Monday, October 12, 2009
JamHub - A Revolution In Rehearsing?
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.