My Morning Jacket monitor engineer Brent Lind (center) with system tech Eric McCallister (left) and FOH engineer Ryan Pickett at Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago.
Chicago, IL (November 19, 2012)—My Morning Jacket plays live all the time, but it was a moment in the studio that made leader Jim James finally move to in-ear monitors, says the band's monitor engineer, Brent Lind.
“Four of the five guys were wearing them—everyone but Jim James. He was a holdout,” says Lind. “Then we did a live studio performance at The Village Recorder in LA with our full rig. Small room, brutally loud. After that, Jim came to me and said ‘I’m ready to try the ears.’”
At that point, the band was using typical hard acrylic custom earphones. “James was an instant convert, which was great. But he commented that when he would really belt, his ears would lose their seal pretty badly, and that really took him out of the moment,” recounts Lind. “Having worked with Sensaphonics before, I knew exactly what the solution was, so we ordered him a 3MAX.”
Loss of seal causes a loss of bass response in IEMs. The soft silicone construction of Sensaphonics earpieces flexes along with the ear canal, so the seal is maintained. “And it’s much more comfortable, which is huge,” says Lind. “James loved them so much, he basically forced the rest of the band—who were all happy with what they had—to get them. And once they had them, I think everybody had that same feeling of what a big step up it was. So Jim’s seal problems turned out to be an opportunity to take the guys to a new level.”
My Morning Jacket also recently acquired the dB Check in-ear sound level analyzer from Sensaphonics. “It’s been a revelation, to see just how loud we’ve been listening,” says Lind. “It’s made us aware of the actual levels we’re at, and how long it’s safe. So now we’ve got a tool so we can gradually rein it in. I don’t know of another company making a product anything like it.”