Skip to main content

monitoring loops and live drums

Hi all. My band is a three piece (guitar, bass and drums) rock band, playing original music. Recently we've been recording some things using loops. The question I have is this...How could I best monitor the loops from behind the drums using headphones? My main concern is that in rehearsal or at smaller gigs when the drums might not be mic'd (or mic'd well), the headphones will block out too much of my natural drum sound, causing me to overplay.
For rehearsal I thought about putting a pair of omni's behind the kit and monitoring those in the phones. Also, I'm sure the other guys don't want to hear my drums coming through the monitors at them. Currently we use a 6 channel "all-in-one" PA head. I'd be willing to swap this for a board and power amp if we could get separate monitor mixes for the phones and main monitors. Thanks! Andy


drumist69 Thu, 04/26/2007 - 14:00
Thanks for the input guys. Yeah, I was pretty sure I was going to have to look into upgrading the PA anyway, so this just gives me a good excuse! I've thought about in-ear monitors, but I think the money would be better spent on a new PA at this stage. Now I just need to figure out what board to buy. All we run through our own PA is vocals at the moment, so I can probably get a smaller Mackie VLZ used pretty cheap. I guess I just need to find one that can provide the auxillary mix as mentioned. Power amp should be no big deal. Whole thing might run about $500-$800 depending on finding used items, I suppose. Thanks again! Andy

IIRs Thu, 04/26/2007 - 05:24
You could try using open headphones instead of closed designs like DT100s. These will not block much ambient sound at all, and they usually sound better than enclosed designs... in a live situation the spill will not be an issue.

Or you could get some DJ style cans with only one ear.

Or you could invest in some In Ear Monitors.

moonbaby Thu, 04/26/2007 - 07:03
There are one-sided "DJ headphones" made by various companies like Sony and Stanton. FWIW, I've run into a fair share of drummers out there who end up throwing the damned things out because they tend to hamper their physical movements, and aren't real comfy when you get to sweating on them. You might consider a compact personal powered monitor, made by Yamaha, Roland, and others. Normally, I think these things sound like crap, but for what you're doing, they work pretty well. You can have one of these on a mic stand, aimed at your head, and taking a seperate "pre-fader" aux mix (from the board you'll need to get to do that !). Since they tend to be "bass-shy", they won't "muddy up" the stage sound. I work with a drummer who uses a pair of 'Hot Spot' powered monitors to get loop cues and sometimes a 'click track'. I, like many sound people, HATE those things, but in his case, it works fine, he's comfortable, and he's a wicked player, to boot. Can't argue with that.