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Should the amateur contestants wear ear monitors like the pro's do?


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Old 05-11-2008, 21:18
ribtickle
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Whenever a professional singer sings live these days they tend to wear ear monitors, which look like wired hearing aids. These allow them to hear their singing voices clearly, especially above any loud noise from the band or backing track, and it also helps them keep better time with the music. Some are 'noise cancelling', so that background sounds are reduced, helping full concentration on the voice.

If you cannot hear yourself adequately when you sing you'll either give a poorer performance or sing off pitch, particularly during the tricky bit at the opening of a verse after a vocal pause where other noise can throw you.

Most top pro's would refuse to appear unless they had their ear monitors. David Bowie, for example, has been using them longer than most. Will Young removed a pair when he spoke to Dermot after his performance last Saturday.

None of the amateurs who take part in these contests use them, and so they occasionally sing a 'bum note', particularly after a break, and occasionally can continue doing so during an entire verse, to the extent you could be forgiven for thinking they are tone deaf. Inevitably the audience thinks they're poor singers, wonder "how did he/she make it through to the finals?", and the panel refer to these tuning problems.

Do you think the amateurs should be allowed to use ear monitors, to monitor their voice more clearly, so that they are on a level playing field with the pro's?

This Saturday, should Mariah Carey sing live, she will surely wear them, while the amateurs around her, should they sing backing vocals, will not.
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Old 05-11-2008, 21:20
SteakPieHarry
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Yup. Singing live without good monitors is extremely difficult. Like singing along to music with headphones on. You think you sound great.

Obviously I've no idea how good the stage monitors are but the in ear ones would certainly help.
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Old 05-11-2008, 21:21
toastyred
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I totally think they should. Particularly the groups. I noticed in American Idol this year, they allowed them about half way throught the competition.
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Old 05-11-2008, 21:24
Queen Maeve
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Absolututely, JLS will be particular beneficaries, but all should be given the option imho.
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Old 05-11-2008, 21:25
Smokeychan1
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JLS wore ear pieces on Saturday. Not sure about previous weeks or the other contestants (maybe with only 1 act left and cus they are a group, Louis was allowed this concession?).
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Old 05-11-2008, 21:32
slappers r us
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Absolututely, JLS will be particular beneficaries, but all should be given the option imho.
JLS wore them on Saturday night



http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zchE7drjVHQ

You can see them from 40 seconds onwards

no one else had them

I commented on the live thread about it
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Old 05-11-2008, 21:35
ribtickle
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JLS wore ear pieces on Saturday. Not sure about previous weeks or the other contestants (maybe with only 1 act left and cus they are a group, Louis was allowed this concession?).
I must have missed that, but I'm glad to hear it, and yes, they probably thought it was more justified for a group.

There's no excuse for them not to let everyone use them these days, as the equipment isn't as expensive as it used to be.
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Old 05-11-2008, 22:14
robtuk06
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JLS and Will Young wore them on Saturday.

They were the only people singing as a group, or with live backing vocals.

Fair enough I say.
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Old 05-11-2008, 22:56
cathrin
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Excellent point, OP. I often feel dreadfully sorry for singers who give what *appears* to be a terrible/tone deaf-sounding performance, when in fact they couldn't hear themselves or the backing track properly.

The most famous [and nightmarish!] example, of course, is Jemini in the Eurovision Song Contest. That poor girl was almost a semitone sharp for the entire first verse, and she was universally ridiculed as if she couldn't hold a tune to save her life....but it wasn't that simple! She pitched the first note sharp and stayed consistently sharp for the entire verse without realising it. An in-ear monitor would have spared her (and us!) that embarrassment!

I also remember something similar happened to that blonde girl from EastEnders (Kim something?) and Ade Edmonson when they sang You're The One That I Want on Comic Relief Celeb Fame Academy a few years ago. Again, they sounded as if they were horrendously off-key, but they were in the *wrong* key because they couldn't hear the track!

Sorry, wandered off topic a bit there. But yes, I think in-ear monitors would make a huge difference to everyone.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:12
cryingshame
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None of the amateurs who take part in these contests use them,
Yes they do. As already mentioned, JLS wore them, but Daniel did as well - and I think Austin did. Someone told me that Eggnog did also.

Thing is - all of the girls might be wearing them - but you would not see them beneath the long hair. We'll all keep our eyes open next saturday and see who is wearing them. I think they all are.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:01
Dead Set
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The engineers have enough problems getting the broadcast sound right (which they never do) so what hope in them providing exactly what the singer wants when they want it.

I'd rather take my chances with a floor monitor and move to a position where I got the best sound.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:04
prasanth
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How does the system work now? What do they use to hear the backing track at the moment?
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:24
Singy Thingy
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I think floor monitors are actually more helpful to amateur singers.

It is possible, if experienced, to know what pitch you are producing without being able to hear yourself, but not all vocalists can do this even with experience.

In any case, when it comes to front of house mix vs what you hear through moniters, weather in ear or floor,you are to a great degree at the mercy of the person running sound.
...best advice I ever remember getting as far as this topic....be nice to the soundman!
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:59
Gooby
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I had no idea those ear things made such a difference. I now feel cheated by all the poor performances I have had to listen too!
From reading the very informative (thanks everyone) stuff on this thread perhaps eggnog would benefit most from it. There must be something about him that the judges see but to me he just sounds terrible and out of tune every week. This must be the reason. Plug his ear and see if he sounds any better!
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Old 06-11-2008, 19:57
ribtickle
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Yes they do. As already mentioned, JLS wore them, but Daniel did as well - and I think Austin did. Someone told me that Eggnog did also.

Thing is - all of the girls might be wearing them - but you would not see them beneath the long hair. We'll all keep our eyes open next saturday and see who is wearing them. I think they all are.
I don't think anyone else has, apart from JLS, who must've thrown me because they already have every kind of ear adornment. Austin didn't use them, I've re-checked his performances at YouTube, and I haven't noticed Daniel or Eoghan using them in the couple of clips I reviewed.

Good point about the girls, but in week 1 when Alex sang Wanna Dance With Somebody her hair was tied up and she wasn't using in-ear monitors.
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