We get a lot of questions about the transition to Custom IEMs versus universal fit and monitors. Obviously we think custom IEMs are the way to go. But it’s a challenge when all you can say is “Believe me, you’re gonna love them and never look back.” We’ve decided to let our customer do the talking for us…
Our client wanted to transition their performers from universal fit to custom IMES. It’s a big production for a very famous family entertainment company. We were confident that the switch over would go well. And here’s what we heard back:
Dear Ultimate Ears.
We do sound for a big live stage production. It’s a show with exceptional production values and high expectations. To be honest, we were a little stressed about the transition from universal fit to customs, or at least the performers were.
The nice thing for me was the knowledge that although the sound we were getting from the universals was nice enough, the quality of the UE PROs were going to blow my vocalists away. However our cast was a little concerned about making the switch.
We saw our biggest hurdle as getting the vocalists used to hearing their voice from a direct source rather than an ambient one. And we always hear the complaint:
“It’s like singing with earplugs in!”
We have to allow for that extra time to make sure their mix is loud enough for them to feel comfortable, but not so loud that it can cause damage with sustained listening. Once we get their mix where they want it, the distractions vanish. They are now hearing only what they want to hear. Their confidence goes up exponentially and the quality of their performance goes right with it!
Timing issues almost become a thing of the past. With the sound source being so close to the ear there is no variance in delay as the performers move around the stage in and out of stage monitor coverage. The points of overlapping monitor coverage, causing any comb filtering, disappear as well. In standard stage monitoring the timing interaction between speakers can color the tone of what the performer is hearing as they move around. The louder the show the worse this becomes. The isolation and accurate recreation of sound the UE creates eliminates all these extra issues that can cause problems for the vocalists.
Our UE PROs arrived just in time for our final dress rehearsals and right before our soft opening in front of audiences the following week. That was perfect timing! I thought the cast would be blown away by the sound quality and told them as much. But we had to play a game of wait and see.
The transition was almost slapstick comedy. We had everyone on quality generic IEMs and everyone was satisfied with what they were hearing. But as we fitted and did initial testing with the UE PROs, each person had the craziest look of awe and wonder when they started listening. We had not changed their mixes from the generics, but the quality was so obviously different, they could not help but show the pleasure on their faces.
With the new UE’s we’ve noticed outstanding changes! The most significant improvement is the increased accuracy in pitch and timing from our vocalists and musicians. This is probably the truest testament to quality of your product; the crisp, accurate reproduction of sound, and isolation of the mold enables my performers to truly be at their best!