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Problem hearing the real sound when playing live.

I have a Behringer UCA audio interface, yes it was the cheapest I could find however Jacbob Haq use the same interface when playing live. Problem is I cannot hear what sound is going out to the audience. Yes there is sound but I have little idea of the quality of the sound. I can plug headphones into the Behringer but the sound is quite and would need amplifying. Couple this with the fact that at home I have no studio speakers and can only listen on headphones, though even if I did I would get little opportunity to use them since my wife works for the NHS and is on the phone all day. So the real sound I can oly hear when playing live using club speakers.
Do I seek out a amplifier for the phones, buy amplified phones or buy another interface with a amplified headphone socket?
Anyone else in this situation or someone who has previously found a solution.
Cheers

Comments

  • You cannot anticipate the sound at the location (unless you‘ve been there before) ;)
    I depends on building, size, PA system and even the audience (more or less people filling the room)
    Just do proper mixes with headphones (choose a quality pair according to taste), but use it a lot.
    That way you learn to estimate the difference to real monitors in a room.
    Careful listening is key in that situation... and cross checking mixes in different environments.

  • @Telefunky said:
    You cannot anticipate the sound at the location (unless you‘ve been there before) ;)
    I depends on building, size, PA system and even the audience (more or less people filling the room)
    Just do proper mixes with headphones (choose a quality pair according to taste), but use it a lot.
    That way you learn to estimate the difference to real monitors in a room.
    Careful listening is key in that situation... and cross checking mixes in different environments.

    Yes apreciate your input. Yes as an ex clown/entertainer there is no way of pre figuring the numerous problems you can encounter.

  • How about getting some wireless In Ear Monitors?

  • Not sure about this Behringer interface, but does it have a separate monitoring output? In such case, in most hosts and DAWs, you can route master (or even specific selected tracks) to a channel which will output to the headphones. If the output is too weak when on stage and the PA is louder, then you may try to add gain on that monitoring track, keep an eye on distortion. But also be sure to have your master output as hot as possible, but again without distortion / limiter kicking in. Amplifying it later in the chain, e.g. on mixer, is not ideal.
    If the sound from headphones is still quiet, then the problem is in headphones. As a DJ, I know that not every pair of headphones is suitable for monitoring, especially a higher impedance ones, especially without amplifier. You don't need higher impedance headphones for stage, actually the lower the better. Also your audio interface might be sending a bit lower output than some others, but it shouldn't be so bad.
    Also with headphones, you want only closed ones. Semi-open or open are virtually unusable for monitoring on stage.
    Last but not least: when on a bigger stage, you usually have also monitoring speakers pointing to you. If they're too loud, either find a way to turn them a bit down or ask stage technician to do so.

  • This may not be of direct help to the OP's question.

    http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/behringer-uca202-review.html

    The first half of the linked article describes some of the things to bear in mind when using headphones with the UCA audio interface.
    (I'm not familiar with the analysis and evaluation of headphones etc, so I can't judge whether that information is accurate or not.)

  • Turn up volume on your iPad.

  • @cramdog said:
    This may not be of direct help to the OP's question.

    http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/behringer-uca202-review.html

    The first half of the linked article describes some of the things to bear in mind when using headphones with the UCA audio interface.
    (I'm not familiar with the analysis and evaluation of headphones etc, so I can't judge whether that information is accurate or not.)

    Does that mean that I require amplfied headphones?

  • I don't have a UCA, so I can't answer questions about equipment.
    I have tried to give a brief summary of the UCA information in the links below.
    As I read and write English at DeepL, I cannot be responsible for the accuracy of the following information.

    https://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/behringer-uca202-review.html

    • The headphone output of the UCA is supposed to work well in terms of volume, if you have 80-600 Ohm headphones. In that case, you don't need a separate headphone amplifier.
    • The headphone output of the UCA does not work well with headphones in the 16-32 Ohm range. In that case, a separate headphone amplifier is necessary.
    • If you want to connect another headphone amplifier to the UCA, connect it to the line output.
    • The frequency response of the UCA is not flat enough for most balanced armature earphones.
  • The main speaker's job is to let the audience hear. Most people playing live will need some other system to hear themselves. Could be headphones or a monitor (aka foldback) speaker. That might be better than headphones, depending on various things.

    Sometimes the place you're playing will have foldback monitor speakers and it may just be a question of asking the sound person (if such a person exists) to give you some of your sound on the monitors.

    When playing live I just have a small powered speaker that is fed usually by a second output from the interface. or it could also be headphones. This is for small venues like bars etc.

  • @SimonSomeone said:
    The main speaker's job is to let the audience hear. Most people playing live will need some other system to hear themselves. Could be headphones or a monitor (aka foldback) speaker. That might be better than headphones, depending on various things.

    Sometimes the place you're playing will have foldback monitor speakers and it may just be a question of asking the sound person (if such a person exists) to give you some of your sound on the monitors.

    When playing live I just have a small powered speaker that is fed usually by a second output from the interface. or it could also be headphones. This is for small venues like bars etc.

    Thank you for your reply and yes I have seen many bands with the setup you describe. My problem is that I piggyback off the setup I am provided with at any specific location which will differ each time at each new venue. Whilst I am a solo act I perform with other acts all of which bring their own equipment. To make matters more challenging it is rare that I am able to do a sound check apart from a brief interval after the previous act. I think as @cramdog as suggest the Ohm range of my headphones is wrong for my interface. My other problem is I have little or no income and rely on PIP my wife being the sole earner in the house because of my disablity.
    Should I ask Santa for a better pair of headphones or a better audio interface?

    Thanks everyone for your inputs.

  • I think seeing that you have an interface with a headphone output already, maybe the answer is some headphones with the right impedance for it. Though I guess you could go the other way and get an interface that matches your current headphones.

    I don't know much about these kind of issues though. Ideally you'd want to be able to try out a solution before committing to it.

  • @Toastedghost said:

    @SimonSomeone said:
    The main speaker's job is to let the audience hear. Most people playing live will need some other system to hear themselves. Could be headphones or a monitor (aka foldback) speaker. That might be better than headphones, depending on various things.

    Sometimes the place you're playing will have foldback monitor speakers and it may just be a question of asking the sound person (if such a person exists) to give you some of your sound on the monitors.

    When playing live I just have a small powered speaker that is fed usually by a second output from the interface. or it could also be headphones. This is for small venues like bars etc.

    Thank you for your reply and yes I have seen many bands with the setup you describe. My problem is that I piggyback off the setup I am provided with at any specific location which will differ each time at each new venue. Whilst I am a solo act I perform with other acts all of which bring their own equipment. To make matters more challenging it is rare that I am able to do a sound check apart from a brief interval after the previous act. I think as @cramdog as suggest the Ohm range of my headphones is wrong for my interface. My other problem is I have little or no income and rely on PIP my wife being the sole earner in the house because of my disablity.
    Should I ask Santa for a better pair of headphones or a better audio interface?

    Thanks everyone for your inputs.

    It isn’t necessarily a question of “better”..it is whether the specs match BUT even if they do, you may still need a headphone amp and the right headphones or in-ear monitors for the situation. Live venues will provide a lot of ambient noise. If using headphones, even impedance-matched headphones might not be loud enough without a headphone amp. Good IEMs will block a lot of ambient noise and may do the trick, but might be expensive.

  • Try molded IEMs, that way you can keep your current setup. If they still won't play loud enough, I'd get a better soundcard before a dedicated headphone amp. Less boxes, wires, setup time and noise.

  • Definitely get a mix on stage if the club has monitoring. Ultimately regardless of soundchecks and monitoring you have to trust that the engineer (if there is one) has the room dialed in for the audience. I’ve worked with a lot of electronic acts that use DJ mixers so they can have access to a few channels and have a quality headphone amp while being able to send mixes to the FOH and to a personal PA or monitor on stage. Depending on the use case and mixer it can also be your audio interface.

  • @ehehehe said:
    Try molded IEMs, that way you can keep your current setup. If they still won't play loud enough, I'd get a better soundcard before a dedicated headphone amp. Less boxes, wires, setup time and noise.

    Not considered them before but then I have found this. Ideas?

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