Posted by: coomercove | September 12, 2008

All those wonderful toys, or ear buds

This may be a silly question, but I’ll post it anyway.

How do they handle all the in-ear monitors during the nightly NQC concerts? I have never used or set up in-ear monitors so I know nothing about them, but watching the NQC this week has raised the question.

Does each group use their own monitors? If so, how does that work with the house sound? Do they have a couple (or more) sets that the artists pass between them (one set in use on stage while the next group gets the monitors from the group that just left the stage)?

It may be a dumb question, but I’m curious.


  1. Brandon,
    I’ll take a stab at answering your question. I hope I don’t make it too complex though.
    Digital mixers, (like the Yamaha PM5D, a currently popluar and often used unit across many different musical genres) have numerous built in auxillary sends. If I remember correctly, the PM5D gives the user acess to 16 different stereo monitor mixes. (that’s 32 mono mixes). Larger, more expensive boards give you more than that. So it’s more than likley each performer gets a different mix.
    I’m not sure about the concept of groups sharing a certain set of earbuds all week though. What may fit in one person’s ear perfectly would give another a horrible fit and sound. I’m guessing that groups bring their own earbuds and hook into the wireless transmitters set up there, but I don’t know.
    All of the monitor mixing is handled inside a digital mixer for FOH, or more probable, one specifically set up to handle the monitor mixing.
    Most digital boards require absolutley NO externall racks of processing. Compressors, multiple types of EQ’s, and effects engines for each channel are all built into the digital board’s memory. Supposedly you get everything a FOH or monitor mixer needs at a touch of a button or screen for a price tag ranging from $6,000 on up to more than what our houses cost new.

  2. The FOH (front of house) at NQC this year is a Digidesign VENUE system while the monitors are being handled by a Yamaha PM1D. It is capable of handling multiple mixes and saving each one as a snapshot. They have a number of belt packs which are the receiveers for the in-ear monitor systems. Each artist brings their own earbuds (the part that goes in their ear and terminates on the other end to a 1/8″ TRS jack. Earlier in the day each group gets a sound check, and their settings are saved as a snapshot on the console. Then at night during the actual concert, they are given their belt pack and they just plug their buds into them.

  3. From what I’ve observed, it appears that each artist has their own custom made earpiece.

    I don’t think they don’t use their own receivers. That would require making sure each individual receiver is tuned to the transmitters in the system.

    They simply plug their earpiece into the provided receiver, set the volume to suit themselves, and voila…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: