In Ears for practice/small jams when no PA/monitor signal available


Platinum Member
Say you go to a jam and theres no monitor/pa system setup- anyone run IEMs with a room mic just to control the sound but still be able to hear whats going on? I would use this for practice at home if it was easy enough.

Instead of just putting on cans or earplugs to reduce the overall sound?

My hearing in R ear is shot (constant ring) and I would like to set up as described but dont want to have to bring a ton of gear.

I am thinking the system would include:

1- the in-ear system (wired or wireless doesnt matter- the other thread will sort out which system) but overloads from guitarists etc would be limited since the audio signal would be from ambient mics not wired in instruments.

2- a mic (one would be easiest) or 2-4 mics that are either overhead or just around the room depending on where I am. Would have to experiment with placement to even out the mix but perfection is not required.

3- some kind of small board to run them into maybe 4 ch so the mics could all go in and generate the IEM signal, plus maybe have a USB out for recording.

Would this work? Could someone suggest a bulletproof setup of good quality gear that could be put together to make this go? I feel like I am missing something but thats why I am asking.
My band uses in-ears in our rehearsal space. We use the Carvin wireless system.
Most sealed buds will give you about 20-30 dBA attenuation.

You really only need to mic the vocals (or a keyboard if you have one). You get enough bleed from the guitar/bass/drums through the vocal mics. I suppose you might want to mic a smaller guitar amp if it couldn't keep up with the rest.

It works well but unless you set up in stereo, it's a very one dimensional sound.

We have a pretty sizeable mixing board with 4 separate monitor feeds so that gives everybody what they want. A small board will mean one mix so if it's just for you ok. if everybody wants to join, you will have a hard time keeping everyone happy.

I'd suggest trying with a sound cancelling headphone first (not full ear coverage) so that you can still get the natural sounds bleeding in. Wireless is expensive and unless you are a gigging musician, it's probably more than you need for just jamming.

If it's just an instrumental jam...then just stick with basic hearing protection. Before we had in ears I used vented Proplugs for practice and live. They just cut the dba in damaging frequencies so the sound is still very good.

That's a few of my thoughts for what its worth.


Platinum Member
Been doing that- have foam plugs, cans, hearos, etc and dont like any of them. I find I even play better without hearing protection but I cant do it due to ringing in R ear.

Looking for more clarity and safety. I think I am going to try this with 2 mics and see what happens. just need some help with the equipment/placement/whatever else I might not get (see above).

I am envisioning a setup that would fit inside a briefcase and be a simple plug into the wall, my ears and set out the mics operation.


Platinum Member
Really? Some more experienced live sound guy/drummer has to tell me why this is stupid. Seems like a great way to be able to record some music and protect your ears. Surely someone has done it?

Little Help?


Platinum Member
SO- after reading a bit, its looking like if I were going to try this, I would go with a monitor system like the Shure PSM400 (although I dont need wireless or that kind of expense) so I can run a few mics and get a stereo mix just for me. My biggest concern, never having worn them, is that the in-ears would be too loud for my R ear tinnitus and that maybe I should appreach this with headphones as the sound source so I could wear an earplug if need be on the R to protect myself a bit. The Shure system is adjustable between L/R volume levels so do like it and I could just use headphones instead of earbuds.

WOuld love someone to tell me to just do something else. No one practices/jams through a personal monitor set up? Help!