Building out and maintaining a recording studio is a constant process of upgrading your equipment, so you can continue making every recording sound better than the one before it. You're always refining the signal path and collecting mics for every scenario, a rainbow of color compressors, better preamps, better converters, and a better play back chain. But we know in the backs of our collective minds that all this gear can't fix a pasty, uninspired performance by the musician on the other end of the mic. Wouldn't it be sweet if there was a magical upgrade that could help the players turn their performances up to 11? As it turns out, there is.
When it comes to upgrades, the headphone amp and distribution chain is often the most neglected system in the whole studio. Yet it is one of the few pieces in the studio that directly impacts your ability to deliver a superb performance. It's a difficult nut to crack because each member of the band wants a slightly different version of the tracking mix in their cans. If you find yourself tracking whole bands and ensembles at the same time, you must treat headphone mix distribution with the same concern as every other chain in your rig. The good news is you don't need to have a zillion dollar studio budget to have a phenomenal headphone system. Sweetwater carries headphone amplification and distribution solutions for every studio size and budget.
The number one way you can help your players is by providing a way for them to dial in their own headphone mix. We have distribution systems that allow you to configure send groups and route them to the headphone distribution box, which sends them to an individual mini-mixer for each musician. Then each performer can decide how much of each group they want in their cans. You can even go one better and send a direct signal from every channel, giving your performers the ultimate control over their personal mix.
Don't worry if your studio isn't set up to provide quite that level of tweakage. You can absolutely give your clients an extra level of control and comfort with a more compact and affordable solution. Even simply providing performers with their own headphone amp to control their own volume is a big deal. We have very compact units that simply receive your headphone mix and give each musician their own volume knob. This saves you time as well since you don't have to audition headphone volume and manually adjust for everyone in the room.
Those two scenarios represent the two far ends of the complexity and control spectrum. There are a huge variety of headphone amp and distribution systems that fall in between, and we have them all here at Sweetwater. Assemble a custom system to meet the demands of your particular situation. If you have questions about how to integrate a great headphone system into your studio, call us. Our Sales Engineers are adept at guiding you through the options to a headphone amp and distribution solution that is perfect for you and your clients.
Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.