IEM just for the click (now with 1st live performance vid!)

JimmyBee

Junior Member
Hi all. Newbie here so please move this thread if I've posted in wrong place.

I'm a novice drummer, and have got together with a few mates for a regular jam session at local studio. We've got our 1st public 'outing' in a couple of weeks at a local open mic night, then at a small family birthday party in October.

I take regular drum lessons and always play to a metronome when in the studio. The other guys use a mixture of amps and the studio's PA, but we don't really know what we're doing with the huge 32 track mixing desk in the studio room. Just use that for volume control of the PA. No-one has IEM or really wants it at our level (I think). Think 4 older blokes just jamming or maybe in future doing a few sing along numbers in a pub.

When we first started in Jan I used to wear over the ear headphones (Shure SRH840's from my V-Drum kit) plus Alpine musicsafe pro in-ear protection plugs with a small mixer - inputs were the metronome for a click and a separate cheap mic in the room picking up 'general' sound. The mic was taped to a spare cymbal stand and aimed at who i wanted to hear most. The mixer & metronome were placed on a homemade shelf attached to my sheet music stand where i could reach them. I'm not confident enough yet to lose the music stand (hopefully no shame in that!) as i print out the songs with my prompts scribbled on the sheets as some comfort.

More recently I decided to invest in some ACS moulded ear protection (non - IEM) which meant i could lose the over-ear cans and just 'watch' the metronome needle sweep for a general timing check during playing. So i could also lose the small mixer and 'my' studio mic. I've been trying to wean myself off spending too much time looking left and down at the sweep of the metronome but that's not working (on review of our video of the sessions I'm looking at the metronome like 75% of the time and not facing forwards / engaging in the other band members etc.

So, in order to get a click back in my ears I recently picked up Westone UM Pro 10 IEM's (£139) but got home and haven't opened the box yet as I'm now doubting if I've done the right thing.

If i open the box and try them only to find they cut out everything (my ACS plugs dB cut by something like 25dB but still let some noise through) I guess I'll need to bring back my small mixer and 'band' input (plus click of course) so I can hear them ok. Does that sound sensible? I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm going from ACS Moulded ear protection and watching the sweep of the metronome needle (and being able to hear the band albeit a bit muffled) to full on IEM, and needing to pump the band into the small mixer, i guess with a separate mic in the studio again. I dont think we're all going to run through the massive mixing desk.

Sorry for the long winded post, as I say I'm just a novice but desperate in everything I do to play to time and have fun!

Any help most appreciated . Cheers

James
 

davor

Senior Member
Hi James, this seems almost like the flip-side of my earlier post today...talking about varying tempos and worrying about playing in time/on beat/right tempo etc etc

Have you recorded your band to check back and listen to how in time you're actually playing? You might find you (and the others) have fairly solid time anyway, in which case all the IEM stuff is just a distraction. It might be getting in the way of the 'fun' aspect of playing

Sorry that won't help with the technical nature of your post! More experienced drummers on here (I'm yet to play my first live gig!) may well tell you otherwise and advise on what your actually asking about the gear etc etc!
 
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trickg

Silver Member
James, I have three pieces of gear, and patch cables to connect it all:

1.) ART HeadTap - $64
- $33
2.) Behringer Powerplay P2 personal Monitor
Image result for behringer Powerplay P2


3.) Yamaha Clickstation - No longer sold.
Image result for Yamaha Clickstation


Each piece of gear has it's uses and helps to serve for when I need to do two things:

1.) get an in-ears feed from somewhere
2.) utilize a click

The ART HeadTap allows me to take an amplified signal, such as a signal that you might get for a passive floor wedge, and you can plug right in an use it - it attenuates the signal down to something that you can actually use. From there, I patch it to the Behringer P2 - mainly to protect my ears from sound spikes because it has a built in limiter. From there I can patch to the Yamaha Clickstation which has a 1/4" Aux input, and I run headphones out of that.

The one advantage the HeadTap has is that you can daisy chain from another floor wedge and pass through to another wedge. I've used the HeadTap on its own - you don't "need" to pass it through to the Behringer P2, just know that there isn't any onboard limiting that will protect your ears from feedback and spikes. I've used it on its own a number of times, but always with a slight risk.

This brings us to the Behringer Powerplay P2. As long as you have a line-level monitor feed, run that in, run it out from the headphone jack and into the input of the Yamaha Clickstation.

Which brings us to the Yamaha Clickstation. This is the setup I use to get a monitor feed to my in-ears, and a metronome click - I've been using this setup for quite a while. I built my first IEM board (a bit more complicated than the setup I currently use, but it still incorporated the Clickstation) back around 2008 or 2009, so roughly 10 years.

A person can use other metronomes, but it complicates things because although most other metronomes allow you to use headphones, only a few allow for an aux-in pass-through, so you have to put the click in a different place in the chain, so you'd need a mixer.

Rock On Audio makes a cool little piece call the Tasty Blender V2 which would be just about perfect for this application. You can take any kind of a signal for your monitor mix (provided you can convert it to 1/4") and allows you to also mix in 1 or 2 other things (line from the headphone out of any electronic metronome such as a Tama Rhytm watch) and mix the levels for your output to heaphones, and it has onboard limiting to protect your ears. I've always wanted to get one, but don't want to spring for the $200 they cost.


Good luck with it!
 

JimmyBee

Junior Member
Hi James, this seems almost like the flip-side of my earlier post today...talking about varying tempos and worrying about playing in time/on beat/right tempo etc etc

Have you recorded your band to check back and listen to how in time you're actually playing? You might find you (and the others) have fairly solid time anyway, in which case all the IEM stuff is just a distraction. It might be getting in the way of the 'fun' aspect of playing

Sorry that won't help with the technical nature of your post! More experienced drummers on here (I'm yet to play my first live gig!) may well tell you otherwise and advise on what your actually asking about the gear etc etc!

Really good point, thank you. Totally get it, the fun point, but I'm pretty sure without some sort of click we will end up racing ahead - especially at the first gig where hearts will no doubt be pounding and tempo will almost certainly creep without. I think the IEM is the best way for me to get a click in my ears - even if i just plug it directly into my metronome without any other feeds to begin with.....

The attenuation of these Westone UM Pro 10's is rated at the same as my ACS moulded ear protection (non-IEM) - circa 25dB so at the moment i get a slightly muffled sound at the moment anyway and would expect to experience something similar with the IEMs in..... just with added benefit of a click.
 

JimmyBee

Junior Member
James, I have three pieces of gear, and patch cables to connect it all:

1.) ART HeadTap - $64
- $33
2.) Behringer Powerplay P2 personal Monitor
Image result for behringer Powerplay P2


3.) Yamaha Clickstation - No longer sold.
Image result for Yamaha Clickstation


Each piece of gear has it's uses and helps to serve for when I need to do two things:

1.) get an in-ears feed from somewhere
2.) utilize a click

The ART HeadTap allows me to take an amplified signal, such as a signal that you might get for a passive floor wedge, and you can plug right in an use it - it attenuates the signal down to something that you can actually use. From there, I patch it to the Behringer P2 - mainly to protect my ears from sound spikes because it has a built in limiter. From there I can patch to the Yamaha Clickstation which has a 1/4" Aux input, and I run headphones out of that.

The one advantage the HeadTap has is that you can daisy chain from another floor wedge and pass through to another wedge. I've used the HeadTap on its own - you don't "need" to pass it through to the Behringer P2, just know that there isn't any onboard limiting that will protect your ears from feedback and spikes. I've used it on its own a number of times, but always with a slight risk.

This brings us to the Behringer Powerplay P2. As long as you have a line-level monitor feed, run that in, run it out from the headphone jack and into the input of the Yamaha Clickstation.

Which brings us to the Yamaha Clickstation. This is the setup I use to get a monitor feed to my in-ears, and a metronome click - I've been using this setup for quite a while. I built my first IEM board (a bit more complicated than the setup I currently use, but it still incorporated the Clickstation) back around 2008 or 2009, so roughly 10 years.

A person can use other metronomes, but it complicates things because although most other metronomes allow you to use headphones, only a few allow for an aux-in pass-through, so you have to put the click in a different place in the chain, so you'd need a mixer.

Rock On Audio makes a cool little piece call the Tasty Blender V2 which would be just about perfect for this application. You can take any kind of a signal for your monitor mix (provided you can convert it to 1/4") and allows you to also mix in 1 or 2 other things (line from the headphone out of any electronic metronome such as a Tama Rhytm watch) and mix the levels for your output to heaphones, and it has onboard limiting to protect your ears. I've always wanted to get one, but don't want to spring for the $200 they cost.


Good luck with it!
thank you very much for this in depth post, most interesting.

To your points:

1.) get an in-ears feed from somewhere
2.) utilize a click

The ART HeadTap allows me to take an amplified signal, such as a signal that you might get for a passive floor wedge, and you can plug right in an use it



At the moment my dilemma is we dont have point 1.) get an in-ears feed from somewhere as we're miles off using floor wedges / monitors / main mixing desks etc etc. My metronome id a Boss DB90 (not sure if you're familiar with that) which I'm not sure has an aux-in pass-through. I guess I'm going to have to try the IEM's directly connected to my Boss and see how I get on to begin with. The back up plan I guess will be to bring back my small mixer and add some type of general/ambient mic to try and capture some of the general band sounds to add to the muffled sounds I no doubt will be hearing without.

But your post I found really interesting and useful.

Pic below of how it used to be......inputs to mixer from click and crappy mic in studio taped to old cymbal stand :)





home made shelf.JPG
 

dboomer

Senior Member
First, I don't think any custom molded plugs cut the overall sound by more than 25dB. I have Ultimate Ears 18s and sometimes I just use them with nothing plugged in. In a rock situation I usually don’t have a problem hearing enough to play. Of couse everything cuts highs much more than lows so the sound quality isn’t great.

But for a better experience I use a small Rolls headphone amp that has both a mic and a line input. The biggest difficulty using the earpieces is I cannot hear bandmates. So I stick an omni mic in one side of the headphone amp and then bring in the board to the other. So you could bring the click into the line input if that's all you want or a mix from the board with the click in it if you have a spare mix.

Frankly, I would rather have a visual click than a click in the ear. Unless you are very skilled in playing to a click you will be constantly trying to catch up or slow down and that will sound worse than just the natural flow. YMMV

 

JimmyBee

Junior Member
thanks for your reply - forgive my ignorance here.

totally agree with your first paragraph. probably like you i can still hear ok-ish with the custom moulded plugs in - certainly good enough to play. i never considered you can get custom moulded IEMs and not have to plug them in to anything!

you lost me on your second paragraph I'm afraid. sorry :-(

your third paragraph raises a very interesting point, and i totally understand it. My issue with a visual click is I'm almost constantly looking down at the visual click as opposed to anything else or engaging with the band / potential audience. Hence my thought process to get the click up into my ears.
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I use a Tamagotchi's Rhythm Watch wired to a small 5 channel Yamaha Mixer. Click goes on one channel and I take a direct feed of the band on a 2nd channel. Simple, easy, works great!
 

JimmyBee

Junior Member
Thank you.
So, first public outing the Thurs at the local social club open mic night... have used the IEMs in practice now, just connected to the metronome for now. i guess if it's all too muffled i can yank one IEM out during the song.
 

trickg

Silver Member
Thank you.
So, first public outing the Thurs at the local social club open mic night... have used the IEMs in practice now, just connected to the metronome for now. i guess if it's all too muffled i can yank one IEM out during the song.
The only thing I'd caution if you do that is that you run the risk of coming off of the click, particularly if your band mates are not great at holding time. I was trying to use a click with my church band this week, although I was running the mix through the Clickstation, like I'd mentioned above, so I could hear the band in my in-ears too.

This worked fine on Thursday night - we held time and tempo really well. Sunday morning? I ended up ditching it except for on the last song - they WOULD NOT stay with me during the rehearsal, and so I decided to not use it during the service. As an example, for this one tune, every time we'd come back to the click, I'd start hammering the time, and still, they wanted to push the time. That particular tune was fairly slow at 80 bpm, and it was really big in parts, so I can understand why they wanted to push, but it was frustrating for me.

Just keep that in mind - besides, sometimes I think it's better to let the time breathe than to try to force it to hold where it doesn't necessarily want to stay in the context of the moment.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
I've been playing around with an app called Beat Mirror: BPM Detect that will give you a lead in click (2-16 notes, your choice) and then after that it displays the current tempo of whatever music is playing. For me it's a little cumbersome to use in shows and rehearsals to have to set tempos before every song and deal with a piece of technology. What I do though is use the app to practice counting in the songs and then play through a minute of the song in my personal practice. Having a confident count-in and solid first few measures does a whole lot of good.

I wouldn't worry so much about what tempos happen at your first gig though that much. You're going to play 100's, maybe 1000's of shows if you stick to this craft and you'll look back at your first gig fondly no matter what happens. For me, it's a risk scenario and I would say not using a click is lower risk proposition because if you get off the click in the show and can't real it back in the opportunity of a train-wreck of epic proportions exist. So do please video the show. :)
 

JimmyBee

Junior Member
thanks guys - really interesting both posts above. now I'm really not sure what to do... might see if we can get in really early tomorrow eve and do a quick 'sound check' with the guys to see if i can hear them reasonably well
totally understand the 'let the time breathe' and not worry so much about the tempo comments in particular. i just know heart beats will be up and I want to at least try to keep to some order of time.... but mainly try and enjoy it!!
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
I use shure se215 to run a click, and I hear the band just fine. Granted I've always used earplugs prior to getting the 215s, so there wasn't an difference if the sounds I was hearing from the band only now theres the click in there too.
 

trickg

Silver Member
thanks guys - really interesting both posts above. now I'm really not sure what to do... might see if we can get in really early tomorrow eve and do a quick 'sound check' with the guys to see if i can hear them reasonably well
totally understand the 'let the time breathe' and not worry so much about the tempo comments in particular. i just know heart beats will be up and I want to at least try to keep to some order of time.... but mainly try and enjoy it!!
I've heard bands who take off like they're in a race when things get exciting and energetic on a live performance. Just be prepared to turn off the click if things get out of hand on a tune. It's likely that the only one who will know is you.

I did an event a number of years back where I played a praise band thing with a pickup band - minimal rehearsal - at a community outreach event. We started this song off using a click, but it just wasn't holding, so you can see I ditch one of my in-ears and shut off the click at about the 50-55 second mark on this video - I decided that because things were starting to get a bit disjointed and we weren't collectively sticking to it, that it would be better to just let this song breathe. The electric guitarist here uses a lot of tap-tempo effects, so he really likes playing to a click, hence the reason we were using it to begin with. (I've actually got very little of me playing drums on video - some is ok, some is...well, this was 7 years ago so... I'd like to think I've improved some since then.)


In any case, if you fall off of the click for a song, no big deal - just shut it off (or else it will drive you crazy trying to reconcile it with the band while while you are playing) and try again on the next tune.
 

JimmyBee

Junior Member
Thanks for all the advice. Went well last night - made the decision to go with the IEM's just connected to the metronome. Worked well, although I had to stop/start the click a couple of times as we all drifted a bit and I found it easier to do that than try and bring it back. It's a skill I need to learn, but we did both songs pretty much in time despite the first gig nerves!
Will try and link to a video soon.
Cheers
 

KEEF

Senior Member
My two penneth - Do not worry about your westones "muting " the rest of your band too much - you will actually be glad of the decibel reduction. It will take a little getting used to, but protects your hearing long term and you cannot put a price on that.
As for the click - my suggestion would be don't use it. A click is EXACT.....newbies on a first gig inevitably won't be! Keeping to a click is a skill that needs to be learnt to a point where it is second nature - until then it is more hinderance than help.
More important is to make sure you start your songs off at the correct tempo - use a visual tempo app or similar to make sure your count in is good -and then just play the song keeping to that tempo to the best of your ability - no one is going to care if the tempo wavers slightly. Play with energy and enthusiasm and just enjoy playing live! Don't stress over keeping EXACT time.
Hope the gig goes well!!
 

KEEF

Senior Member
2.) Behringer Powerplay P2 personal Monitor
Image result for behringer Powerplay P2

This brings us to the Behringer Powerplay P2. As long as you have a line-level monitor feed, run that in, run it out from the headphone jack and into the input of the Yamaha Clickstation.



Trick - does this work directly from an aux out send ( without the head tap bit)? As a passive unit is it effectively just a volume control??
Thanks in advance
 

Durbs

Senior Member
I'd say a pub singalong band using a click is pretty rare. I'd go even further and say you should actively practise without a click to see if you do speed up/slow down... The exception being if you're using backing tracks which I don't think you are.

Playing live to a drunken audience - the only people speeding up will matter to is you. Even if you DO speed up, it's generally always worse if you either rein the tempo in and slow it down again, or have a couple of duff bars as you try and re-sync to a click.

Think there's an app called "LiveBPM" which does what it says on the tin - tells you what tempo you're playing - so you can watch it and try and control it - personally I'd focus on playing a solid groove and making yourself the metronome for the band, not relying on one.
 

trickg

Silver Member
2.) Behringer Powerplay P2 personal Monitor

This brings us to the Behringer Powerplay P2. As long as you have a line-level monitor feed, run that in, run it out from the headphone jack and into the input of the Yamaha Clickstation.
Trick - does this work directly from an aux out send ( without the head tap bit)? As a passive unit is it effectively just a volume control??
Thanks in advance
As long as it's a non-amplified signal, it's basically a volume control with built-in limiter. It's not exactly passive - it runs on two AAA batteries, so you get a gentle amplification of the input signal.

I've been thinking about changing my setup a bit though to deal with the fact that once my Clickstation dies for good (it's starting to have some minor issues) I'll need to employ a new click source. I like the looks of the new Tama Rhythm Watch, which is considerably less expensive than the Boss Doctor Beat DB90, but doesn't have aux-in capabilities. For that, I'll get some kind of inexpensive 2 channel mixer such as the Rolls PM351.
 

JimmyBee

Junior Member
Really useful comments guys - thank you

Here's a clip of the night itself - go easy on me - never picked a drum stick up 16 months ago..!

Sorry the video's dark and picking up background chatter.


 
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