PianoMan51 Posted July 3, 2016 Share Posted July 3, 2016 Six months ago I started a recurring piano gig. Once a month a bass player and I play jazz standards for a senior living facility for their Sunday brunch. Here comes the kink: we're always too loud for some of our customers. And we play really really quietly. And then we get the complaints. Oy! The piano sounds tinny, like it's coming from an AM radio. Well, this sucks. One Sunday for a lark, I brought a pair of FBT 6" powered monitors and placed them on stands, either side of my head, maybe 18" away from my ears. Oh, this was okay!. I could hear everything nicely, as though I was playing a real piano, but for the audience it was quiet enough to please those with their hearing aids jacked to the max. But of course I'm sure it looked completely weird, and was time consuming to set up and adjust. Here's the solution: earbuds. I'm talking about the kind that sit in socket of your ear. You can hear everything around you quite clearly, but you don't get the kind of bass response you can get from good in-ears. But this is just fine for piano only. And, the added bonus is that for soft gigs where I sing, I can hear myself better than ever. Here's my setup: - CP-4, running stereo outs. - Small 4-channel Mackie Mixer, with separate Mains output level and Headphone level. - One set of reasonably good earbuds, with extension cable so I can snake it under the piano. - Powered speaker suitable for the room, running off the Right hand output only. The earbuds allow me to hear the stereo piano at a level I would hear when I play an acoustic grand, so it's engaging. I can also hear my vocals very well (although the bass response is attenuated). And I hear the bass player at stage volume. Then when I set the powered speaker up, I can adjust the position and the level (in mono) to suit the band and the audience. I've played two gigs this way and I really like how I can hear myself just a little bit louder than anybody else, with as good or better fidelity as any PA speakers. One gig was the above mentioned bass-piano duo. I've also done this with a quartet with me singing. Both were a sonic delight, at least for me. The audience gets a mono piano (which has been hashed to death here, and I agree that nobody on the audience side is going to hear or care.) But I (with a big capital I) get the stereo surround sound that makes me feel like I'm playing a non-faux-piano. The volume of the earbuds I'm going to guess is no more than 6dB hotter than the stage volume for the rest of the band and the audience. And, I can easily adjust one volume without affecting the other. Anyway, that's my story until somebody smarter than me shows me the error of my ways. Submitted for your approval... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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