There’s a great deal that goes into our theater shows. Dale Tulk, who will be running sound this Saturday, will probably get to the venue by 3 in the afternoon. The boys and I will arrive around 4. Equipment needs to be loaded in and set up, a process that usually takes an hour or so. Then we need sound check, to make sure all the gear is running properly and to get the right sound levels onstage and in the house. Our sound checks run much more efficiently that they used to, due to the fact that we’ve been doing this for so long (11 years!) and due to our in-ear monitor system.
You may have noticed that each of us has an iPad onstage. Using a specially designed app, we can adjust the sounds we hear individually rather than have to depend on the soundman (and the grace of heavenly Fortuna) to get a mix onstage that works for each of us. The sound I hear in my earbuds is just what I need. Bean, Scott and John all get their own customized mix as well. The guitar players still use the old fashioned monitor wedges. They like to hear the sound of their amps raw!
I do have to remind myself not to get too caught up in trying to get the perfect mix in my ears, especially once the show starts. Sometimes I get lost in creating the perfect in-ear mix and I forget there’s an audience watching and waiting for the next song! The IEMs allow us to sound check quickly, to get a consistent monitor mix under virtually all conditions and, most importantly, we all sing and play better when can hear what we need to hear. They are awesome!