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Introduction to In-Ear Monitors

Let’s talk about what it takes to make the switch from stage wedges to wireless in-ear monitors. Using Shure’s PSM200 series as an example, the first step is to purchase product P2TR215CL. That product consists of a Shure P2T transmitter, a single P2R receiver, and a single set of SE215-CL earphones.

Think of the transmitter as your radio broadcast station. Usually located near the mixing console, it takes the input signals you feed it from the mixer and “broadcasts” them to each band member who has a P2R beltpack receiver set to the same frequency. There’s no limit to how many receivers can receive that transmission. So, as long as everyone’s happy with the mix that is input into the transmitter, the next step is to purchase the Shure product designated P2R215CL for each member wishing to “listen in”. (Of course, make sure that the P2R215CL has the same frequency designation as the P2TR215CL that you started with.) The P2R215CL package consists of a single P2R receiver and a single set of SE215-CL earphones.

Want a second mix? Start again with a second P2TR215CL. Then each band member can choose to listen to either the mix from the first transmitter or the mix from the second transmitter, depending upon the frequency which they select.

At first glance, this may seem expensive, but if you look at the cost of a decent power amplifier and all the stage monitors necessary to do the same job, the investment is pretty similar and may even be less. Then factor in the following advantages: (1) no more hauling heavy amp and multiple wedges around; (2) the best sounding monitors you’ve ever played with; (3) a stage suddenly less cluttered and with fewer speaker cables; and (4) almost NO feedback. Suddenly, the investment in in-ear monitors seems like the best decision you ever made.

Another tip: the P2R beltpack receiver is unique among all models of beltpack receivers. Shure calls it “hybrid” because it can operate as a wireless receiver AND it has a line input for a cable. That means that band members such as keyboardists or drummers who really don’t need to be wireless can get their own mix via a cable direct from the mixer. The hybrid P2R can also receive BOTH the wireless signal and the signal via audio cable at the same time. If you work with a drummer who needs a click track, for example, you can send the drummer the click track from the mixer via cable and he or she can still receive the mix via the wireless transmission, adjusting the balance control on the P2R between those two signal sources.

There’s a whole host of “tricks of the trade” when setting up your in-ear system or when choosing which system is right for you. Shure’s PSM200, PSM900 series, Sennheiser’s EW300 series, AND Galaxy Audio's several different systems each offers advantages for groups with different requirements or budgets. Contact Rainbow Guitars.com to make sure you get the right system for you.