The simple truth is that In-Ear Monitors can help make singing live more manageable.
In-ear monitoring allows you to hear your voice clearly inside your head, instead of down on the floor in front of you like with wedges. As a bonus, the IEMs act as plugs, reducing the amount of volume coming from the stage up to 26db.
For singers with quiet voices, this can be a huge help. As a singer, your microphone is not just picking up your voice. It’s also picking up rogue bass frequencies, buzzes, hums and a whole host of other audio flotsam and jetsam.
This tends to people wanting to have their monitors turned up, which can lead to the dreaded feedback loop we talked about earlier. This is why It’s not ideal to rely on hearing your voice come back through a PA or from wedges. Feedback from your wedges can really throw you off your game and, of course, your performance.
We’ve talked about volume wars and how it can affect a band overall, even off stage, before, but I want to focus on singers now.
Using in ears means less overall stage volume, which is especially important in a House of Worship setting. However, even if you are in a rock club, lower volume has some serious advantages.
When you are compensating for volume from amplified instruments, you tend to sing louder. This not only can seriously affect your intonation (staying in tune) but it can really put a strain on your voice. You may not notice it if you are playing a gig here and there, but if you are on tour or playing out regularly, you will feel it sooner than later. You should be really focused on warming up exercises to keep your voice in shape. In addition, IEMs can go a long way to make fatigue less of an issue. If you are just playing acoustically, it may not be as much of an issue, but if you are in a loud band it can be a very different story. You should be thinking about protecting your voice as well as your hearing.