The technology around in-ear stage monitoring is lightyears ahead of where it was even just a few years ago. Upgrading your headphone amps and distribution setup lets you serve a wider variety of genres and artists. Many venues now make it possible to feed a monitor mix to in-ear headphones. One of the best ways to implement this type of monitoring, and make performers love you, is with a small army of personal headphone amps set up all around the stage. This saves you a huge amount of time during sound check because each person can tweak their own mix instead of having to initiate a lengthy back and forth discussion with you.
The first question you'll have to answer is how many channels you'll need. Many distribution units come with several personal mixers in the base bundle, but can actually expand up to 36 units or more. If you need more, simply add a second distribution unit and you'll be set. When it comes to how many mixers you can drive, the sky's the limit.
The personal headphone mixer unit itself is pretty impressive. If you prefer simplicity, choose your basic mixer that's essentially a personal volume knob. That may be all you need in some cases. If you want something with all the extras, there are plenty of models to get excited about. Sweetwater carries headphone amps featuring onboard EQ, and solo and mute by channel. The mute option is great because it allows one player to tune out the other instruments or EQ them down to where they're still audible, but not drowning out the sounds they really want to hear.
Things can get loud on stage, but the word loud takes on a whole new meaning when you have headphones funneling every sound directly into your ears. Another very highly recommended, some would even say critical, feature is adjustable volume limiting. This works like a brick wall limiter designed to keep the volume from ever exceeding the preset level you choose. It proves useful for keeping things like accidental stick hits to the snare microphone from destroying everyone's hearing.
The parade of features doesn't stop there. Many headphone amps and distribution modules come with options for panning and levels, recallable custom mix snapshots, and all kinds of mounting hardware. A well thought out stage monitoring solution that includes a configurable headphone amp and distribution system is what separates the professionals from the amateurs.
Taking in all of the options and features can be a bit daunting to say the least. That's where we come in. Our Sales Engineers are just a phone call away. We are ready to help you wade through it all and come out the other side with a fantastic headphone amp and distribution system for your performance venue.
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.