My experience of rehearsal rooms when I was young was that the equipment would be ropey, your ears bled afterwards and would ring for days, and that you shouted so much that your throat was ruined for at least a week. Oh, and there was always a disgusting old sofa in the room somewhere.
I think those days might thankfully be over. This means you can rehearse with headphones on and control the mix you get without ruining everyone else’s experience. And no shouting, talk through the microphones at all times. That way you need never take them off while you rehearse.
The secret is “headphone busses”, normal mixing desks will provide you with one, maybe two or three headphone outs, which have their own controllable mixing sections. This device designs that feature up front. Each headphone out, has it’s own mini-mixer section allowing individuals to set exactly what they want to hear. without changing anyone else’s mix. These individual busses, yes, that is the word, give the JamHub its USP. Each feature is colour coded as well, meaning that if you are plugged into green, your sound will be on green right the way through the unit. Once you see the colour coding, it speaks for itself, not that the manual isn’t pretty good as well.
I’m guessing that cheaper versions will crop up soon, but I would council against trying to save money on these devices and urge you to teach how to use them safely and carefully before you let anyone rip them to shreds. They are solidly built, but tape two of them together any you’ve got a frisbee. As I’ve said elsewhere before, run a little course that trains people how to use them and rewards the right to have access to the equipment in lessons, breaks and lunchtimes. Having clued up and trained learners in the classroom will repay itself in no time.
Have a look at the JamHub website here for ideas on how they can be used in the classroom and experiment yourself. I much preferred using the JamHub to my Behringer mixer for practicing and I would be very interested to hear how you do use these in the classroom.
No money has changed hands and no promises made to JamHub or its distributors, but I would like to thank Steve, Andrew and Tony for the loan of the equipment.