Music Room Update: Increasing my use of wireless

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by duceditor, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    I'd posted earlier about the update of my music room. The simplification i have been working towards (with Jan's aid and advice).

    The "need" for that is/was real. The layout of the room was set years ago, but since then my systems have grown as to number of guitars, amps, tonal modifiers ;) (i.e., pedals), the degree to which different systems separated from one-another, each dedicated to style of music, and (as important) my age and health induced physical limitations.

    Back "when" I played almost everything though the Duoverb. The other amps basically just sat there.

    Now the DV is used principally for my "surf" type playing. The Sweet Baby is my main go-to for my original stuff, and the new Supro amp is finding its place -- so far for the switch-over I am in the midst of making as I electrify songs I've long played on acoustics.

    The Black Box Band has gone from one system to three with another sort'a waiting in the wings.

    And the voice system has grown exponentially due to the addition of TCHelicon VoiceLIve which requires not just a microphone, but also a guitar input (for harmony creation).

    All that stuff takes room, yes, but also cables. Some in front of me, some behind,some to my right some to my left. And all this as my ability to navigate freely and steadily is becoming diminished.

    I'd mention how simplification -- not just of the immediate playing area, but also of my guitar work area -- has come about, largely via Jan's good graces and organizational abilities. So now everything is immediately accessible (tools, string sets, etc.) including a clear and protected workspace.

    The one area that still needs work, and that is just getting it now, is that of cables.

    Cables! I hate em!

    Cables to create hum and noise.

    Cables to trip over.

    Cables are UGLY!!!

    Enter wireless. Yeah!

    Owing to Donner's good graces (and my participation in their Vine Review Program) I have numerous sets of wireless senders and receivers. Enough that I am starting to use them for more than just plugging in my guitars.

    For example, as mentioned above, my guitar has to feed not just the amps (3 separate systems each with its own tone modifier groups), but also the voice live.

    Because each of the wireless systems can communicate with each other on one of four channels the possibility for great flexibility exists -- and I am just now starting to really use it.

    Just to take on example... My originals require a quitar connected through a bunch of tone modifiers and then the Sweet Baby. -The later are behind me. But the guitar also must feed the VoiceLive which is hanging from the upright on my mic boom stand, and it in turn has to feed the voice/sound reinforcement system, which, again, is behind me.

    To avoid a cable (or cables, plural) running across the area upon which i stand two 20 foot cables had to run around the room. One to bring the guitar to its tone and amplifier string, and one the voice.

    Wireless makes those cables superfluous. The guitar has a wireless send unit set to channel 1. There are 4 receivers available -- one for each of the amplifier systems, and one (or more) of which can be turned on. There is also a receiver, also set to channel 1, on the VoiceLive. It merely sends the key/chord structure to that unit. But (this is what I am setting up now) there is (will shortly be) a channel 2 send on the VoiceLive and its signal will be picked up by a receiver on the mic mixer. No cables! No tripping. No hum!

    The Black Box Band units, too, will each have a transmitter -- this set to channel 3. And a receiver set for that channel will be on the sound reinforcement amp's channel set for band backup with a short feed to the subwoofer.

    Again, no (or fewer) cables, no hum.

    To all this I have added (and am adding additional) wireless switches. These that feed individual sound groups. One circuit powers up all the pedals used for the DV and Sweet Baby (soon to be put on separate circuits), another for the Blues King, and another for the voice.

    As of now these are all controlled by separate switches on an older type of through the house wiring remote system. But I am thinking about redoing this via Alexa' voice command switches.

    Then, before a session, I will be able to just say "Alexa, turn on the DV System" and every component in that system will come on. The same with the voice system and the Black Box Band. -Each component on a dedicated circuit.

    But since Alexa can also operate groups and can learn multiple (unlimited, really) commands, I will be able to say such as "Alexa, let's play surf" or "Alexa, let's do originals." and each command will bring on the appropriate systems.

    One other cool finding: The Donner DWS-2 wireless systems use replaceable rechargeable batteries. That "replaceable" feature has proved to be a real plus. This because I have discovered that the systems can work with no batteries at all by simply plugging their mini USB charger cables in and having the USB power pack switched on and off along with the other components in its corresponding system. In the case of the VoiceLive that includes both the receiver and send -- all on the same switching system as the reinforcement system.

    Only the guitar's own send units will remain actually "wireless" and for these I can use Donner DWS-3 transmitters which have built in (non-replaceable) rechargeable batteries -- those with a 6 hour+ lifespan.

    Again, this is a project in the works.

    More to follow. Especially if unforeseen issues or other surprises arise. :)


    This is the wire nest that had to go:

    Amp Row.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
    Pat V., Big tuna, drewcp and 3 others like this.
  2. Bluzy

    Bluzy Squier-Nut

    Nov 20, 2017
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I like your space and all of the equipment. Did you pull the carpet to further reduce any chance of falling or just part of a remodel?
    duggerh likes this.
  3. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA

    Before we owned the home this room, and the small loft above it, had been rented out to a commercial portrait painter. He'd built an area that amounts to a low stage where he place his subject and backgrounds as he worked on a portrait.

    That area was, of course, perfect for our use as musicians. It because our "stage." :)

    We've been talking about re-doing the room and possibly raising it a bit, as well as putting down some softer (maybe garage type?) flooring.

    Music Room "Stage" area.jpg

    Pat V. and Big tuna like this.
  4. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Okay, so I substituted the wireless system for the long perimeter cable that carried the voice signal from the VoiceLive to the preamp. The improvement to the sound (to say nothing of eliminating another floor snake) was marked.

    Part of the reason for the improvement in quality is that the Donner DWS systems have a switchable +5 db output source. And since the wireless receiving unit goes directly into an high quality compressor, then into a 5 channel mixer with its own master and then into the mixer/amp those extra dbs allow for less need for downstream amplification.

    5 db is not a lot -- it won't overdrive any of my systems (and the compressor's input is fully adjustable). But in any case the overall sound is louder and more articulate to the ear, and this without feedback. And it is noticeably cleaner.

    Also -- WooHoo! -- the rat's nest in the playing area is now completely gone.

    There are 5 receivers 'hard wired' for power -- one for each input. And five transmitters available for distribution among my guitars.

    Two channels are in use -- one for voice, one for guitar. But any of the systems can be quickly and easily set for any of of 4 channels. -Something that will be useful if friends visit and wish to plug in. And one guitar can, merely by turning the appropriate systems on, play through any of the five guitar amp systems, either alone or in combination. (Something I have yet to really experiment with.)

    Add the fact that the Duoverb itself has a two systems at once capability (Each with its own 2/12 cab and 8 models available per channel) and the possibilities are nearly endless.


    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
    Pat V., Big tuna and Bluzy like this.
  5. Big tuna

    Big tuna Squier-holic

    May 6, 2014
    east Tn
    Nice improvement as far as the cables. But tell the truth after that dinner last week were you dancing in the dark with your lovely wife and not want to trip on cables? Never mind it's none of my business!
    duceditor likes this.
  6. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Pretty much finished the project this morning. Now all the guitar/amps are connected by wireless and each of the amp systems -- that is a given amp and it associated 'pedals' are powered by throwing a single switch.

    The floor is clutter free. And the chance of me leaving an amp on when I'm through with a session is almost zero because all the related pedals and their power systems are lit on brightly.

    (Yes, on some amps there is still the standby switch to throw after a 60 second warm up.)

    Doubly fun because, as I mentioned elsewhere, during this finish-up process I won a pretty nice wireless microphone system on the Donner website.

    Now to go make some noise... :D

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