i'm become a fan of westone's UM2 universal in-ear buds. From what i've heard, they are made by shure.... or maybe it's the other way around... can't remember. They are pretty much identical to the Shure E5's which run you $500 and you can get the Westone's for around $275. They sound great.
I LOVE my UM2s, and I really think they produce quite a bit more low end than the E5s. I also think they're much more comfortable for longer gigs. And Westone will make molds that slip on the ends for $100 - giving you a good pair of molded in-ears for less than $400.
Pro: It was nice having instant control over my personal mix without having a ham-fisted intern try to guess my signlanguage or attempt to read my lips.
Con: Not very road hardy. (Hearty?) They're rather delicate and dainty.
Tip: ALWAYS SAVE YOUR MIX! It's frustrating dialing in the perfect mix only to arrive at the next soundcheck & re-do it from scratch. Then again, even if you do save it, every now and then the console will just freak out and reset to factory defaults.
Overall, they're great for house gigs & church services.
I've used several different ones. The Avioms are nice, but it's a bit awkward to have to press the channel button for what you want to adjust, then move to the shared gain pot to turn up/down.
I forget the brand name, but one system I used had 10 or so groups inputed with 4 stereo pairs. It was nice to just go to the pot above a channel and turn it.
Either way, the BIG problem I find with in-ears in general, is bottom end. You don't feel it in the booty like with big wedges. Last church I played at had two of those seat thumper actuators bolted to plywood for the drummer and bass play to sit/stand on.
If I ran the world, everyone with in-ears would get one.
SO Chris, say you are working with a stage full of studio musicians who are used to the multi-channel headphones systems that are so popular and really don't need lessons in gain structure - would you still not be a fan? Or, is the Aviom that prone to distortion?
In that case you would be fine. I've used them on corporate gigs with pro players and have had no issues. You have to figure though that most church players are people that have not touched their instrument since the previous Sunday so all they know is louder is gooder.
One of the things that I have had issue with is the output impedance. I have used the Avioms with off the shelf Sony earbuds and noticed that you had to crank the hell out of them to get a decent level vs. when I used my molds and they were great at a lower levels. This is just an issue because most people don't think about (or know) the impedance of their headphones that they are using.
We use the Aviom system at out church. I actually like it but that maybe just in comparison to what we had before. I like the fact that I can save my mix and don't have to do more than a few tweeks each time I play. The "MORE" factor does come in for players not used to mixing but the easiest way I've found to educate (as others have said) is to get each player to get themselves "hot"/high signal on their channel (or channels) and turn the master up to a good level for them. Then when they bring other stuff up they have a reference point that they won't change.
Are you sure it's hooked up correctly?
Post fader is useless for a monitor sends. I'd rather have no control of my mix than to have it constantly changing. At least you could get it set during run through and live with it.
I've been in a situation where they were sending a post fader mon mix and it's a nightmare. Your brain can get used to a bad mix kind of like your eyes adjust to low light. But when a bad mix keeps changing... it's very stressful.
I guess the only way to do it would be to take the insert outs (or split the inputs) to a different mixer.
There's also the possibility of using the other 4 aux's on the Mackie for stuff that's mix-heavy, drums, vox, keys, and split out the others to a smaller mixer.
What are your 8 sub-mixes on the HearBacks system?
We've been using the Aviom system at church for about 2yr's or so and I love it. Before we went to the Aviom's our ears were being mixed at the monitor console and were pretty inconsistent from week to week. This was mostly because our mid week service usually has different players than our Sunday service. I have my drums coming in on 4 channels (Kick,Snare & stereo mix of everything else) and I have a little bit of room verb mixed in with the stereo drum mix. The whole band has Buttkickers also which make a huge difference. Being that we play with loops or support trax about 80% of the time I love having control of my mix. I can pull that rushing keyboard player down....LOL