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Headphone Distribution System

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by audiokid, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Ya... I'm finally setting up my acoustic room and need to get the headphones happening in there. My main system is the Dangerous Monitor ST but i'm still waiting on VOVOX cable to enter North America so its on stand still.

    So... Right now I'm loving my SPL Monitor Controller. Its really simple and clean and works great with the FF800. This is my first time setting up such a distance so I'll need some coaching and conformation that I'm doing this right. I'm running 75 feet to the A room and need to get some headphones happening..

    See SPL Monitor Talkback (click the image and see frame 2) (dead link removed)
    I'm thinking I would come out of the Musicians feed with balanced TRS to XLR to some headphone system and not need anything more than something like the Sweetwater link below?

    I only need 4 channels at the moment but 8 will be okay if its not much more: Welcome to MindFire Academy

    Or what do you recommend?
  2. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Really you don't want separate mixes for each musician?
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Well, my A room is 75 ft away and I need to plug in some headphones there. If the musicians can control their individual volume level, that would be a bonus. I control the mix for the control room.
  4. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    I am really liking not having to deal with the more me headphone mix game....

    I send 8 channels out to each musician and let them mix it.

    Last session I send the following channels:
    CH1 + CH2 Drums L and R
    Ch3 Bass
    Ch4 Guitar1
    Ch5 Guitar 2
    Ch6 Keyboards mono
    Ch7 Scratch Vocals
    Ch8 Vocals Verb

    The neat thing is walking around and seeing how different each musician mixes the those 8 stems. For so many years I used a single stereo out to feed the headphone amp and wasted a lot of time getting the musicians to reach common compromise.

    Now no one complains and that are now able to focus more getting the perfect take.
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I think we had a thread on HP distribution last winter. The Furman was mentioned but so was Aviom and Hear. I'm not sure I remember if consensus was reached. I think I'm a believer of letting the talent make their own 8 channel HP mix. In the Corps I could get it close and tell them that's what they got, but as a Civie it just saves time etc unless you have a monitor board set up in the control room too. Just my thoughts.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Ah, I think I remember it but never thought about the concept of going to that extent, but now it makes much better sense. I'll have to look for that thread. Link, is this what you built? Sounds expensive for both 8 runs of 75' cable and then a quality mixer that doesn' sound like trash, yes.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I have a never been used Yamaha 03D ( disliked the converters) that's been in a closet for 10 years. It has the Optional AES Digital Interface Card installed as well. I wonder if I could salvage this thing for something like this guys?

    Welcome to MindFire Academy
  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    You could certainly give it a try. I've used the Onyx 1640 that way before since it has six aux sends plus the 4 bus outs. I'd probably limit the channel count to six or eight since that fits most of the headphone systems I've read about. You could combine a couple thing into a bus if you had to.
  9. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Yes I am using my design. It uses a DB25 connector based cable, which has 8 shielded twisted pairs in it. You can daisy chain the units. My main branch run is 35' then it chains from there around the players. The longest run is about 100'. So far no issues. I sold a few of these boxes, so far no issues from other people that I know of. Anyway I am happy to have it now, it was long time coming.
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Link, this is good time to talk more about it if you want, and would be so kind to do so. How much$ for something I need? I know you have a blog started but do drop some images in this thread for us too if you can? And any other cross references.

    tell me more?
  11. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

  12. Tom Fodor

    Tom Fodor Active Member

    Would the JamHub Greenroom be an option for you, set it up with a splitter before anything goes to the desk and let the musicians adjust thier own levels.
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks Tom for the idea: Welcome to MindFire Academy

    That appears to be a cool rehearsal system but not quite what I need for the monitor feed(s) out of my DAW . I'm going the other direction. I need something simple like a two in/ 4 or 8 headphone out with separate volume controls for each musician during tracking.

    or a more controllable system like Link555 suggests and built that will allow 4 to 8 sub groups the ability to mix the way they they like 100 ft away. Obviously the latter is the ideal but more costly for 100 ft snakes or some other system to route all those feeds. One Cat 6 cable sure would sure make this simple.
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Presonus HP60

    Something like the Presonus HP60 looks cool, anyone use this? I'm just reading this pdf, but... still need to long run to the acoustic room.


  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    The Hear looks like what I need, missed the Cat 5 on that. Should have looked at this thread and researched. http://www.heartechnologies.com/hb/hearbacksystem.htm

    Or the Aviom possibly? I think I've got what I need , thanks all.

  16. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    I may be a tad late to the party, but I'm using the Furman HDS16/HRM16 system. It's truly a killa' system.

    Granted, I have a buttload of conversion (24 channels dedicated to tracking/and 24 for mix), so I don't have any "major" issues with coming up with enough sends for the system... I send two stereo mixes and 8 mono mixes to the mini-mixers.

    Here's what I've found so far... Most muso's, even those that have a studio, prefer to just have a two bus mix, and then a lil' bit of "more me". That being the case, I typically set up my HP mixes this way:
    Stereo A - 2-Bus (dry)
    Mix1 - Kik
    Mix2 - Snare
    Mix3 - Bass
    Mix4 - Ryth Gat
    Mix5 - Lead Gat
    Mix6 - Keys
    Mix7 - Scratch Vox
    Mix8 - Click
    Stereo B - Verb de Jour

    The reasons I went with the HDS16 are numerous...
    1)The whole system is analog. Digital glitches and clipping are non-existent.

    2)Easily serviced in the shop. I can readily find any parts and fix anything that might go bad.

    3)Solid build quality. The cases are all steel and if one should get pulled over and hit the floor, it's not gonna fall to pieces like the vast majority of the plastic cased units on the market.

    4)Heavy duty cabling. Some might call this a detriment, but I've found that the heavy duty cabling is intimidating in a good way. Once a mini mixer gets put in place, it stays there.

    4a)Heavy duty cabling also means that it stands up to the occasional getting stepped on without fear of a bad cable screwing up a session. On most systems that use Cat5, you really need to use a stranded, plenum Cat5. If your room has any size to it at all, putting 25 or 30 feet of Cat 5 on a unit ends up as a tangled PITA.

    5)Unlimited connectivity/Daisy chaining. I can add just as many mini-mixer's as I want/need. A couple of times, I've had to block access to a couple of the wall panels. This is no problem. I just daisy chain the units and I'm good to go.

    6)2 sets of cans/mixer. While each mixer has two 1/4" can connections per mixer, they actually have enough gas to push 4 sets of headphones with no problem... and probably could push 8. This is especially useful when doing OD's with "group" vocals. I set up a "final" 2-bus mix on "Stereo A", put the group vox on "Stereo B", hit the red button and I'm good to go.


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