By: David Jordan
A lot of Churches have little, to no budgets for tech equipment.
With this in mind I am going to share a way to have an in ear monitor system on a limited budget.
The purpose of going to an in ear monitor system is so you can lower your stage volume and also each person can control what they hear. This will help in your overall sound quality. By going to an in ear system you can save money because you can eliminate monitor speakers on the stage, and also you do not need an amplifier to run the in-ear system. All it needs is a line level signal for your monitor feed. By giving control of the volume to the people on the in-ear system, it makes it easier for the sound team. It will eliminate people saying they cannot hear themselves in the monitors. They are in control over their own volume in their own personal monitor box. It will not affect anything else, only what they hear.
After looking at a lot of in-ear monitor systems. All the systems I found were very nice, but also expensive. With a limited budget we could not afford any of the systems I found. So I did a lot of research to find a way to add an in-ear system for a low cost. But still have a good quality system that will last.
There are a couple of ways to accomplish this at a low cost. The cost will depend on who much control you need for each person you and placing on the in-ear system.
First I will go over what we went with and are still using.
We went with the Rolls PM351 personal monitor system because it has a monitor input, an instrument input and also a microphone input. So it gives the user control over their instrument, their microphone and also control over the monitor feed we send to them. By going with the PM351’s we eliminated several monitors and also we removed all the amplifiers from the stage. We run the electric guitar and bass guitar straight through the personal monitor boxes. The personal monitor boxes are also direct boxes. By removing monitors and amplifiers from the stage our stage volume dropped dramatically. We went from about six monitors speakers on our stage down to two.
At first for each user we started using headphones, now we use universal fit ear buds to hook to the personal monitor boxes. You can purchase fairly inexpensive ear buds. A couple of things you what to look for when purchasing ear buds are the frequency range they produce. Get ear buds that produce a full range sound or as close to it as possible. The last thing to look of is Sound isolation. Without sound isolation, you have to run the volume at a higher level to hear.
There are a couple of personal monitor boxes I found that can be used, and the cost will still be where churches with little to no tech budgets can afford them. Rolls makes three different boxes the PM351, PM50s and the PM55. Art also makes the ARTcessories MyMonitor.