Last week we starting talking about custom ear monitors and if and when they are needed. Quick recap: Does everyone NEED custom ear monitors, no! Should you be using some sort of hearing protection when they are not needed, yes! OK, class is back in session…
Scenario #4: Full-Time Touring Band, But Not ‘The Shizzle’ Yet
So chances are that you have graduated from the $1000, white, 15 passenger van and are now living in the luxury of being crammed into a tour bus with the back-line crew or another band. What? You thought you got your own bus by now… That’s so cute. Things are going well for you. Your fan base has increased nationally and you’re selling some tunes.
You are probably playing on some bigger stages opening for mid and top tier bands. Ear monitors are becoming a necessity more than an option. Lots of tours now days run “ears only”, so if you are still holding out and sticking with your wedges, it’s time. Having your band all setup on ‘ears’ by this point also shows how serious you are about becoming successful. Think about that interview for a, perish the thought, ‘real job’ having to give a good first impression and dressing for success. It’s kind of the same thing here. Also, if you like the crew that is working for you, get them some custom musicians’ earplugs. Their hearing is just as important as yours.
So what should you be using? Well let’s look at a few options.
Dual Drivers ($399): If you want to get everyone in ‘ears’ and not break the bank, look at the JH5PRO. It’s a dual driver ear monitor and to this day, dual drivers are still a workhorse in the industry. These are good for the entire band. You’ll hear everything and can still tweak your sound at the board to give you more of what you need.
Triple Drivers/3-Way ($699-799): First, let’s get the difference spelled out here. Triple Drivers by nature are a dual low, single high frequency system, while a 3-way is a low, mid & high with a 3-way crossover built in. This allows the drivers to run at optimal efficiency. The JH7PRO is a perfect example of a Triple Driver. With the dual lows you are going to get some serious punch. These are great for drummers and bass players. The extra lows can go a long way helping you to ‘lock in’ with each other. The JH10X3 is a great 3-Way system to give you a little more of ‘everything’ without having to take out a mortgage. The extra driver in the mids is great for that little bit of clarity some desire. These are great for any instrument or vocals.
Quad Drivers ($850): OK, now you are just showing off! The JH11PRO is a dual low, single mid and high frequency driver setup and you are going to get some serious sound and clarity out of these puppies! These bad boys will get your fellow bands envious at this stage in life. Like this is a bad thing, we say nay!
Scenario #5: You Have Made It (AKA You’re The Shizzle, but not like Van Halen-level Shizzle… sorry they are like their own level of Shizzle)
Well, first off congrats! That tour bus of your own is a reality, you have a smokin’ merch girl, a cool, but demanding road mgr. Your monitor engineer has become your touring BFF and staying up all night playing Black Ops with your FOH and techs is a regular thing. Playing arenas is the “new hotness” and ‘ears’ are a regular occurrence like a guitar tuner or groupies by now (not that we are comparing groupies with guitar tuners) ok, moving on…
By now you can probably afford whatever ear monitors you want. Sure you still have a budget, but investing in the best is a free option. Now that statement carries a lot of weight. “The Best”. The best is different for everyone. The most expensive is not always the best for you and sometimes it is. Think about what YOUR ears need. Think about YOUR sound. Looking at the higher end of ear monitors is a perfect example. Here are the options.
Quad Driver ($850): As we stated above the JH11PRO will provide clarity and a full range of sound with good punch in the lows. They are great for any band member.
Six Drivers ($1,090): OK, so we have broken the century mark.. but come on now six drivers??!! The JH13PRO with dual low, dual mid and dual high frequency drivers with a passive 3-way crossover are built for clarity! If you are wanting the same high quality and clarity you get in the studio when you were mastering your latest labor of love on stage these are the ‘ears’ for you.
Eight Drivers ($1,149): Hello? You still with us? We can call 911 for you if needed. Yes, we said EIGHT drivers. The JH16PRO is the monster all other ear monitors fear in dark alleys. This muddafugger features quad low, dual mids and dual high frequency drivers. It will handle anything you throw at it (yes, including the kitchen sink). Amazing punch in the lower range complimented by warm mids and crisp, clear highs. Others may claim to have a comparable offering with less drivers, but the reviews and feedback we’ve gotten say different. These are the ‘Crown Jewels’ of ear monitors. If you desire a more neutral sound go with the JH13PRO. Like we said it’s YOUR sound and what YOUR ears need.
Ok, so that is a lot to digest and we did not get to belt packs and such. We’ll hit that next time. Need more info or have questions? Drop us a line ! We’re here for you.
Oh and posting pics of your smokin’ merch girl (ok, or stud-muffin merch guy) with a set of JH Audio monitors or a JH Audio t-shirt on our Facebook page is always appreciated. Need a t-shirt? We just got some new cool ones in stock!