Headphone Monitoring for Band Rehearsal and Recording
When you play in a band, practice really does make perfect: the only way to get tight and develop new songs and ideas is by playing together regularly as a group. Unfortunately, rehearsals can be a little hard to bring together sometimes; you need to set up a sound system and all your other gear at a suitable place, and the actual rehearsal time is often limited by your neighbors’ sound tolerance or your budget for a dedicated rental space. Roland’s new HS-5 Session Mixer delivers a convenient solution to these common rehearsal issues, making it simple for your group to practice anytime and anywhere with studio-quality sound. In addition, the HS-5 includes useful recording features to enhance your practice sessions and help you create demos and CD tracks on a computer.
Introduction to the HS-5 Session Mixer
A Powerful Rehearsal Solution for All Types of Music Groups
Designed for small music ensembles, the HS-5 Session Mixer makes rehearsals fun, productive, and convenient. Simple to operate, the HS-5 lets your group play together while monitoring the sound with headphones. A single HS-5 supports up to five musicians, while adding a second HS-5 lets eight people play together at one time. Every player has hands-on control of their own personal mix in their headphones, eliminating the typical volume struggles and other sound hassles that come with using live speaker systems in confined practice spaces.
Thanks to its compact size, the HS-5 is easy to transport and set up for rehearsing anywhere. This lets you jam at any band member’s home, or in a hotel room or backstage when you’re on the road. By connecting powered speakers to the Main outputs, the HS-5 can even do double-duty as a stage mixer with integrated onboard monitor mixing.
The HS-5 is an ideal fit for rock and pop bands that use a combination of vocal mics and electronic instruments. But with support for up to four mics at once (or eight mics with two HS-5s), it’s also great for vocal ensembles and groups that play acoustic instruments. This flexibility makes the HS-5 suitable for use at schools, lesson studios, houses of worship, and even recording studios.
The Convenient Way to Practice and Record
The HS-5’s digital mixing environment provides top-notch sound quality, plus built-in reverb, vocal effects, and amp modeling for guitar and bass. This allows your band to monitor with studio-level clarity, making practices much more enjoyable and efficient. Good timing is essential for every musical group, and the HS-5 also includes a built-in metronome to keep everyone playing together.
While rehearsing, your group can capture stereo recordings directly to a USB thumb drive. The HS-5 has panel controls for recording and playback, making it simple to record at any time and then listen back immediately to evaluate performances and identify areas needing work.
The HS-5 also supports more advanced recording situations by functioning as a multi-channel computer audio interface. Via USB, you’re able to record each musician to separate tracks in DAW software, allowing you to mix and edit individual performances later. This provides a convenient way to record song demos or tracks for your next CD.
After practice is done, the HS-5’s snapshot function saves all the current settings to a connected USB flash drive. The next time you get together, you can load up those settings to pick up right where you left off and start playing right away.
Versatile Connections for Mics and Instruments
The HS-5 is equipped with four full-featured mixing channels plus one auxiliary channel. Channels A thru D include an XLR jack for a vocal or instrument mic, a mono 1/4-inch jack for a guitar or bass, and mono/stereo 1/4-inch jacks for a line-level instrument such as a keyboard, drum or percussion module, or guitar effects processor. 1/4-inch and 1/8-inch TRS jacks on Channel E support an additional musician or a music playback device, or can be used for sound expansion by connecting a second HS-5.
The HS-5 can be placed on any flat surface or mounted on an optional PDS-10 stand for easy access by all group members. Controls are organized in a circular panel layout, and each performer’s channel provides 1/4-inch and 1/8-inch mini jacks for personal monitoring with headphones, in-ear monitors, or even simple ear buds.
Studio-Quality Sound Made Simple
With the HS-5’s intuitive interface and built-in effects, it’s easy to achieve great sound. After the band decides on a basic overall mix, each player can use the My Mix knob to adjust the volume of their own mic or instrument, and ambience can be added with their channel’s Reverb knob. The knobs have integrated LEDs, so the current settings can be seen easily while playing.
Using the compressor, EQ, and delay that’s available on each mic input, vocalists can enhance their sound for an inspiring practice experience. The HS-5 also includes Roland’s acclaimed COSM amp modeling technology, allowing guitarist and bassists to connect directly and jam with the same sound and feel as playing through an amp. Multiple amp types are provided for tones from sparkling clean to mega-heavy distortion. With simple controls, the different players can quickly adjust settings such as EQ, panning, guitar distortion, vocal compression, and more.
To learn more, check out the product page for the versatile HS-5 Session Mixer.