    I just got to figure out what it is… I don’t think the signal can be too hot because my clean sounds are perfect, they are not distorted at all, it’s just that my gain sounds are way too much gain, for example, if I have my gain set at 3, it feels and sounds in my ears like it’s at 5-6. all of my gain sounds, sound the same…

  • On my last gig I had a really great sound dialed in and all of a sudden everything got louder including my guitar and it sounded awefull. The solution was that the FOH guy feeded me everything in as well... 8|

    When I started with IEM I also wondered what the real pro guys hear in their IEM and if they are satisfied. I asked a friend of mine who plays in a a very famous band - besides other projects. He confirmed that even in the major league it's not a real "sounds-like-the-record" sound...

    When you look at the signal path starting from your ear there are a lot gain stages:
    Bodypack volume > Transmitter volume > Channelvolume of your M1 > the total Mix volume of the M1 > the digital signal coming from your mixer into the M1 > the volume you feed the mixer, hec the volume coming from the Kemper... so 6 gain stages equals 6 times trouble!
    I assume you listened to your Kemper sound out of the headphone jack with your dedicated inear, right? And it sounds great, I assume as well?

  • Thanks Doc…
    Yes, when I put my IEM’s into headphone jack, and listen, my world is wonderful, LOL
    I just got this Rolls Mini Mixer shipped to me so I am going to try it this week at rehearsal, it allows me to take a feed directly from the KPA and then mix in the ME1 feed.
    I will just make sure my guitar is completely out of the ME1 feed, hopefully this should help as it will get rid of all those gain stages you speak of

  • Thanks Doc…
    Yes, when I put my IEM’s into headphone jack, and listen, my world is wonderful, LOL
    I just got this Rolls Mini Mixer shipped to me so I am going to try it this week at rehearsal, it allows me to take a feed directly from the KPA and then mix in the ME1 feed.
    I will just make sure my guitar is completely out of the ME1 feed, hopefully this should help as it will get rid of all those gain stages you speak of

    Then we expect a report, please! :):thumbsup: Good luck!

  • Just a thought, i have one of these, you could go from your kemper into this mixer, send to the board and run your headphones direct from this. If you want to try it i have one here at the house i can send you to try, if you like it just send it back and buy one of your own.Ther are cheap liike $120 a very trusted sound guy i know recommmeneded it to me and i love it.…-Professional-FX-Mixer.gc

  • You can do this without the external mixer. Plug the feed from the monitor desk (minus your guitar signal) into the aux Input on the Kemper. Then plug your IEMs into the headphone jack of the Kemper. Then in the output menu you can blend in the signal from the monitor desk. That way you get a good clean guitar signal and blend in the rest of the band.

  • Wow, thank you bro… That is so nice of you, how would this unit be able to work with the Allen and Heath ME1?

    Oh no problem at all Bro!
    To be honest i think you have way more experience than i do with this. I was thinking you could use it to send a signal from the Kemper to the mixer then mixer to FOH and you could also run your headphones out from the same mixer, i thought it might remove a piece of equip from the signal chain.
    the way i understand it is right now you go from kemper-->FOH mixer/soundboard-->your mixer Me1-->IEM
    with this way hopefully it would work like this
    Kemper-->profx mixer---FOH
    ---------------- off same profx mixer would go to your IEM
    I think that would work, i run my kemper from the main out to the xlr mic inputs on the mixer, and run the main outs form the mixers to my monitors, but those could be ran to the FOH, then you could run you IMe from the sam mixer that you ran the kemper to it also has a mono out and someohter inputs and outputs for tape and such. Or Joptones idea my be alot easier...i tend to overthink things, howver the offer is there. i don't mind at all sending it to you if you wan to try it out. You shold still have my email.

    I think that ROLLS might do the same thing though,

  • How loud are your IEMs overall when all instruments are present? Are you cranking anything in the chain? The fact that your guitar by itself sounds good, but the sound deteriorates as more stuff is added makes me feel like you are driving something in the signal chain too hard, or something is faulty.

    Do the added instruments start to sound crappy as well?

    I use dual driver customs and the clarity is almost too analytical. I can hear every strum and drum hit, and slightly flat vocal and it almost makes us scrutinize our playing too much. I often pull my monitors loose just to get some room sound.

  • The IEM sound is very sterile compared to how you've heard things your whole life with natural reverbs, ambient noises etc.. It takes some adjustment time to get used to and does depend a lot on the quality of the sounds that are being sent to the IEMs.

    If you get great guitar tones direct from your KPA then add in dry vocals and other instruments that are direct feeds from the monitor board, it doesn't sound natural and uninspiring to play with. At the church where I play we've added in some reverbs to each vocal and a few instruments to make the IEM feed sound more natural. It's not perfect but a good step in the right direction.

    For sound quality, the more instruments you add into the mix, the harder it is for the IEM drivers to handle everything. That's why they are now up to 13 and 17 drivers per ear which is pretty crazy!! So you can expect some compromise in sound quality with more instruments and vocals being added in.

    Not sure if any of this helps but it takes some time and work to get the IEM feeds sounding good for everyone.