As I enter my 50th year of life, I find myself thinking about what is important to me and, more specifically, what situations provide the most memorable fun and enjoyment. Family activities aside, I find that jamming with talented friends is the most exciting and soul-satisfying thing I like to do on a night off.
In the old days (pre-children), we’d all turn up our amps just loud enough so that we could all hear ourselves well enough to play. Within minutes, each person would turn up “just a little bit more.” Before long, we’d all be loud, but it sounded pretty good. Today, though, even the initial soft volume is way too loud for my house. Just when everybody’s groovin’, I’ll get the inevitable, “Turn it down!”
So I said to myself, “No problem. I own plenty of gear, and I have a headphone amp. I’ll just have everybody bring headphones, and it’ll be magic.” But it never was. The unchanging truth is that musicians need to hear themselves “just a little louder” than everyone else in order to play their best, and the single headphone mix made everyone unhappy. Plus, almost all the musicians were using stereo effects, and my mixer just doesn’t have 14 sends.
Enter the JamHub. There are three models to choose from: the BedRoom (5 sections, 15 audio channels), the GreenRoom (7 sections, 21 audio channels), and the TourBus (7 sections, 21 audio channels, an onboard SD recorder, and more). Each musician gets a TRS line-level stereo input, perfect for keyboards, guitar and bass processors, and electronic drum kits and groove boxes – even the headphone output of your iPod, iPad, or computer. Then they each get an XLR for their microphone (phantom power is available on the GreenRoom and the TourBus). It’s easy for each musician to balance the levels of all the other musicians. All the vocal mics have individual send amounts to a global vocal effects processor.
It’s amazing how much better musicians play and sing when they’re happy with their mix. The resulting music will be so good that you’ll want to record it via the stereo recording output channel, which has its own mixer and TRS output (USB output available on the GreenRoom and the TourBus). The TourBus even adds an SD card recorder to archive every moment of the jam.
There is also an optional remote mixing module, the SoleMix Remote, that effectively lets you have your slice of the pizza 12′ away from the JamHub. The BedRoom has one connector for a single SoleMix. The GreenRoom and the TourBus each have four SoleMix connectors – and these models each come with one SoleMix Remote.
Headphone maker Direct Sound has partnered with the JamHub to create bundles (5-pack or 7-pack) of their EX-25 and EX-29 Extreme Isolation headphones. These headphones turn the JamHub into a pro-quality rehearsal facility. Each headphone is color coordinated to match a specific channel.
And finally, to those of you with lots of gear in your house, who are thinking, “I bet I already have enough stuff to do all this,” just consider that the whole JamHub can rest in your open hand; it weighs less than 5 lbs.! And it’s ready to go within a minute of everybody plugging in. More importantly, you don’t have to tear up your studio trying to get this to work. I promise you this: just one jam session with friends you rarely get to see will make you glad you own a JamHub.