Full band practice live in headphones for "silent rehearsal".

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by edgewound, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. edgewound

    edgewound Gold Supporting Member

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    Maybe you already do this, but necessity intervened to try this.

    I have a unit in an industrial park for my business and offered up some space for my new power trio to rehearse. A business neighbor knocked on the door at 7:30pm to complain of the noise. He said we were disturbing his creative process since he is a "visual artist"...and pays rent there, too. It's my suspicion he also lives there...which was confirmed by my immediate next door neighbor with a machine shop... turns out he's complained about everybody making noise... in an industrial park. I've never had this issue before in an industrial park after business hours. I also caught the leasing agent in a lie denying we had a discussion about this. Living there is supposed to be prohibited, too. That's a completely separate issue. He complained to the property manager and I got the call. She told me no live music is allowed...which put us in a bind to rent rehearsal space. I needed a solution and consulted my band mates that if the drummer had electronic drums we can rehearse live in headphones through the mixing board. Bass player goes direct and I can use the Groove Tubes SEII I bought 10 years ago to run my amp rig direct. Bam! Drummer responds he has access to electronic drums. I was needing an excuse for new headphones so I run over to Sam Ash and pick up a Samson headphone distribution amp, a pair of Sennheiser $99 headphones and a few extensions. The guys bring their headphones, we set up and played live...in near silence. No one outside knew we were rehearsing live music...and the day...and future rehearsals was saved. It actually makes for a more accurate rehearsal since everything is revealed in the headphones.

    Anybody do this? It happens at NAMM all the time. It makes apartment/condo rehearsal a complete possibility. Technology is pretty cool. My wife wanted to come watch, but thought she couldn't hear us....other than raking strings, singing acapella and beating on drum practice pads and rubber cymbals. It's an excuse to buy another set of headphones for her....that we can take on planes with us, etc.
     
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  2. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    My old band used IEMs live. During rehearsals, we'd shut down the mains and just use the in-ears.
     
  3. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    I don’t know which detail strikes me as more strange: some weird artist living in an industrial park, or a band member inviting his wife to sit at practice listening in on headphones. That’d be super awkward for me.
     
  4. edgewound

    edgewound Gold Supporting Member

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    We’re all way past the age of awkwardness. She’s watched way more awkward stuff.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  5. Jonny1275

    Jonny1275 Member

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    I used to do that.. run everyone into a mixer with headphones for all in a home. Works great
    I also used to rent 1,000 sqft space in an industrial area for photography. I'd play after hours and weekends and make all the noise I wanted.
     
  6. strumminsix

    strumminsix Supporting Member

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    It takes a mature band to serve that really wants to serve the song and music. I've worked very well with silent rehearsals, and other times horrible.

    Unless you can submix, everyone should hear the "final product". Can the band keep their ego in check? Think your trio is a PERFECT situation.
     
  7. Calebz

    Calebz Member

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    Out of necessity, I've practiced this way in the past. Like anything else, it can work great if you have the right tools and everyone is into it.

    Lately, we've heen working on new demos and practicing sectionals this way. I like it for certain situations. It's definitely a great preproduction practice tool.

    By the way - congrats on having a group of guys eager to jump in and adapt to keep the music going. You are the envy of TGP.
     
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  8. B Money

    B Money Member

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    How are you isolating the singers?
     
  9. edgewound

    edgewound Gold Supporting Member

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    Only two of us sing. Live mix in the headphones as the mains.

    Pretty simple.
     
  10. Endr_rpm

    Endr_rpm Member

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    I've done this before and while it does suck some of the fun out, it works really well. And by fun I mean the fun kind of feedback where every note just keeps going and going :)
     
  11. paulvcarter

    paulvcarter Member

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    Pete Townshend just committed suicide......:)
     
  12. B Money

    B Money Member

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    yeah I get that it's simple, but unless the singers are sequestered in isolation booths I don't see how it's "silent rehearsal" and why your neighbor is not still complaining about the noise. I suppose the singing and thwapping of the drum pads is low enough to not upset his volume threshold.
     
  13. Old Guy

    Old Guy Silver Supporting Member

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    I gotta say, that's super cool. Amazing how far we've come.
     
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  14. edgewound

    edgewound Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, well...”Silent” is a relative term. We’re not externally amplified.
     
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  15. jrjones

    jrjones Supporting Member

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    We do. Everything runs direct into an xr18 and use headphone amps.
     
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  16. eclecto-acoustic

    eclecto-acoustic Member

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    We do this when really trying to nail something or for recording. It was actually part of the motivation behind picking up the Zoom LiveTrak 12 mixer. 5 stereo headphone outputs, each can have their own mix if we want, or just use the dipswitch and listen to the main mix. We record rehearsals with it too, multitrack straight to an SD card.

    I had my eyes set on that JamHub for a long time, but I guess they are out of business now. The LiveTrak was the perfect solution at the perfect time.
     
  17. run23

    run23 Supporting Member

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    Yeah - about 10 years ago I was in a band where we rehearsed for a bit in an NYC apartment this way - what made it easier was our main sound was electronic drums - samples, loops, drum machines etc, so at least we weren’t giving up the experience of live drums. I got used to playing that way pretty quickly and it actually sounded weird for a moment when we moved into a rehearsal space.

    As noted above, everyone has to be very cool and leave their egos aside, even more than usual, when playing through headphones. One thing that helped was that it was possible to separately mix in your own instrument to make it louder where only the one player would hear that specific mix. My ultimate guitar tone was kind of crap given my technology limitations at the time, but I was happy just to be playing.
     
  18. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    Did it with a band a couple years ago, a trio. I used a Joyo pedal instead of an amp and used my pedals. Worked fine.

    Back in the 90s, used to rehearse at the drummer house, he had E drums, we'd plug into the board, there were already keyboards hooked up. We all came out the studio mains. It was basically a well equipped home/project studio. We played low enough, we didn't even use mics (and we were singing a Lot of 3-4 part harmony). But we could have and used headphones if we wanted to.

    Currently rehearsing with a band, I take a DR, sometimes a couple pedals, sometimes none, drummer uses an E drum kit, real low volume. I think we could do headphones too, if we had to, without much issue.

    When I was a kid, in my first band, it was important for us to rehearse "as a band" at band volume. We needed to learn how to play as a band. These days, it is more about getting parts down. I already know how to work an amp, lol.
     
  19. DCross

    DCross Member

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    It is a great solution to your problem. I'm just a solo act, but I practice this way a lot - I started because of roommates, but find it very useful to hear the vocals and the backing tracks much closer to how they sound going through the PA. It has also really helped me to learn how to sing through a mic.
     
  20. NamaEnsou

    NamaEnsou Supporting Member

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    We used to do that a lot when I lived in Japan and it always seemed funny to think of what someone watching might have thought since there was no sound, while we were rocking out like mad.
     

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