Love Your In-Ear Mix


We'll wrap up no later than 1:30. You'll have time for hands-on learning that you can apply right away! 


Getting Started

  • APP: Download the MXBus app (Apple) or Mixing Station (Android)
  • WIFI: Log into the Production wifi, password is Psalm150:1-6
  • BOARD: Select the correct board for your mix (either the M32 or X32 Rack)
  • POSITION: Select your correct position (Drums, Bass etc…)

The Two Types of In-Ear Monitors

  • Universals are more affordable 
  • Custom molded improve comfort, sound quality, and fit 
  • Recommendations at the end of this presentation

In-Ear Fit

  • A good seal prevents noise-bleed 
  • Badly sealed in-ears or having one ear popped out can cause bleed into microphones
  • Try using room mics for ambiance & space

Gain Staging

  • Set master volume between 1/2 and 3/4
  • Your gain might need to be adjusted at the board to get your in-ear volume right. Ask for help! 
  • The gain at the board affects everyone's in-ears. Let everyone know it's being adjusted!
  • Set your own channel first, so that it feels forward and loud but comfortable 
  • Once your channels are set, start adding other instruments & voices

Build Your Mix


Pitch Reference

  • Am I singing/playing in tune? 
  • Am I fitting into the arrangement? 

Rhythm Reference

  • Am I singing/playing in time? 
  • Am I fitting into the band?


  • Can I hear the energy level of the leader? 
  • Can I hear spontaneous directions?


Minimalist Mix 

  • This is a mix that has a lot of your own voice or instrument and a minimal amount of the other instruments.
  • The goal is to keep yourself front and center to be able to focus on what you are doing while having a little of the other important things in your ears. 
    • Pros:
      • Can be very good for beginners learning how to use in-ears well
      • Keep you focused on what you're doing
      • Easier to mix well
    • Cons:
      • It’s easy to lose track of what others are doing or where you are at in the song
      • Sometimes you can’t hear when you're playing something that clashes with others
      • Can sound pretty dull when listening to it

Full Mix

  • This is a mix more representative of what you would hear out in the room or on the broadcast mix.
  • The goal is to have a full picture of what the whole band is doing while keeping a healthy amount of your own instrument/voice in your ears to hear what you are doing. 
    • Pros:
      • A full picture of the band helps keep you glued in with what everyone else is doing
      • Helps you understand the other instruments and what their role is
      • Keeps you from stepping on each other's toes better
    • Cons:
      • Is harder to mix correctly
      • If not done well, can quickly get too loud and uncomfortable in your ears

3 Things You Can't Skip:

  • Click!
  • MD (Music Director)
  • Pastor/Handhelds/Video

Tips & Tricks

Tools to Help Craft a Better In-Ear Mix:

Room Mics

  • The nature of in-ears can make things feel super isolated and unnatural. The way to help this is room mics, the microphones facing towards the congregation. Be careful though, like everything, they can get away from you and overwhelm your mix. 


  • Panning is moving things left or right to separate them from others in your ears. 
  • Keeping your instrument/voice in the center and panning everything else to either side is a great way to keep your instrument forward in the mix while not having to crank the volume on it. 
  • Stereo instruments (a source with a left and right signal) are usually panned hard left and right (100% each direction). This doesn’t mean you have to have them that way in your ears. Panning one of the sides to the middle will push that signal to one side and you can determine how far it goes just by controlling one side. 
  • Panning everything to your perspective on stage helps ground your in-ear mix to reality.  


  • These are good tools to help make your vocals, drums, and acoustic guitars feel more full in your ears. 
  • Especially for vocalists, not having reverb in your ears can make everything feel too dry and lifeless and can throw off your performance. 
  • Drum verb just makes your snare and toms sound huge, not super important in your ears, but it’s fun. 
  • We use a chorus effect on acoustic guitars, which almost adds a subtle doubling effect to the acoustic guitar and helps them feel full, feel free to experiment with how much you like in your ears. Like drum verb it’s not essential but it can help the acoustic to cut through the mix if you need it to be louder. 

Leave Both Ears In!

  • Using One Ear Can Cause Hearing Damage
  • Using One Ear Can Cause Bleed Into Microphones
  • Some Exceptions to this rule... 
    • If you don’t like a lot of room mics in your ears and there's a moment the band is low and the congregation is singing out
    • To hear directions from a microphone not in your mix 


In-Ear Links

Universal In-ear Monitors

  • KZ x Crinacle CRN ZEXPro 
    • Several of us use these, best bang-for-your-buck at just $38.
    • Limited accessories, you might need to buy a case and/or new tips. 
  • MEE Audio M6 Pro
    • Comes with all the accessories you might need including an extra cable and a decent little case.
    • Sound profile isn’t the most pleasing, but it gets the job done.
  • Shure 
    • Lots of different options and price points, and options starting at $99.
    • Not my favorite sound profile, but they are an ‘industry standard’ for universal in-ears. 
  • Westone Audio
    • Awesome company with lots of options starting at $175.
    • They also have good custom fit options.

Custom Molded In-ear Monitors

  • Alclair Audio 
    • One of the most affordable and bang for your buck in-ear options in the custom mold world, starting at $350.
    • Tons of design options and configurations to get exactly what you want out of a monitor. 
    • They make some universal options as well starting at $300.
  • 64 Audio
    • Possibly the most highly regarded custom in-ear maker on the market, starting at $500.
    • They are really pushing new technologies for making your monitoring experience really amazing.