Q Is it possible to achieve a ‘silent’ band setup?

Published in SOS September 2010
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To enable very quiet band rehearsals, I am thinking of feeding the whole band setup into my Behringer RX1602 Eurorack Pro mixer. This would be a guitar and bass through DI boxes, and I might be able to get my hands on an electronic drum kit. I'd then wire the mixer up to a headphone amp. If everyone gets a pair of headphones it should be pretty quiet from the outside. Could you tell me if I'm on the right track for what I want to achieve?

Via SOS web site

SOS Editor In Chief Paul White replies: While you can certainly use a mixer and its built‑in monitor capabilities to do this, you'd still need to add a multi‑channel headphone amp. These need not be expensive, however. Most mixers are also designed for mic or line‑level inputs, not instruments, so you would need to use electronic keyboards, guitar DI preamps and electronic drums as sound sources.

The JamHub is designed to give you as close to a 'silent' studio as possible.

A possibly neater solution is to look at the JamHub system, which has been specifically designed for the application you're trying to achieve, though it would obviously require more of a financial commitment. It's available in three models with varying numbers of inputs and outputs. So, depending on the model you choose, it could work with a maximum of seven musicians, each of whom can have a stereo instrument input and a mic input. This includes separate headphone amps for each performer, with control sections where everyone can set up their own monitor mix. We'll be reviewing this in a forthcoming issue of Sound On Sound, but you can check out the details at www.jamhub.com.

You may not be able to achieve a totally silent rehearsal space this way, but, presuming you are using electronic instruments, this kind of setup should definitely offer a serious reduction in sound levels.  

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