Radial Stagebug User Guide
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Using The StageBug SB-7 ™

The Earmuff SB-7 is a multifaceted device that can be used as a simple volume control for a stereo source, to sum a stereo track to mono or be used to silence one side of a set of headphones when overdubbing orchestral instruments. In this unique situation, it allows the artist to remove one side of his headphones so that the instrument can be heard without having to monitor it through the audio system. This benefits the artist by eliminating any perceived latency while giving him the comfort of hearing the instrument for better tonality and pitch. It also benefits the recording process with a cleaner, noise free track. For more information, we invite you to download the full manual by clicking on the icon at left.

Making connections

Before making connections, it is good practice to turn all levels down to ensure turn-on or connection transients do not damage more sensitive components. Connect the output from your headphone system to the SB-7's headphone input using a standard TRS to TRS speaker cable. This should be wired tip-right, ring-left, and sleeve as a common ground. We recommend using a minimum 18 gauge wire to minimize loss in the cable, particularly as you extend the distance from the amplifier beyond 5 meters (15'). The Earmuff does not require any power. You simply plug in and you are set to go.

Connect your headphones to the Earmuff's output. The SB-7 is equipped with both ¼" and 3.5mm connections for standard headphones or ear buds. Set the Earmuff's headphone level to 3 o'clock so that you have some 'wiggle room' for fine tuning the headphone level. Make sure both the mono switch and the left-off are in the out position. This will enable you to test from stereo connectivity to ensure everything is working. Activate the playback track and increase the level so that it is set to a comfortable listening level. Note that the SB-7 is completely passive and will not introduce artefact or distortion into the signal path.

Using the Earmuff as a local volume control

Larger recording studios generally employ a stereo power amplifier to drive several sets of headphones at the same time. The engineer will set the level to an arbitrary level, leaving the musicians in the studio to find a compromise with each other. Using the Earmuff as a simple attenuator enables each musician to set the level so that it is set to a comfortable listening level to better match their instrument and playing style. The resistive circuit inside enables each Earmuff to work independently without affecting the others.

Using the Earmuff as a stereo to mono sum

Depress the mono switch. This will collapse the stereo image and bring all of the sounds to the middle. This ensures that when the artist removes one ear, he or she will hear all of the instruments in the mix. But this also enables the TRS output to be split into two identical mono signals that could feed another device. An example could be splitting the signal so that it feeds a recording channels and an effect at the same time.

Using the Earmuff with one ear

Depressing the left-off switch will mute one side of the headphones. We chose to lift the left side as most folks are right handed. For left-handed players, one simply reverses the headphones to the alternate ear to suit. It is important to note that when one ear is removed, the perceived loudness will drop considerably. The Earmuff is designed to compensate for this by using the level control. Set the main output from the studio to a comfortable level and reduce the level control on the Earmuff to ¾ of the way so that it can either be increased or decreased as needed. The artist is now able to fine tune the level to suit his or her particular needs.