I am a drummer and I am using in-ear for live performances as monitoring. But sometimes I have problems with the cymbals mix which can get to really high frequencies during the performance (moments when i cannot talk to the sound engineer to adjust it, of course) and it beats the purpose of lower sounds in the in-ear monitoring, causing hearing disconfort.

From your experience would it be possible/a good idea to ask the sound engineer (without him killing me or throw heavy curses on me :D ) to send me whatever I need in the in-ear and the drums only on the monitoring speakers on the stage?


  • Is it out-of-the-question to just fix it with your playing?
    – Sarkreth
    Jun 17, 2018 at 5:20
  • what do you mean? Jun 17, 2018 at 7:11
  • If your cymbals are too loud in your mix (which is what I understand to be the problem), then hitting them less hard should help, and it avoids the problem of giving the engineer any trouble.
    – Sarkreth
    Jun 18, 2018 at 1:37
  • I am playing some really fast and powerful music so when being on stage full of adrenaline that might be pretty much out of discussion :) but thanks for the advice. Jun 18, 2018 at 7:36
  • I'm a huge tech death fan myself, so I think I know where you're coming from. It's a common misconception that drummers need to hit cymbals hard to get an aggressive sound. The drums (especially the snare) are far more important for that. Have you ever heard a recording where you thought the cymbals were too quiet? How about where the snare is too quiet?
    – Sarkreth
    Jun 18, 2018 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


It isn't very practical but it is good practice by the sound tech to give the musician whatever monitor mix they feel like they want to hear. But I would suggest you just ask for a limiter (which is also a good idea to have when using ears anyway) and maybe a multi-band compressor to help keep the high end from piercing your ear drums.

  • Nice one with the limiter. I did not know about this option. I have to try it out. Probably this will solve my problem with the high tones during the performance. Jun 17, 2018 at 7:09

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