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Monday, October 12, 2009

JamHub - A Revolution In Rehearsing?

As I've said in previous posts and in some of my books, some of the best rehearsals I ever had when I was playing in bands were done acoustically in a band member's living room or bedroom. The only way that you can successfully pull this off is if the band has been playing with each other for enough time so that they're pretty tight. But now comes a new product that could make these types of rehearsals a lot easier to do and a lot more efficient as well.

The product is called JamHub "The silent rehearsal studio" and it provides each band member with their own headphone mixer so that each player and/or singer can hear a mix of the other players that he controls himself. Each band member plugs into JamHub either by an XLR or phone input jack or both (the drummer would have to be on electronic drums or a miked pad), and then creates a personal mix of up to 7 players (depending upon the model). What's especially cool is that each player can plug in both their instrument and vocal mic at the same time. There's even built-in effects and an input and output for recording on the $299 (street price) model, with the $699 model additionally has a built-in solid state recording complete with a click!

This is pretty much a new musical device category since there's nothing on the market exactly like it, so it's exciting for a lot of different reasons. It's the first really new type of product to come around in a long time, and it should have the same effect on rehearsing that personal mixers had in the recording studio. Up until the use of personal mixers like Aviom and Hearback became widespread, headphone mixes derived from the control room were the bane of everyone in the studio. The players usually hated them, and producers, engineers and assistants were driven crazy because the players hated their mix and the sound of their phones. You rarely hear a peep out of players in the studio now that personal mixers have become a studio standard.

I expect something like that to happen with JamHub. The unit should make it easy for a lot of bands to get in a great rehearsal without having to actually crank it up. While you still have to play at stage volume from time to time, with JamHub there's no longer an excuse for not rehearsing because you can't book the rehearsal room. And because you can set up your own mix, everyone's performance should improve as well.

While I haven't actually played with a unit yet, I can really see the possibilities. I'll be happy to report if the JamHub lives up to my expectations when I get my hands on one.


Unknown said...

That's a really cool looking device!

There's so much a band can learn from accurately hearing each other while they play. When my band made the move to in-ear monitoring with separate mixes, we definitely got tighter. The JamHub could offer that type of functionality without the in-ear complexity and cost.

Bobby Owsinski said...

You're right. There's something a lot more intimate about rehearsing and playing this way.


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