What makes a musician Smart? Well, if you ask another musician the answers would range from knowing scales to knowing lots of licks, techniques, etc… If you ask a Sound Guy maybe it would be knowing the correct use of monitoring, or to play at decent stage levels. But if you ask me, I would say a Smart musician is that one who is Ready
Let’s dig into this idea. If you’re a gigging musician playing any amount of venues per week, you don’t want to leave anything to chance, you want to be prepared to deal with most of the issues that will come up before and during a show. For example, if you’re a Guitarist, having at least one extra set of strings is not only common sense but a mandatory checklist item. If you’re a singer, having your own microphone not only guarantees your voice will sound consistent from gig to gig, but it’s also more hygienic. But for the most part, there’s a void that very few musicians fill and it’s their Personal Monitoring System
Let’s face it, floor wedges are becoming obsolete, every serious musician is choosing In-Ears as a monitoring solution and sure, we make In-Ear Monitors for touring acts that normally carry their own wireless racks or have them provided, but for those playing in smaller venues without production budgets the story is different. You can’t count on the venue having a wireless monitoring system just waiting for you, and here’s when good musicians become “Smart” musicians, by getting their very own personal monitoring system.
Personal monitoring systems come in all varieties and prices. If you have the budget, by all means get a wireless system like the AKG EVM 4500 that offer outstanding quality and features and will let you hop around the stage like crazy, just make sure you’re aware of radio frequency issues so you don’t get annoying noises in your mix. But if your budget is not that generous and/or hopping on stage is not a must, a wired system like Elite Core's PMA is a very cost effective solution and furthermore it should be a part of every smart musician’s gear collection.
So, with your personal monitoring system in your arsenal your typical scenario would be something like this: You get to the gig, set up your gear, ask the sound guy for a line to hook your monitoring system to (which will guarantee the sound guy will like you), dial in your mix and then play at a decent stage volume (which also guarantees that most venue owners will like you). Everybody wins! Don’t think about it twice, give it a shot and become a Smart Musician.