We've had a chance to play some great shows and fortunate to get on some pretty sweet private gigs. We're getting to the point where we play enough that it only makes sense to seriously invest back into the band. It started with upgrading equipment like guitars and microphones but as of last month, we took it one step further. A self sustained in ear monitor rig!
To quickly go over what this is (and how important it is to us), in-ear monitors replace the stage speakers that face the musicians. For most of our musical lives, we've played with speakers screaming at us while playing. While this is most certainly the easiest, it's not really the most efficient. Everything is automatically louder! Because you have to hear yourself over the entire band (and drums) playing, it usually has to be crazy loud. More noise hurts in small venues when you need to control sound and it also really sucks to have your ears ringing at 2am when you're trying to sleep. Trust me, a small venue and cymbals crashing all night behind you can really suck.
With in ear monitors, we control everything. Only want one voice and guitar? That's all you'll get. Outside noise is blocked out and we each control exactly what we want to hear. This is such a helpful tool for us singers. The second I'm off, I'm able to notice and then adjust. Drummers also benefit because they're controlling all they need and nothing more. Altogether, the less noise on stage, being able to control volume, and the fact that you'll be able to hear yourself playing has most definitely made our band tighter.
Fast forward to October. Not only do we have our own personal systems, but we've used money earned from our shows to buy a completely independent rig. This way, we mic our own stuff and then plug into a venues board. No more recreating the sounds in our ears every show. No more hoping venues have equipment required for us to run our system. We control what we hear 100% and that helps with setup and sound anxiety which has been the only nagging issues we've seen.
We're almost pro! Put this thing on a plane and we essentially bring our entire show to any pro venue...anywhere. Maybe we will one day.