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Pro singers always use wireless in-ear monitors on stage and have no problems with latency. What's the difference in technology that make the same impossible for pianists/keyboardists?


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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Pro singers always use wireless in-ear monitors on stage and have no problems with latency. What's the difference in technology that make the same impossible for pianists/keyboardists?
Technology, they're probably FM not digital, although there are low latency digital proprietary and BT systems, which leads on to the other difference, cost.

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A few years ago I was in a production where all musicians (winds, strings, percussion, keyboard) had in-ear monitors. I don't think that was unusual.


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They are using low latency transmitters and receivers.

Like this

https://www.shure.com/en-US/products/in-ear-monitoring/psm300


And that includes keyboard players, drummers, guitarists, etc.


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To clarify and augment what Purdy said ... "low-latency transmitter/receiver" means "just send the audio over a radio link".
One way. Just send. Speed of light. Simple. Fast. Nanosecond latency.

As opposed to bluetooth which involves digital interchanges and link coordination between sender and receiver.
These things introduces delay.
Fine for networking. Terrible for real-time audio.

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iI thought pianists/keyboardists wear those too. It was the first time I heard this fact, so I had to do my research. It turns out there are some more high-level earbuds for them. WiFi Trends has it all ready to be checked out. Anyway, I saw the Youtube videos, and they're fantastic!! You inspire me to start learning a new hobby or perhaps a new language. I've been postponing things too much due to " oh, I don't have time ", but seeing how you did it, it turns out there's nothing like that!! Thanks, man. Keep up the good work!

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Singers happen to use microphones. With mikes, feedback is an issue. Of course, keyboardists can and do use IEMs, sometimes with radio link (to get the mix not just their output, for which a wire works fine).

> Anyway, I saw the Youtube videos, and they're fantastic!!

Better check them out yourself than salivate over videos. I've got a couple in the 100-200 bucks range, one 1more which are crap and one Senn IE40 somewhat better but no match for old Senn HD545 ref.

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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Pro singers always use wireless in-ear monitors on stage and have no problems with latency. What's the difference in technology that make the same impossible for pianists/keyboardists?

Now this one was a cool question! I had to go and read and learn new stuff laugh here is what I learned:

They use UHF/VHF radio signals (like old-school analog TVs). Their delay is around 5ms, less or more delay causes issues! So 5ms is the sweet spot.

They are expensive because of the technology they are using. They are bulky, they need large battery packs. The transmitter and receiver are bulky too.

Since they use analog technology the antenna design is also an issue.

Heavy signal interference
Signal protection
High energy consumption
Large and heavy hardware requirements

I didn't read much about who Bluetooth technology takes care of these issues, but I believe it's encrypted and it does some sorts of handshaking before issue the connection to avoid the majority of the above-mentioned issues.

Looking forward to know more about it!


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Since you are not dancing around a lot as a pianist, you can use wired in ear monitors. That solves a lot of the problems and expense of wireless tech. Anytime Bluetooth is involved, you’re going to have pretty bad latency.


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The shure psm-300 in ear monitor system which is not blue tooth advertises less than .7 usec delay.

Sound travels 1 foot in a millisecond.


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That wouldn't be a problem, as a guitarist I have more than a few occasion perform with an IEM to protect my hearing.
I have them custom fitted, they pour a sort of gel over my ears to have them fitted.

The early Yellow Magic Orchestra live performances in the late 70's are done by click tracks as the musicians never have enough time to rehearse together, you see all of them wearing headphones on youtube videos.

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Originally Posted by Purdy
The shure psm-300 in ear monitor system which is not blue tooth advertises less than .7 usec delay.

Sound travels 1 foot in a millisecond.

Correction .7 msec


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