Kemper and In ear (EIM) questions

  • K- so now that I've totally soapboxed about the cheap sets...


    Take the feed from the FOH- and ask your friendly neighbourhood soundman nicely to give you a mix that works for you. You don't need to change anything on stage.


    Programmed 'boosts' shouldn't be so boosty that it hurts you. with IEMS you *want* to have a lower volume anyway. Protect your ears mate.

    Thats where i'm going with the question. I'm curious if what my "boost" was while using a monitor is going to be too much when plugged directly into my ears. I guess I can plug my headphones into my kemper and get an idea. As for volume, thats part of my whole goal. I'm tired of my ears ringing the next day after a gig. And we have pretty low stage volume for the most part.


    Your right on track I think with avoiding cheap sets. I have now talked myself out of getting the cheaper Galaxy 1100 (based on reviews) and will probably look at something like the Shure PSM 300. I'll "try" the earbuds that come with it but will still probably end up going to the Westones . My biggest concern with all this is if I end up not liking in ears in general...man I've spent alot of money!

  • My story:

    First molded in-ears in 2005, Ultimate Ears UE11pro, pretty expensive but the best investment I ever did. UE11pro had 4 drivers: two for low, one for mid and one for high.

    In 2011 I replaced the UE's with Cinepaq molded in-ears (local Dutch in-ear "manufacturer"), again with 4 drivers.

    Last november I replaced the Cinpaq's with universal Mackie in-ears MP240, did two gigs with them, but if you're accustomed to molded earpieces universal ones can't match with 'em. So yesterday I've been on a quest for new molded in-ears. A local dealer has Jerry Harvey and Cosmic Ears. Tried all the available models and ended up with Jerry Harvey JH11pro's, with 4-pin cable. Again, a 4-driver earpiece. They will be delivered a month from now.

  • How are you mixing a feed back from the FOH (I assume thats what desk is) and an output directly from the kemper?

    It's in the output section where you can mix the external signal from the desk with your guitar signal. It's called "Aux in -> Headphone" or something similar.

    I could have farted and it would have sounded good! (Brian Johnson)

  • Thanks but I'm a bit confused. How are you mixing a feed back from the FOH (I assume thats what desk is) and an output directly from the kemper?



    Then I'm going to try to save up for a set of Westone AM pro 30 ambient ear buds ($450) . 3 drivers plus the ability to still hear ambient sound (i.e. sound around you) so apparently it helps with the "isolation" issue. However, this whole business is looking like it will cost $1200 which is crazy expensive. Hence why I want to make sure that I have a good way of making sure I get a good signal from the Kemper and will like it. Alot of money to invest if I dont end up liking it.

    Personally I don;t do this. Just a mix from the desk including your guitar, job done. For me its better to hear my guitar in context than separate at all...


    I bought the Westone Pro30's, not the ambient ones though..I like my Westones so I think you've made a good choice.

  • It's in the output section where you can mix the external signal from the desk with your guitar signal. It's called "Aux in -> Headphone" or something similar.

    THanks for the advice. I will look at this. I also think that I may have another option with the Shure PSM 300 transmitter. It has stereo channels in. I am thinking I can maybe run a mix from the main FOH into one of the stereo inputs and the other from my monitor out on the Kemper. I have the ability to either do a mono mix from the Shure reciever (belt pack) or do stereo and try to mix my guitar in with a stereo effect into what the FOH is sending me. If I wanted to get even fancier I could get one of those Rolls PMS setups (or a mixer) and run my vocal mic and kemper into that...then send that mix into the Shure along with a FOH mix..and adjust my own vocal and guitar.


    Looks like there are options. (provided the Shure works how I think it will).

  • I use IEMs from time to time with OK results. Usually it involves a personal mixer like Aviom, MyMix or Behringer. One thing to consider if you are the only one with IEMs. If you eliminate your speaker, the other players will need some way to hear you. If they are not on IEMs, they'd need your guitar to be added to their monitors (whatever that may be) If you have some leakage of stage sound into your IEM's, your guitar, coming out of other's monitors would be out of time. It can cause interaction that will result in comb filtering - unless your IEM s have a good seal. Trial and error is the best way to wade through adopting a new stage setup. Oh, one more thing about IEMs. Don't give in to the temptation to have one earphone in and one out. If you are playing with anything other than very quiet stage volume, it will wreck your hearing. One ear will clamp down before the other = mess.

  • . My biggest concern with all this is if I end up not liking in ears in general...man I've spent alot of money!

    I guess the only other point here is...what other option do you have? IEMS are definately better than earplugs, so after that you have nowhere else to go except damaged ears...


    I would push yourself to get used to them as they are better than long term damage. When I get my IEM's right, I do wonder why I don't use them all the time. I would defo recommend for rehearsals as well, when you don't need audience interaction!


    Hope you settle with them.

  • I use IEMs from time to time with OK results. Usually it involves a personal mixer like Aviom, MyMix or Behringer. One thing to consider if you are the only one with IEMs. If you eliminate your speaker, the other players will need some way to hear you. If they are not on IEMs, they'd need your guitar to be added to their monitors (whatever that may be) If you have some leakage of stage sound into your IEM's, your guitar, coming out of other's monitors would be out of time. It can cause interaction that will result in comb filtering - unless your IEM s have a good seal. Trial and error is the best way to wade through adopting a new stage setup. Oh, one more thing about IEMs. Don't give in to the temptation to have one earphone in and one out. If you are playing with anything other than very quiet stage volume, it will wreck your hearing. One ear will clamp down before the other = mess.

    The keyboard player who is behind me is the only other player with IEM's. I would assume that yes, some of the others would now need my guitar in the monitor. Since I'm looking at the ambient Westones......this may be a concern. I would think that I would already notice something like this when you hear your guitar coming from the mains along with the monitor/amp? That doesnt seem to be a big deal...


    The ambient buds are hopefully what would keep me from doing the one ear in and one ear out thing.

  • I guess the only other point here is...what other option do you have? IEMS are definately better than earplugs, so after that you have nowhere else to go except damaged ears...


    I would push yourself to get used to them as they are better than long term damage. When I get my IEM's right, I do wonder why I don't use them all the time. I would defo recommend for rehearsals as well, when you don't need audience interaction!


    Hope you settle with them.

    Thanks. I am probably going to get a setup. Just waiting for some news on a new job to come through first.


    The only thing I'm questioning at this point is whether to go cheaper on the receiver/transmitter and more expensive on the ear buds. But I think the Shure PSM 300 and Westone am pro 30 is a good combo. All told around $1200.

  • I just looked up the PSM 300 since I have some older ones and wanted to see if they'd updated their frequency range. The chart below is from the Shure website.


    Frequency spectrums are continually being gobbled up by cellular and other wireless companies. The latest encroachment into the pro audio range was the recent allocation of the 600MHz range to cellular providers and perhaps other interests. The range below has already been encroached on in a similar manner years ago. The trend with wireless pro audio is to go to ever higher ranges as the lower ranges are stomped on by other industries.


    That's not to say that the PSM300 or other devices in this range won't work, but rather that you're putting yourself at significant risk by using frequency ranges that will be flooded with other devices. Conflicts == dropouts and other interference.


    But then, maybe you'll get lucky and play in bars where no one has a cell phone. :)

    G20 (488.150 – 511.850 MHz)
    H20 (518.200 – 541.800 MHz)
    J13 (566.175 – 589.850 MHz)
  • Thanks Chris. I checked on Shures website and it said that the G20 was what I should order as there were 15 bands available. Honestly I wasnt sure what that even meant. But I'm assuming that it means that there are 15 bands that are not yet used by other things.


    So...given that... Do you have a recommendation of a transmitter/reciever if you think the Shure may have issues?

  • I bought the EW300 as an upgrade to an LD systems MEI1000. It feels like a massive upgrade in terms of a stable signal and stereo positioning. Just something rock solid about this transmitter.


    I use Shure SE215s or 315s sometimes for in ears. Strangely enough the 215s sound better and you should be aware that in ears are all voiced differently.


    I can't speak for the PSM300, but a friend of mine has the PSM200 version and the signal was good. The mono thing is a big limitation though and it will make a full mix almost unusable.

  • Thanks Chris. I checked on Shures website and it said that the G20 was what I should order as there were 15 bands available. Honestly I wasnt sure what that even meant. But I'm assuming that it means that there are 15 bands that are not yet used by other things.


    So...given that... Do you have a recommendation of a transmitter/reciever if you think the Shure may have issues?

    The 15 bands means they offer 15 slices, e.g. 400 - 420, 421 - 440, etc. The being used by other things is honestly beyond their control.


    As for recommendations, that's a harder question to answer than I thought it would be.


    I have some of the PSM300s and also a PSM900. I've been having sporadic dropout problems with both in the studio, which is surprising since I live up by the horses and cows north of Atlanta. It's been driving me crazy because I can't seem to isolate the cause. I'm in a very sparse subdivision, so unless the local deer and coyotes are doing a lot of radio transmissions, I wouldn't have expected this. And yet, it's been a persistent problem, which is why I'm sensitive to the issue. If it's this much trouble in a fairly remote area, a busy metro bar sound like trouble waiting to happen.


    I just checked on the Shure site again, and they all run in the 400 - 500 range. I see that they've discontinued the 591 - 695 bands due to the recent 600 band acquisition. So perhaps they feel pushing downward from that is safer. Or maybe there's just nowhere else to go.


    The Sennheiser SR300 G3 looks to have a wider range with bands reaching into the 700s and 800s but Sweetwater shows them in the same 400 - 500 range, also the G4.


    All of which is to say, I just don't know. Wireless for live use is becoming an increasingly tricky proposition as all sorts of industries want to be wireless, and there's only so much bandwidth to go around.


    One of the reasons I'm watching this thread is that I'm trying to sort it out as well. You know, should anyone know of a silver bullet.

  • I use IEMs with the Kemper, but I still also run a powered wedge for guitar. Just to have some stage volume for getting feedback or if there’s any issues with the IEMs.


    The transmitter on my IEMs has two through inputs. So I take the main out from the Kemper to the input on the IEM, through to the board. Then I have the monitor mix from the board to the other input on the IEM. I can control the volume of each input in my ears, so my mix from the board has no guitar and I mix it myself.


    That way my guitar sounds just the way I want it. I don’t have to worry about whatever the sound guy does like changing gain or eq in the middle of the song. My guitar sound stays consistent all night. I figure the less I have to rely on the sound guy for a good monitor mix, the better.


    They do take some getting used to. I think the most important thing is to get them seated in your ear properly. You might need to play around with the different sizes and types of ear plugs to find the best fit and the amount of ambient bleed that you’re comfortable with. Even the expensive earbuds won’t sound good if they aren’t seated right.


    And be careful with the volume. You can damage your hearing just as easily (maybe easier) with IEMs as you can with loud speakers.

  • So perhaps they feel pushing downward from that is safer. Or maybe there's just nowhere else to go.

    I'm following up on my previous comments to correct some things I had wrong. I've spent some time today trying (again) to debug the random dropouts I get in the studio, and have been doing some reading on the FCC, band auctions, etc. I'm in the US, so your mileage may vary elsewhere.


    Pushing downward is in fact the correct direction to try to avoid the slices being auctioned off. Currently cellular providers are operating largely in the 800 and 700 range for 3/4G. As was widely publicized, 600 was auctioned off and cellular providers are starting to make use of that as well. So, this explains the 500 range for current pro audio wireless devices.


    My guitar wireless (Shure PGXD) operates in the 900 - 928 range, traditionally UHF, and I'm getting occasional dropouts from it. I have some older Shure IEMs that are in the 700 range. I wouldn't take them to gigs and expect adventures since that's now clearly on cellular turf. My PSM 900 IEMs are at 541. There may be older UHF phones nearby that are conflicting with the PGXD, that's the next theory I'm chasing.


    So, right now it looks like the 500 range is the place to be. That said, wireless is a moving target and I don't think there's any permanent safe haven.

  • So I ended up buying what I was planning. The Shure PSM 300 transmitter with "metal" belt pack (receiver) and a pair of Westone AM pro 30 ambient ear buds. 3 drivers in the buds. I am feeling pretty confident about the purchase but what I am not sure of is how much I am going to like relying on a sound man to give me a mix each night. I bought locally through a pro sound place and the guy recommended going with a mixer, etc to get my sound consistent each night. i.e. plugging in everyones mics, etc so "I" could get a consistent sound. Yeah right. I get it but lets get real. Part of my goal is to not have to spend a ton of time setting all this up each night.


    I'm giving serious debate to the Rolls personal monitor system so I could run at least my vocal mic and Kemper monitor out into that (and then a line out to one stereo side of my Shure transmitter) so I could have "more me" available. Then having the sound guy send me a mix from the board for the other stereo input. I could have him put what I need of everyone else in that and then adjust myself with the Rolls.


    Anyway....plunge taken.

  • Nice one, see how you get on.


    I found generally no issue with the sound man setting my mix ( once its done, no need to change it mid gig).


    It takes time to get used to it as well so please persevere for a few gigs...I used mine again on Sat and pulled them out a couple of times for comparison...they went straight back in as the mix was so much better than on stage!!

  • My band has made the switch to IEM and it’s been so much better. We both use Kempers and our bassist uses a Darkglass preamp with a direct out. We place a room mic near the snare and trigger the kicks. Our drummer has a Roland trigger pad with our click tracks loaded; so we all get a click, kicks, and snare/hi hat (plus symbol bleed; and depending on how high I mix that mic, I can hear talking on stage between songs) After a few shows we were all able to dial in our own individual mixes using the Zoom Livetrack L20. It also is an audio interface; so we get crystal clear live recordings, which is great for assessing our rehearsals and live shows. Everything is racked with a FOH snake so our setup time is a breeze. I work with the sound guy while our drummer sets up his kit.

    We don’t use any stage monitors, but have brought back our cabs to push a very reasonable level of sound for the people up front. This was a complaint we got when playing with zero stage volume. We are now a much tighter band and no longer deal with ringing ears or nasty feedback.

    I went to the local hunting/outdoors store and bought some 2 part diy ear molds from there. You basically mix the two ingredients until it’s like silly puddy, and shove it in your ears. After a few minutes, as it starts to harden, I pressed my in-ears into the molds (with a piece of cotton in the sound hole). After they fully set up: I took a small drill bit and followed the angle of the sound hole to allow the sound to escape. It cost me around $10 and I have excellent isolation. This allows me to hear perfectly without needing to turn up my body pack more than 25-30%. They have held up for over 2 years since I made them.