Live practice/gig setup

Nit_Suj

New member
Hi guys this is my very first post and I could use some help. This might be a bit long so bear with me.

I've been drumming for quite a while now and have never really delved into mic'ing my kit, hooking up speakers/monitors or really anything audio tech related. I also have ADD so diving into this new territory is a bit overwhelming and exhausting due to my overanalyzing nature. My goal is to go into thorough detail of my equipment and what I want to accomplish, and hopefully get some much needed feedback. So here goes.

I currently play in a metal band, and we practice pretty loud in a small living room with a few acoustic treatments on the wall. I wear ear plugs or headphones at all times to protect my hearing but the sound is extremely muddy and I have trouble hearing my drum set, as well as the rest of the band. The other band mates seem to do just fine. I'm currently running a kick mic to a small speaker that belongs to my guitarist. I also have another dynamic mic that I haven't used yet but I plan to hook to my snare. I currently do not own any speakers, monitors or mixers. But I plan on investing in the near future.

I would like to invest in some sort of in ear monitoring system, or some stereo isolation headphones that allow me to hear my drums clearly while protecting my hearing. But this is where I get confused. I don't know which speakers I need, if I need a mixer or if I can just run my mics and my headphones straight into an amp. It's all very confusing to me. I'm just looking for the simplest setup to be able to hear myself and my band during practice. We also have a show coming up soon and I'm hoping to use whatever practice setup I'm using for the show as well. I'm also not opposed to just getting a pair of headphones that I don't have to run to any speakers or amps if I know that they will protect my hearing while giving me the best possible sound.

I hope that made sense. Any advice would be appreciated. I know I can't be the only one who gets completely overwhelmed with all the options that are out there lol.

*Edit: Also, is there a speaker that I can run my mics to that I can also run my headphones to? So that essentially the sound coming out of the speaker would also be coming through my headphones simultaneously?
 
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yammyfan

Senior Member
The Yamaha EAD10 sounds like it would solve part of your problem but I don't think it's ideal for loud, live gigs.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Nit_Suj

I think you have two issues. And we can treat them as two different issues.
1. Hearing your drums and the band while protecting your hearing.
2. Amplifying your drums.

Hearing your drums and the band is a fairly easy issue to solve. I use my vocal microphone and a small personal microphone amplifier (PMA). I feed the output of my PMA into my in-ear monitors. It does not provide really good noise/sound isolation. But I will be trying full over the ear headphones in the near future.

The second issue is amplifying your drums. I would suggest, to keep it simple, that you feed your bass drum microphone and one other microphone located near your snare drum and hi hat into the band's P.A. system. Then run an output, maybe a headphone output, from the P.A. into your headphones. Pretty simple.


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sumdrumguy

Senior Member
Simple solution, use the spare mic you have as an ambient mic. Focus it on your kit, and run the line to a small, 4 channel, sub mixer. Plug your headphones or in-ears into that.

Where you place it will depend on your setup. Common placements... directly overhead, over your right shoulder, or knee-mic position.

*Note: This is a solution for practice/rehearsals. Live you can still use the sub-mixer/in-ears, but may want to add more mics to your kit.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Tell the rest of the band to put their cabinets at head height and turn down.

They cant hear themselves because their heads are above the sound, and turning up is blasting and drowning you out. Try that first. I played in a death metal band for 8 years and had the same issue. Once the speaker cabs were off the ground, the strings could miraculously hear themselves and were able to turn down accordingly.
 

J-W

Well-known member
I'm also not opposed to just getting a pair of headphones that I don't have to run to any speakers or amps if I know that they will protect my hearing while giving me the best possible sound.
I highly recommend EarPeace earplugs for cutting down the dB's without it becoming muddy.

Amazon.com: EarPeace Concert Ear Plugs - Reusable High Fidelity Earplugs - Hearing Protection for Music Festivals, DJs, Musicians, Motorcycles, Raves, Work & Airplane Noise Reduction (Standard, Red Case): Health & Personal Care
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
A rule of thumb for when I was in a louder band was "no guitar or vocals were louder than my unmic'd drum kit".
Drums are loud on their own & your mates need to turn it down and play at your volume. Not the other way around.

That being said, the proximity mic's aforementioned are a good way to just get a general drum volume. If you've got the coin, get a Yamaha EAD10. It is THE best drum micing system I've used to date. It comes with everything you need.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I would like to invest in some sort of in ear monitoring system, or some stereo isolation headphones that allow me to hear my drums clearly while protecting my hearing.
The bottom line in all of this is....
Your band is loud and you (still) cannot hear yourself.

My recommendation is to have a producer/band-whisperer/coach come in and help you guys balance. Get guitar amps off the ground and angled, etc.... Come up with a plan, as a band, to invest in personal monitoring, and ensure that it all works together with your bandmates existing wireless gear. The band should also consider investing in a digital mixer (Like a Studiolive), so you can all control your individual monitor feeds with your smartphone and frees everyone from buying disparate/redundant personal gear.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
A rule of thumb for when I was in a louder band was "no guitar or vocals were louder than my unmic'd drum kit".
Drums are loud on their own & your mates need to turn it down and play at your volume. Not the other way around.


That being said, the proximity mic's aforementioned are a good way to just get a general drum volume. If you've got the coin, get a Yamaha EAD10. It is THE best drum micing system I've used to date. It comes with everything you need.
have been playing in thrash, prog, death and power metal bands all my life, as well as punk, and this was always the rule. In practice, if you can't hear yourself, the electronics are too loud. I hit "medium" hard, and rim shots on every snare hit...a pair of sticks will last me a year...

none of us use in ear monitors in practice or even live...just ear plugs, and I use the Vic Firth Iso headphones, so we try to mix the room as even as possible in that situation. I am lucky that most of the guitar players I have played with are not volume hogs

now, live...it gets cranked up!!!
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
I have a pair of ANSI but super low end red muffs, I think from Walmart that are the most even sounding protection. Better than Vic Firth muffs or plugs, better than foam plugs and better than Hear-os.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Me too Rock Salad...Peltor is the brand I use...designed to OSHA standards for road crews...work great with in-ear buds(have a look at some of the Bose in-ear devices...very clean).

Looks a bit...industrial?...but , like I care?

I find myself pulling them off one ear for short periods at times (when not using in-ear phones) for contrast because they filter very evenly over the audible freq. spectrum.

Cost $4.99 and are in great shape even after 20+ years. Don't really find myself wanting to go to an audiologist and have form fitted sleeves made for in-ear monitors.

The best drum gear deal I've ever made.
 
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