What's the best way to handle wireless in-ear levels for a musician?

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of arretx arretx 8 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #94775
    Profile photo of arretx
    arretx
    Participant

    This isn’t necessarily on topic (SQ related) but that is the console we’re using.

    Setup:

    SQ6
    ME-U
    ME-1
    Sennheiser IEM Transmitter
    Sennheiser IEM Receiver

    My guitarist’s in ear “levels are all over the place.” As I see it, there are 7 different points of control along the path of a Wireless IEM. Correct me if I’m wrong:

    – Input Gain on the SQ Input Channel
    – Input Level on the ME-1 Key Group
    – Input Level of the channel IN the group
    – Master Level on the ME-1
    – Input Level on the IEM Transmitter
    – Input reduction on the IEM Receiver Pack
    – IEM Receiver Pack Master Volume knob –> Earpiece / Headphones

    Now, if we put two ME-1 units next to each other, map the keys identically, and then set all of the levels for each ME-1 to exactly the same level, that we should get the same signal.

    Since we’re feeding RF gear with the output from one of the ME-1 units, my thought is that there are 3 additional points at which those levels will be changed which could cause the Guitarist to say things like, “man, I have to crank the bass all the way up to hear it.” And then the keyboardist says, “huh…I have it at about 70% and I hear it just fine.

    Is there a by-the-book rule-of-thumb way that you, as an audio engineer, approach talent regarding their RF in-ear setups, which, if I’m not mistaken, our completely out of your control once the signal leaves the ME-1?

    Thanks!

    #94776
    Profile photo of volounteer
    volounteer
    Participant

    @arretex

    could be a mismatch in the ME1s either inherent or changed after you set them equally

    do the IEM users only control their channel or do they all share some settings that could get changed

    could be RF differences somehow after the ME1

    Fortunately I do not have to deal with that kind of talent, but my inclination would be to give them all one good signal and ignore their golden eared complaints, if they cant tweak it to taste for themselves.

    They really need to be able to tweak everything on their one path themselves.
    Which may be difficult depending what actual gear is in use.

    #94782
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    do the IEM users only control their channel or do they all share some settings that could get changed

    could be RF differences somehow after the ME1

    Fortunately I do not have to deal with that kind of talent, but my inclination would be to give them all one good signal and ignore their golden eared complaints, if they cant tweak it to taste for themselves.

    They really need to be able to tweak everything on their one path themselves.
    Which may be difficult depending what actual gear is in use.

    the ME-1 is a mixer by itself, it mixes 40 channels but these channels get prepared by a console

    Jon,

    this could have different reasons…
    if the IEM from the guitar player are “not good” it can lead to less low frequency content in general
    the bass could be lower as the other instruments after compression
    the guitar could mask the bass signal
    just to name a few

    one more tip… maybe you did it already
    split the important or problematic signals in the SQ to spare channels and send the signals from there better tailored to the IEM
    or build a submix with these signals and feed this additionally to the ME-1

    #94786
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    Is your guitarist using good pro ear buds that properly fit?

    Make sure the sends to the ME are all pre fade.
    Are they mixing the IEM’s in stereo or mono?

    Check the over all gain structure from the ME to the IEM transmitter and the
    belt pack.
    More or less set the belt pack mid level or so, bring up the input to the IEM transmitter
    to a point where the IEM at the earbuds is about they they want it at the level control
    on the pack will give them any needed overall level adjustment.

    #94790
    Profile photo of arretx
    arretx
    Participant

    Yep. Premolded. All sends are pre-fade. Not sure about stereo. Mains are mono…I’ll look into that.

    I think it’s going to come down to the Guitarists habits. ;).

    #94795
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    I think it’s going to come down to the Guitarists habits. ;).

    Have listened to their IEM mix.

    #94809
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    I actually wanted to say …have you listened to their IEM mix?

    For a test plug the ear buds directly into the ME and see what it sounds like.

    Depending on the model Sennheiser IEM system you have there is a limiter in the receiver pack that can be adjusted.

    #94813
    Profile photo of arretx
    arretx
    Participant

    @mike C, that’s exactly what I did.

    The stereo output of the ME-1 feeds the transmitter.

    With both the transmitter and receiver enabled, I added a pair of in ears to the output on the ME-1, the moved them to the receiver. I set the receiver pack to about 60%, then adjusted the limiter on the transmitter until there was little or no audible difference between the outputs.

    I suppose it would be nicer if the receiver’s power wasn’t also a potentiometer so the unit could be turned on and off without affecting the output.

    Either way, I got the levels to match to my ear, which means they should match to someone else’s ear (albeit the overall level may be perceived differently due to … ya know, loud concerts in one’s past.)

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