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Building jam room - need help!

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  • Building jam room - need help!

    Hi everyone. I'm trying to build a "jam room" in my basement, and could use your help with suggestions on equipment / anything else. It's a 12 ft x 13 ft square room, and the only piece of equipment I'm set on getting is an electronic drum set (I'm thinking the Alesis Strike Pro). Here's what I'll be using the jam room for:

    50% of the time - jamming on my electronic drums to music on my iPod or streamed from Pandora. I'm the drummer and I mostly just want a place to rock out quietly.

    20% of the time - karaoke + drums (essentially, my friends come over and sing along to songs that we stream/on the iPod, while I play my electronic drums).

    20% of the time - jamming with friends (other guitarists, bassists, maybe a full band, but I doubt more than 6 people at any given time).

    10% - recording (more likely recording live jamming sessions with friends for a laugh, but it would be a bonus if I could do some better quality stuff for release).

    There's so much equipment out there, I'm not really sure where to begin. I'd like to make it so at least I can have my own mix in headphones while I drum and other people are singing. Ideally, I'd like everyone (vocalists, guitarists, etc.) to be able to have their own mixes in headphones while they play.

    I should note that the point of the electronic drum set is to be able to jam without annoying my neighbors. So, it would be great if there is a way to set this up so that when I'm jamming alone or doing karaoke with friends, everyone is just listening in headphones (e.g., PA system is turned off). Of course, when I have other band members over and they bring their amps, we won't be able to jam quietly, so there will need to be some kind of a drum amp/vocal amp (or just full PA) that I can turn on for those sessions.

    Would love to hear what equipment you think would give me the best set up for these purposes. Pretend there is no budget.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    To say pretend there is no budget is ridiculous. It would help to know your budget, as gear could run up into tens of thousands of dollars very quickly once you've said the word 'recording'!
    You need a reasonably powered PA [powered speakers/sub, 8-16ch passive board, stands, cables, mics] so you are already in over $1000....are you willing to buy used?
    Last edited by daddymack; 12-23-2017, 01:52 PM.
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    • #3
      Ok, if it's helpful, let's say the budget is $10,000. I'm okay with buying used, though I probably shouldn't need to given a budget of 10k.

      Thanks!

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      • #4
        Since you're planning on doing amplified playing in this room, I strongly suggest you invest in some acoustical treatment. Just so we're clear, this isn't really about "soundproofing" the room (very difficult actually, and usually not needed) but about taming the flutter echoes and weird frequency resonances that occur with small, rectangular rooms.

        For lighting, I'd avoid fluorescent lights, LED lamps and especially any lamp dimmers - all of these generate electrical noise that's easily picked up by audio equipment. I'd stick with old-school incandescent lamps with on/off switches.

        ...Ideally, I'd like everyone (vocalists, guitarists, etc.) to be able to have their own mixes in headphones while they play. ...
        The only piece of hardware I'm aware of that can do this is the Jam Hub, but unfortunately the company is out of business so you'll have to buy a used one if you decide to get one. There might be some fancy ($$$) studio headphone amp that does this, but I'm not aware of it....

        A small PA with a couple of 2-way, 12" speakers on speaker stands (or hung on the wall) should be enough for a room that size.
        This space left intentionally blank.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mr.Grumpy View Post
          A small PA with a couple of 2-way, 12" speakers on speaker stands (or hung on the wall) should be enough for a room that size.

          And a sub -- for kick drum, bass, low end of keys if somebody brings one, etc.

          FWIW, our jam room is slightly larger, slightly longer... and I use an un-miked acoustic kit, more often than not... although sometimes I use an e-kit. No individual amps. I have a couple down there for occasional guitar and/or keys practice, but when we have a crowd everything goes through the PA. Anybody wants effects, they can bring their own pedals or whatever.

          Our PA (two 8s and a sub) is sufficient and works even without monitors. OTOH, we also have the capacity for personal mixes in headphones... were it really a necessity.

          -D44
          Last edited by Drummer44; 01-13-2018, 07:48 AM.
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