In-Ear Monitoring Basics


Have you ever heard of the “More-Me-Syndrome”? The music industry uses this term to describe the desire of singers to hear themselves louder when performing on stage. During a live performance it is crucial for musicians to hear what they are playing. Therefore, traditionally wedges have been used to cover the musicians on stage. But hearing themselves over the increasing noise of the audience is not that simple...

In-ear monitoring helps to solve this problem. An in-ear monitoring system sends the audio directly to the singers ears so they can hear themselves clearly. This is one of the main benefits alongside the isolation of any interference from the surroundings of the stage. Thus, the wedges can be moved away and the singers gains more freedom of movement.

A complete in-ear monitoring system consists of three parts: a pair of earphones, a bodypack receiver and a transmitter. Transmitters are usually placed on the side of the stage, next to the mixer which then sends the audio back to the transmitter and from there to the singers or musicians earphones.
Generally there are three operational modes: stereo-mode, where the signals from the left and the right earphone are being send separately, mono-mode, where the sound is delivered equally to both ears, and mix-mode, where the singer can – similarly to volume control – control the relative level of the output of the left and the right earphone separately.
Watch the video for a full technical explanation!