wireless studio technologies?

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grumpymike
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wireless studio technologies?

Post by grumpymike » Sun May 19, 2019 11:14 am

Is wireless technology to the point where I can stop tripping over cables, or should I check back in another 10 years?

Is anyone using wireless headphones for mixing, mastering, or listening while recording vocals?

What about the live instrument adapters - how well do they work?
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Re: wireless studio technologies?

Post by Lunkhead » Sun May 19, 2019 11:39 am

I tried wireless headphones for tracking and mixing a long time ago, maybe 10 years. The batteries on the particular pair I got never lasted long enough for a real recording and mixing session for me. And the sound quality wasn't really there.

Nowadays there's a version of my main home recording/mixing headphones with Bluetooth. Reviewers say battery life is very good. I don't know how/if that could integrate with the output of my audio interface though I guess would be the potential issue there. I wonder if anybody makes audio interfaces with their own Bluetooth so you can pair wireless headphones with them and still use their built-in zero latency monitoring...?

https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-A ... B07HKVCVSY

It might require using a small additional 3.5mm to Bluetooth transmitter adapter/dongle:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P24XKS8/re ... axb3QT9140

Probably the headphone side would be fine but that adapter part could be crap.

I freaking hate the rat's nest of cables. I have to figure out a way to deal with them that doesn't involve messy piles or lots of unpacking/re-packing time that I don't have. :/

EDIT: I guess folks report having issues with latency introduced from the Bluetooth transmitting from adapters. Doh. Check back in 10 years maybe?
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Re: wireless studio technologies?

Post by grumpymike » Sun May 19, 2019 12:40 pm

Ugh, that’s what I figured. So it’s potentially okay for mixing but the latency could be a sanity issue. And I’d like to get rid of more than one cable...

Not being an engineer, I also wonder if wireless stuff might add to interference.

So I basically have to wait until recording music is a lost art because AI can do it better.
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Re: wireless studio technologies?

Post by fluffy » Sun May 19, 2019 10:11 pm

Pretty much, yeah.

There are low-latency bluetooth extensions which are used by some of the most expensive headphones but they require a lot of agreement down the stack and so far as I know it's only really supported by "fashionable" headphones like the AirPods, and not so much used in professonal audio gear yet.

Something that's plain ol' RF-based would be zero-latency, but then you suffer from interference and reduced quality.
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Re: wireless studio technologies?

Post by ujnhunter » Mon May 20, 2019 6:35 am

Headphones, no. You'll always have latency with bluetooth. RF headphones suffer from quality issues. I do however record my Guitar/Bass with my Line 6 G10s (and the G10 before it, same transmitter, better dock in the G10s version), but you have to make sure you have a superb line of sight between the transmitter/receiver and you have no other WiFi interference to deal with. That being said... sometimes just setting up my wireless gear is more of a hassle than just plugging my damn cable in... so... take that for what it's worth.

I have found some cheap ($60) wireless guitar transmitter/receivers with headphone jacks which could theoretically give you in ear monitoring. If you bought two pairs... one pair for the guitar to audio interface and one pair in reverse for the audio interface headphone out to your headphones for in ear monitoring and it shouldn't have too much latency... I have yet to test this out, but I will update here when I do.
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Re: wireless studio technologies?

Post by grumpymike » Mon May 20, 2019 11:56 am

This is ridiculous. I'm going to start a change.org petition.
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Re: wireless studio technologies?

Post by jast » Mon May 20, 2019 5:01 pm

Finally someone is taking the initiative.
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Re: wireless studio technologies?

Post by grumpymike » Mon May 27, 2019 11:10 am

What about midi keyboards? Anybody here use or recommend a particular one? I see there are a few options...
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Re: wireless studio technologies?

Post by fluffy » Mon May 27, 2019 11:12 am

I didn't know wireless MIDI was even a thing. Huh.

I'd expect latency on it to be annoying, and MIDI isn't a very robust protocol even on a wired connection.

The way I dealt with my annoying cable management in my studio was to print a bunch of cable management clip things that I nailed to my wall and used it as a sort of skeletal conduit system. I really should get around to putting the design on Thingiverse or something.
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Re: wireless studio technologies?

Post by grumpymike » Mon May 27, 2019 11:18 am

I'd specify "a wireless input device that can record midi events". Don't care if the transmission protocol is midi-inspired. I guess I could just use a standard qwerty keyboard... Latency is less of a concern with midi events because I'll just quantize the hits to the grid.

It seems most of the options in this department are aiming for MacBook/iPad users... which means they aren't particularly robust...
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Re: wireless studio technologies?

Post by fluffy » Mon May 27, 2019 12:09 pm

The problem I've always run into with MIDI devices is even on USB sometimes the events get delayed or dropped (or, in especially pathological cases, sent out-of-order), and since the note on and off are separate events this can cause a lot of frustration while recording.

I'm also not a fan of how all music hardware is still speaking MIDI from 1981 or whatever, but the industry's been unable to ever agree on anything better to replace it.
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Re: wireless studio technologies?

Post by Lunkhead » Mon May 27, 2019 9:21 pm

I got the 48-key Korg microKEY Air a few months back:

https://www.korg.com/us/products/comput ... okey2_air/

I probably do more drum playing than actual keyboard part playing and sadly the latency over Bluetooth was so bad that it was impossible to keyboard-drum with it. Maybe regular keyboard playing would be fine, I honestly haven't tried it much, but I suspect people like us here who are used to playing and making music are a lot more sensitive to latency like that than the average person and that anything is going to be noticeable and problematic.
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Re: wireless studio technologies?

Post by grumpymike » Tue May 28, 2019 1:01 am

Lunkhead wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 9:21 pm
I got the 48-key Korg microKEY Air a few months back:
I was eyeing their smaller one but there were mixed reviews on whether it did wireless in Windows. Thanks for letting me know so I didn’t go through the hassle of trying to figure that out.

I recently reconfigured my drum tracks so I don’t need to disable FX on the master for keyboard drumming to get adequate latency (now I mute it and unmute a direct one) so, slightly sensitive to latency there.
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Re: wireless studio technologies?

Post by ujnhunter » Thu May 30, 2019 9:16 am

So... getting back to the wireless stuff... I tested last night... and it's not perfect... because you can't have any interference on the wireless 2.4ghz channels that these systems use... but I was able to use these: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07 ... UTF8&psc=1 fairly inexpensive wireless units (which contain headphone & aux ports... this is the important part!) along with the normal 1/4" guitar jacks. You could use 1 pair as either a wireless guitar to amp/daw or as a wireless IEM amp/daw headphone out port into the aux of the transmitter and IEM/headphones in the headphone jack of the receiver. If you have 2 pairs... you can obviously do both (I have 2 pairs and tested this last night) I could not feel any latency (warning: I'm not super sensitive to it... so results may vary) except on some guitar sims that were heavy cpu use on my laptop (but I get slight latency using wires on these as well... it's the amp sim, not the wires or wireless). It worked a bit better connection wise in my enviornment however when I swapped the cheap wireless unit from my guitar to use my Line 6 G10s instead of the Koogo Golden Plug, while still using the second pair of Koogo Golden Plugs for my wireless IEM. I assume the Line 6 & Koogo's may use different 2.4ghz tech and therefore interfere less with each other? So it is possible... but it all depends on your environment because having WiFi or Bluetooth nearby does affect the signals and you may or may not experience dropouts in either the guitar signal or your headphone signal. Sorry for the wall of text.
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