In ear monitoring is a relatively new technology, but it quickly became an essential piece of equipment for touring acts. While it was introduced in the 80s, in the last decade, the technology has gotten cheaper, resulting in more artists using them on-stage. If you have never used them before, you are probably wondering how do in ear monitors work.
In ear monitors are a two-part system that is made up of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter is usually a half-rack that wirelessly transfers the monitor mix using the radio. The receiver is the size of a mobile phone worn by the musician in a belt pack. This receiver then amplifies the signal and sends it to the earpiece.
The input in the transmitter comes through a monitor mixer from the stage box that splits the output into two: one for the in-ear monitoring and the other for the front of the house. You can think of it like using your phone to play music through a bluetooth speaker. Your phone (the transmitter) sends audio wirelessly to the bluetooth speaker (the receiver).
Only in this case the audio will pass through a mixer before continuing onward into the earpiece.
For a simple setup, you will send all your mics and instruments into the mixer. From there, you will assign an output to each one so that the parts can be listened to individually. The outputs will then come out of the mixer where they will be connected to your wireless transmitter. The transmitter will then send the audio into your belt pack and ultimately your earpiece
In ear monitors can make you feel isolated till you get well acquainted with it. So it is mandatory that you constantly use it during your performances. This is not a drawback as most professionals gain comfort from their very first use.
Seen as an expense to some, but the reality is that in ear monitors actually can help you perform better. Here is how they benefit you :
- Freedom of movement on stage
- Personal and direct control over what you are hearing
- Sound-isolation cuts out other noises
- Delivers studio-quality sound on the stage
- Helps reduce unnecessary vocal strain
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