When it comes to music, there is always one universal constant. The musician needs to hear the performance in order to perform. For small ensembles and bands who want to practice in a small room or venue this can be problematic as it’s difficult to hear what they need to hear.
A great example of this is of a drummer trying to hear the vocalists. He’s going to have a very hard time hearing the vocals from behind the kit without cranking up the vocal mix to the point it overpowers everything else. But at that point, the vocals can’t hear their own guitars to make sure they are on pitch, and the whole band just starts to fall apart.
To solve this, the JamHub GreenRoom is a 21-channel mixer for up to 7 musicians that creates an audio matrix mix of all the inputs from into individualized headphone outputs for each player giving them exactly what they want to hear.
Using the JamHub GreenRoom you can feed everyone’s instruments into the matrix. Now the drummer can get extra loud vocals, and the vocals can get extra guitar levels with just a hint of drums. Every musician gets a set of headphones with a mix of exactly what they want, and you don’t have to create an off-balanced live mix that annoys your audience or your neighbors.
What You Get With GreenRoom
The JamHub GreenRoom has positions for 7 different musicians via 6 front wedges and one rear wedge. Each “wedge” is a stereo 1/4 inch connection for their instrument, an XLR connection with phantom power for their microphone, and a 1/4 inch stereo output for their headphones.
On each wedge is a series of dials. A dual layer gain dial controls the input level of your instrument and mic inputs. A dual layer headphone dial controls the output volume to your headphones as well as a dial that controls the output of the built-in effects processor into your headphones. A stage dial controls where you “appear” in the mix to everyone from either stage left to stage right.
The 7 source dials allow you to set how much of each other wedge you want to hear in your headphone output. Don’t want to hear your drummer at all, just turn him off. Want to hear more of your own guitar, turn it up.
The GreenRoom model of the JamHub also supports up to 4 SoleMix remote jacks, which are optionally attached remote headphone outputs with controls for the mix. These are great for say a drummer who is closed off behind his kit and it would be difficult to get out to make an adjustment.
Finally, the GreenRoom model also has a USB port on it, allowing you to attach it to computer. It shows up as a normal audio device, and you can use your favorite recording program to record your session straight into your machine.
The JamHub GreenRoom is a great little device for bands or anyone trying to do complex audio mix downs. Here in the studio, we actually use this guy to power our 4-way Skype system, giving every Skype machine a perfect mix-minus without having to use an extremely expensive and huge mixing console.
Each Skype machine feeds the output into each wedge plus the main mix from the live set going into the rear wedge. Each wedge sends a mix-minus (mix of all feeds minus yourself) back down to the Skype machine for the caller. With most normal low and mid-range mixers, we’d only have one or two aux buses available to do a mix-minus. With the JamHub as a sub-mixer, we can easily accommodate up to seven.
Now, there are a few gotchas with the JamHub that I found a little disappointing. The biggest gotcha would have to be the 1/4-inch stereo inputs being exactly that, stereo input only. Many instruments output mono and you’ll need a mono to stereo adapter to make it work properly with the JamHub. I would also have loved to seen a parallel output for the inputs so you can easily send the signal down to a house mixer without having to split it beforehand.
Overall, I found that the JamHub is a great piece of gear. At $500, it’s a fraction of the price of similarly functioning “pro” level gear, but don’t let the price scare you away. The sound quality remains very clean and perfect for in-ear-feedback systems.
If you want to save a little money, JamHub also has their Bedroom model, which can support 5 musicians and lacks the USB connection. Then again, if you really want to splurge, you can go for the Tourbus edition, which has the same 7 musician support as the Greenroom, but adds in a SD card for built-in recording.
If you are a band wanting to practice in the garage, a small ensemble wanting to hear what they want in their IFBs on stage, or someone trying to setup a video conference system, the JamHub is a great consideration.
You can find the JamHub GreenRoom and its siblings via their website, or you can purchase them via various online retailers.