This post is the second part of my description of how I listen to music when I play in my band.
Just a quick review of the challenges I have hearing the music correctly. Most of you who also have significant hearing loss will likely have these issues as well.
- The music can sound muddled and unclear due to the reduced frequency resolution of the impaired auditory system.
- Music can sound distorted since hearing aids and cochlear implants cannot always handle loud inputs.
- I need to hear my own instrument, while at the same time need to hear the rest of the band clearly.
- I need to keep in time.
The latter problem of keeping in time is solved by the platform I made. See the previous posting for a description on that.
Through lots of trial and error I have come up with a system the finally works for me. It allows me to hear my bass guitar, while at the same time hear appropriate cues form the guitarist and vocalist.
- First my bass goes into my Boss TU-2 Tuner. Using an electronic tuner has made tuning the instrument a breeze.
- Then the signal goes into the Big Muff Pi Distortion Pedal. I use distortion sparingly, but what I like about this pedal is that it splits the signal into two parts. A dry unaffected output and a wet affected signal.
- The wet affected output then goes into my Markbass 800 Watt Bass Head and speaker cabinets. This is what the audience hears. But not me, I only feel this.
- The dry signal goes to a Boss GEB-7 Bass Equalizer. This allows me to shape the signal so that i can hear it better. I seem to hear the bass better when I enhance the frequencies between 400 Hz to 800 Hz.
- Next the signal goes to Boss LMB-3 Bass Limiter. I need to ensure I get rid of harsh peaks that would sound distorted to me.
- The signal now goes into the SansAmp Bass Driver DI to bring the signal up from a weak signal to a line level signal.
- Finally the signal goes into the Phonak TX300V Studio Transmitter. This send sthe signal to me to hear.
But wait, we are not done yet! I also need to hear the rest of the band correct?
- The guitarist amplifier, guitarist background vocals, and the main vocalist are all being picked up by their own microphones and fed into the PA system.
- Their is an auxiliary output on the mixing board. I adjust the individual auxiliary output volume controls so that I hear the exact amount. Generally, with the pop music we play, I like to hear more of the main vocalist.
- This then goes into another compressor (oddly enough called the Really Nice Compressor). I then adjust the kneepoint, attack time, and release time so that the loud signals are lowered and the weak signals are enhanced.
- This signal also goes into the Phonak TX300V Studio Transmitter.
The final step is blending the bass signal (my instrument) and the rest of the band. The TX300V is nice in that it has 2 channels of input and a blend control. I can now belnd and adjust the two signals to my liking.
So that’s how I do it folks.