So it's been a weird last 2 weeks. I work with bands who listen to themselves via a monitor mix in their ear phones constantly. And I don't. Well as it turns out the band plays there music approximately 200 milliseconds before the audio makes it out of the PA and to my ears. That's 1/5th of a second. Doesn't sound like much, but it is. When I consider I sometimes have cues that I execute down to the 100th of a second.
Shouldn't be a big deal as no other band has ever complained about my timing. It's normally spot on. But my current band thinks I'm late with lots of my stabs and pyro hits. Of course when I play the video back at the end of the night, it shows my timing is right there in the pocket, where it should be. But that is no help to the band who are still convinced that I should be listening to what they play and not the big stereo we hang everyday. It throws them off when I light them a split second after I should have and I totally get that.
So after repeated statements from the guys, I gave it a try. I will say one thing, I can now hear every beat and every cue perfectly in the show. But it was still pretty confusing as I would hear the vocals and snare drum/guitars just fine with my new ear buds. But I could still hear the bass from the PA and it screwed with my timing. But I spent a couple hours playing with them today and I am gonna try it again tonite.
I know these monitors aren't the answer I need so I called a couple LD friends to see what they thought of their in ear monitors. Jason Bullock had some molded ones made to fit his ears, but still wears a single muff headset over his "ears" to talk to spot ops. AJ Pen took it a step further. He suggested I get some noise cancellation head phones that pretty much shut out any outside noise. Then he uses two preamps to feed audio into his headset. One is the mix from the FOH console, the other is the feed from his Intercom.
I'm told that Ben Marx actually took it a step further and has a little rack he carries around that has gates and equalizers built in to protect his ears. Sounds like too much money and pain to lug around. So for now I'm going to run the show tonite and see how I do. After 30 years of running lights, you can always teach an old road dog a new trick.