As a freelance guitarist I have done some month long tours now and
then, playing like almost every night as part of a five to eight piece
band. I then totally favor acoustic monitoring on stage, using a
really small guitar amp like a dual ten element Gallien-Keuger, placed
very close to me and often not directed towards the audience but more
set up for my own on-stage monitoring (miked through PA of course, and
sound engineer handling mix levels). This makes it possible for me to
alter my "monitoring level" vs "band noise" by simply moving my head
(with ears) in or out of my little amp's speaker focus. I would never
trust in-ear listening solutions in a live situation, at least not
with for the tours I've been on where everybody in the band has to be
receptive and "on the go" for any song the vocalist might suggest
("Let's now do song four: ono-two-three-four..").
On big stages there use to be a backline system with loud side-fills
and then I make mental notes at soundcheck if the level will be enough
for running around on stage and maybe walk over to the drummer,
leaving my "small guitar amp sweet spot". I usually keep my local
sweet-spot just a little louder than the side-fill's general full
stage field. That way I know that if I get into problem with a funky
pattern (that needs to be played tight vs the drumming) I can always
go to my sweet-spot and realign my mental tempo reference.
All this applies to live looping as well. But it is harder with
looping because you cant play just one test note to realign yourself
to the ever changing "sound map". The looper just keeps playing and if
you don't know exactly how your loop sounds it may be difficult to
hear what is your loop and what is other noise. So in order to refresh
your hearing you need a technical control setup that will allow you to
instantly change your loop's sound, in order to detect it in a blink
and carry out corrections. Such quick-fix strategies may be Instant
REvers of the loop. Or doing a STUTTER effect for the last eight notes
before the loop point (called "non-quantized re-trigger" by some).
When live looping instruments that doesn't have a guitar amp (like EWI
or flute) I have so far relied on the house PA. I'm about to start
playing regularly as "live looping electronician" with a band and I
will definitely favor a small local speaker rather than an in-ear
solution (laptop + EWI, doing dub stuff of other band members,
"keyboard parts" and weird electronic sounds).
Greetings from Sweden
On Tue, Jan 12, 2010 at 2:41 AM, George Ludwig
> I recently played my first gig where I was playing with an ensemble, and was
> using my looping rig with wireless IEM. I had a heck of a time not only
> hearing other people, but also trying to judge my stage volume...and if my
> amp was even making noise!
> So now I'm thinking about how to get ambient sound in to the system. I am
> using Shure earbuds, and they make a device to let in some ambient noise
> ("push to hear"). And I even have one, but 1. it's a piece of crap, and the
> ambient volume control failed within the first few minutes of use and 2.
> when you engage the ambient mic, it lowers the volume of the main source,
> which causes various problems.
> I thought about putting a mini mic in my audio interface, and that would
> give me a lot of control, except for which direction the mic is pointing.
> How has everyone else solved this problem?