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Old October 10th, 2013, 01:03 PM   #1
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How to handle multiple people monitoring audio?

Greetings.

I know that this is a basic question, I think, but here goes:

How do you guys handle monitoring audio when you have clients that want to hear for themselves the sound.

My current set up is to monitor sound through headphones plugged into a Shure FP 33. There is one more 1/8" mini jack for a second set of phones, as well as a jack on the camera itself. A total of three.

But let's say you have a whole bunch of cooks that want to be in the kitchen and listen in. What's the best way to mage this.

Most of the stuff I do is single person crew (SPC) or a small crew.

Thanks for your insights.

Jonathan
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Old October 10th, 2013, 01:10 PM   #2
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Re: How to handle multiple people monitoring audio?

I just bought one of those bluetooth speaker things for my wife's Birthday it also has the 3.5mm jack not to bad quality for playback and small about tennis ball size.
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Old October 10th, 2013, 01:40 PM   #3
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Re: How to handle multiple people monitoring audio?

The traditional professional standard is Comtek equipment. A transmitter from the sound mixer, and any number of wireless receivers and headsets (or earbuds) for all the wanna-bees. It is expensive stuff, but "industrial strength", and typically rented for the production vs. purchased.
COMTEK Communications Technology - PR-216 Personal Headset Receiver
COMTEK Communications Technology - BST-75 Synthesized Base Station Transmitter

There are several consumer wireless headset products currently available that will serve the same purpose, although not with the same level of "industrial-strength". For example,a Sony wireless headset MDR-RF985RK

Sony MDR-RF985RK Wireless Radio Frequency Headphone MDRRF985RK

The headphones are nice and big and comfortable, and self-contained (vs a separate receiver belt-pack and cable for Comtek). Each set comes with one headset and transmtter/charger stand. But you can use just one transmitter and any number of headset receivers. The cost for the transmitter/charger and receiver/headset pair is likely less than the cost of one day rental for a Comtek.

But the Sony (and similar consumer products) use proprietary rechargable batteries, and when the batteries are used up, you can't just put a new set of AA cells into them. Another downside is that the base station is both the recharging station AND the transmitter. Presumably you could put the unused transmitters on a different channel (3 available) than the primary one you are using.

Note that Bluetooth is NOT a "broadcast" technology. It is a 1-to-1 communication channel. So you can not typically "join" more than one Bluetooth receiver to a transmitting device.
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Old October 10th, 2013, 01:50 PM   #4
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Re: How to handle multiple people monitoring audio?

Hi Donald and Richard,

This stuff gets complicated fast.

Maybe I should just consider myself and one other person to monitor audio since I have two outputs, plus the one on the camera, but not exactly sure if that would be monitoring what HAS been recorded or what is going INTO the camera.

JL
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Old October 11th, 2013, 02:16 AM   #5
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Re: How to handle multiple people monitoring audio?

Cabled I use superlux or a samson headphone amplifier to sony MDR-V150 and V300 headphones:
Superlux HA3D - Thomann UK
http://www.samsontech.com/samson/pro...c-class/cque8/

I have two of the superlux and they are battery operated so ideal for location work, they can also drive lots of headphones via splitters but three tends to be enough for most shoots.

If I need to go wireless I use a Trantec UHF in ear monitoring system to the same headphones or ear buds, I also have three receivers and tend to feed just mono for courtesy feeds.

I also have an old VHF transmitter that can send on 174.500mhz and that can be received by some low cost baofeng UV5r walkie talkies and I have six of those but the quality is not as good.

I use the twelco brand of mixers and the four and six channels versions have stereo XLR, mono XLR for boom or courtesy headphones etc and stereo hirose outputs for camera.
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Old October 11th, 2013, 11:02 AM   #6
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Re: How to handle multiple people monitoring audio?

Thanks Gary.

From what you and Richard have mentioned, it seems that a wireless network of some sort is up there with how to do it.

With that, I can only imagine the headaches that adding another wireless system on top of, say, wireless mice/lavs must introduce.

Sound like this get's into budgeting for a real sound person, which penny pinching clients will always bristle at.

Yikes! You guys don't have it easy!
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Old October 11th, 2013, 11:42 AM   #7
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Re: How to handle multiple people monitoring audio?

If the listeners are all in close proximity, a simple headphone distribution amp with their phones plugged in would do it. Here's one inexpensive example:
Behringer HA8000 - Headphone Amplifier HA8000 B&H Photo Video

This could be wired to your basic headphone out on your camera or mixer, or, I suppose, sourced from a single wireless receiver. I don't envy you with having so many cooks sticking their spoons in your soup as you make it.
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Old October 11th, 2013, 12:07 PM   #8
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Re: How to handle multiple people monitoring audio?

Thanks Battle.

Wow. For 150.00 not bad. They claim that there is an xlr main input on the back of the unit but I didn't see that or even a 1/4" main input. and the Behringer website does not have a user manual for this device as far as I can tell.
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Old October 11th, 2013, 01:51 PM   #9
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Re: How to handle multiple people monitoring audio?

There are two versions, one has xlr and 1/4" trs input. The cheaper on is 1/4" trs only,but of course there are xlr to trs adapers available. The manual is here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/lit_files/84908.pdf There are similar products from Samson, Presonus, and others.

BTW, if you have location problems and need a battery operated unit, Rolls makes several 12-15 volt DC powered units that are quite compact. I have run similar Rolls devices off AA batteries in a 12-volt battery holder I got from Radio Shack. Here is one of the units: http://www.rolls.com/product.php?pid=HA243

Last edited by Battle Vaughan; October 11th, 2013 at 04:41 PM. Reason: addendum
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Old October 13th, 2013, 03:38 AM   #10
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Re: How to handle multiple people monitoring audio?

The superlux HA3D can run off two AA batteries so is ideal for location work: Superlux HA3D Amplifier | Headfonia

They are less than $200 here: Superlux HA3D Portable Stereo Headphone Amplifier Head Amp Amazing | eBay
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Old October 14th, 2013, 10:29 AM   #11
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Re: How to handle multiple people monitoring audio?

Gary.

That looks like a great solution. Sort of looks like a Sound Devices knock-off. It looks like you have to order overseas or on ebay. I think the cost is 170.00US.

I'll keep that on file.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 12:38 PM   #12
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Re: How to handle multiple people monitoring audio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Levin View Post
Gary.

That looks like a great solution. Sort of looks like a Sound Devices knock-off. It looks like you have to order overseas or on ebay. I think the cost is 170.00US.

I'll keep that on file.
It is very sound devices and I think they make a similar more expensive product but the superlux is sold through well known outlets in europe and I have two of them and can vouch that their quality is very good.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 08:28 PM   #13
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Re: How to handle multiple people monitoring audio?

For large recording sessions, headphones amplifiers are fed the master feed. These can also be used to classes that require headphones. Imagine 10, 20, 30 people with headphones...

PreSonus HP60 | Sweetwater.com
Alesis MultiMix 6 Cue | Sweetwater.com
Behringer Powerplay Pro-8 HA8000 | Sweetwater.com
Tascam MH-8 8-Channel Headphone Amplifier MH-8 B&H Photo Video
USB Microphone, Stereo Microphone, ATH-M50 Headphone, Wireless Microphone, Preamplifier, Digital Recorder, Custom Cables and more at Rock Bottom Prices from The Sound Professionals - Great deals on Microphone, Preamplifier, Digital Recorder, Cable an
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Old October 14th, 2013, 08:29 PM   #14
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Re: How to handle multiple people monitoring audio?

Speaking of lots of headphones:

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