In-Ear Monitoring set-up for practice?

RichFaulk

Active Member
I practice in a small space with block walls and am really starting to notice its not good for my ears. Lately when I go to bed after a couple hours of practice my ears are ringing. I've started wearing ear muffs sometimes and I notice I actually seem to play better with them on. Everything feels tighter and my ears aren't distracted by all the sounds bouncing around. This is leading me to the conclusion I just need to get a mic/mixer set-up and start using in-ear monitoring.

I'm thinking something like Behringer BC1200 Professional 7-piece Drum Microphone Set. It goes for $129 on Sweetwater which seems ridiculously low. Is it worth investing in better mics when they are going to be for personal practice monitoring only or does this budget set fill that role fine? I still need cables, mixer, amp and earphones as well. I'm guessing around $500 all in?

Any tips or advice would be appreciated.
 

organworthyplayer337

Active Member
$500 can be on the lowest end, depending on how you buy (used vs new).

I would suggest investing in picking up 2-3 mics, instead of buying the whole kit. Now, you would end up spending more than $129, but at least you have a couple good mics that you can still use if you decide to upgrade your set up.

Shure mics are a great option (SM57, Shure Beta52, etc). Ideally, a kick mic and overhead are the only essentials for just starting up. Unless you want to, close mics on toms aren’t exactly necessary.

For in ears monitors, I like the Shure 215s for a start. I started with them and still use them to this day even though I have “better options” at my disposal. They have held up real well over several years.

And depending on how many mics you want, you can get a small 4 channel mixer, or more channels so you can also plug an audio device and play with music. Behringer and Yamaha make good small mixers. I would check them out.

If you’re plugging directly into the mixer headphone output, you shouldn’t need an amp. They should be able to drive in ears pretty sufficiently.
 

WuHan Solo

Active Member
First off, good on you for addressing the situation immediately. That ringing you're hearing after practice can and will stay with you for the rest of your life if it's not already too late. Hearing is something that doesn't heal when damaged, so it's important to protect it at all costs.
That said.......

when they are going to be for personal practice monitoring only
That seems like a lot of money and hassle just to pump the same sound coming from your drums back into your ears at a lower volume, especially if you are intending on using it for practice monitoring only and not to record.

Why not invest in some descent hearing protection instead?
 

Tony_H

Active Member
I agree with WuHan on this. I do have my drums mic'd up for practice at home. But I moved over to mics because the entire band uses IEMs on stage and we push drums through the PA if/when needed, but more importantly I like to hear a little bit of my drums through my mix.

Investing in some decent hearing protection would be far cheaper at this point. I use a set of Etymotic plugs when we have band rehearsal as we just run amps and a small stick PA for vocals. If you are playing against block walls, you may need a little more hearing protection than the 19/20dB protection of ear plugs.
 

RichFaulk

Active Member
Thanks for the replies guys. After looking up Etymotic earplugs that seems exactly like what I am looking for: "ETYPlugs High Fidelity Earplugs use a proprietary tuned resonator and acoustic resistor to replicate the natural response of the ear canal. Sound is reproduced unchanged, as the ear would hear it, only quieter. They reduce most noise to safe levels while preserving the lucidity of sounds."

I'm going to order these today I think. Thanks Tony!
 

Tony_H

Active Member
Thanks for the replies guys. After looking up Etymotic earplugs that seems exactly like what I am looking for: "ETYPlugs High Fidelity Earplugs use a proprietary tuned resonator and acoustic resistor to replicate the natural response of the ear canal. Sound is reproduced unchanged, as the ear would hear it, only quieter. They reduce most noise to safe levels while preserving the lucidity of sounds."

I'm going to order these today I think. Thanks Tony!
I have been using them for drumming and as a patron of concerts for the better part of 15 years. I can't speak for other brands/models that employ the same technology, but their claim to reproducing a natural sound is "pretty" close. Keep in mind they only provide around a 19 decibel reduction in sound. So I would never use them for stuff like shooting or very high volume situations. (y)
 

RichFaulk

Active Member
I have been using them for drumming and as a patron of concerts for the better part of 15 years. I can't speak for other brands/models that employ the same technology, but their claim to reproducing a natural sound is "pretty" close. Keep in mind they only provide around a 19 decibel reduction in sound. So I would never use them for stuff like shooting or very high volume situations. (y)
That's probably going to be perfect for me. The muffs I'm using now (big old can style) are for shooting and I think they are rated for 30db reduction. They take out too much volume so 20db or so should be ideal.
 

BGDurham

Well-known Member
I think you would also benefit from some sound absorption in your practice space. I bought six of these blankets and hung them over the windows in my band's practice space (my home's bonus room) and also draped one over each of the upright halves of my ping pong table, which is also in the room. The blankets did a great job reducing the sound waves bouncing around the room from all the instruments, not just the drums. I also wear Etymotic earplugs or IEMs and my ears feel great! Maybe you can get a few of the blankets and hang them around your space too.


 

Mr Farkle

Well-known Member
I've been practicing like this for some years now... two very cheap Behringer condenser mics on a stand out in front of the kit, an old Behringer mini mixer, 32db isolation headphones (with speakers) and an old computer. Our band doesn't mic drums so it's better for me to mic the room.

This setup saves my ears, is great for play along and recording practices. Recording myself and playing it back immediately has done wonders for my playing. The key is immediate playback. Don't wait until later to listen.

The downside is when we play live my drums sound insanely loud to me. Steve Smith talks about this problem. You save your ears, but you don't practice volume control and balance enough. I'm not a heavy hitter so in my case it's more of me not being used to the normal volume of drums, which in turn makes me feel a little timid to play. It happens every time at a gig for the first few tunes and then my brain adjusts to it. At last night's gig the first tune was brushes and it still sounded crazy loud.
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
For practice I use the YAMAHA EAD10. It's going to cost roughly the same as your basic mic pack/cables/mixer setup. But, it's all in one box. You can line in an aux channel for music, and mix it against the volume of the drums, and the sound quality is really great. I use it for online lessons, at home practice, and quick demo recordings for clients before I run through the big board. I've even used it a few times live just to feed to the bands IEM's.
 
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