Always listening to a plugged-in guitar while wandering around the house?

I have a “studio” in my office where everything goes roughly like guitar → wireless → Axe-FX → MacBook (w/Logic X) → studio monitors. I was wondering, "how can I listen to my guitar in another room, say, while watching TV, etc.? (I have convinced myself that my guitar should only be plugged in.)

Is there a good way to listen remotely? I was thinking that if I had in-ears then I could just walk around, but I don’t have those. However, I do have Bluetooth earbuds (AirPods Pro), and those do seem to work reasonably when driven by the MacBook (although I’m not sure of the latency yet)… but is there a better solution?

The ultimate is of course a pair of these, I could walk far down the street and easily hear my guitar, and only be limited by the range of my wireless, and ability to evade bricks and bottles,


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If this is a serious question, maybe a Pignose or something that you could put on the coffee table or whatever so you can settle in to working out those chromatic runs while binge watching “The Office” or for your football Sundays. I mean, I know the playoffs are coming up.

But, I know, you’re working out your Axe FX >TONE< while answering the eternal question, “how can [football team] get in the playoffs with a 7-9 record.” Oops, I almost forgot…the name of the football team actually is…“Football Team!”

(If you get this joke, please explain it to the ones who don’t. I definitely prefer “Football Team” to the old name, by the way…).

So, let’s see…options…you’re going wireless, so if you were an absolute maniac, you could get a separate wireless receiver, Axe FX, and amp in each room, and then get a Ground Control (or two or three) and chain the MIDI together so the patch changes hit each unit. You could hire a guitar tech to set it up and hand you another guitar whenever your tuning is drifting, or for song changes which require different tunings.

I like the 2,000 watt outdoor QSC’s for when you walk the dog. Maybe you can subcontract to the community to be part of the Emergency Broadcast System or for Tsunami/Earthquake warnings. Are you doing “All Request Fridays?”

More serious option: maybe get a cheap ($50) amp off of Craigslist for a corner in each room and keep a cable by it, ready to go. I actually think that’s a decent option. It gives you the capability to pull them all in one room and daisy chain them together from your MM4 and CE-3 for quadrophonic chorus.

Best option (already mentioned) is a “knock around” acoustic, in my opinion. But anyway…

Serious option if you’re only slightly maniacal: Since you’re already going wireless, you could wire the place for sound – getting a small speaker in each room and running cables. If you did this in stereo, you’d have a nice little playback setup for entertaining, just in time for the Super Bowl. And you could play guitar during the commercials.

I know, the Super Bowl commercials are the best part (unless the Steelers are playing!).

Talking of maniacal actions - I have to confess that I have to make sure that the guitar volume pot is turned up… even when I’m not plugged in…oh dear

I thought I was the only one who did that. You know, turning the volume off in between playing to cut the noise…Yup.

“Shhhhh! I’m practicing “Echo Etude” from the Yngwie video!” [works volume knob in futile manner]

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This won’t work because the strings are too thick and the tension is too high, it’s different than an electric.

The problem here is that it attempts to duplicate the existing processing but won’t, and it’s not as good a solution as the one that I already have, Bluetooth earbuds. I guess that if earbuds don’t work well enough (I’ll try them for a while to determine) I’ll get in-ears, although I’m not sure yet… I’m surprised that nearly everybody doesn’t have this problem, but perhaps I am special. :rofl: I think the inspiration was deciding to never play unplugged any more.

I suppose it depends on why you feel the need to ‘never’ do it. I’m not too sure why you have the need to. I play in front of the TV unplugged to work on picking motions and it doesn’t need to sound good (I actually want to follow the movie/show). If I actually want to play and hear decent tone, I shut the tv off and play focused and through an amp.
If you have a studio and want to hear good tone, I think you need to stay in the studio. Why not get a TV in your studio? (Can’t believe we haven’t suggested this so far!:blush:)

I think a practice amp like a Yamaha TH5 or whatever its called would be great. Carry with one hand and sounds great for what it is. Or rip th axe fx out of the studio and cart it around

Haha! That made me chuckle. I even turn it off when switching pickups and push/pull pots! :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Ever played acoustic and reached for a vibrato bar that wasn’t there?

As far as kgk’s issue…I mean, watch the volume with earbuds/headphones/in-ears. People tend to overcrank them to get a visceral “feel” happening. Those are the only two ears you got! If your TV perch is within 50 feet of the studio, I’d say you could have a practice amp or mini-monitors and run a cable from the studio (or the Axe-FX), and just leave that set up. That might be easier. Putting a TV in the studio works, too. It’s a good pacifier for the “hangers-on” who come along with people you’re recording, too…just put on the game or some reality stuff with the sound off, and they’ll watch the hours melt by while you and your writing partner are trying to discover a rhyme for “why is love orange?”

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I got it working with Bluetooth earbuds (AirPods Pro), but the latency is really long, making it effectively unusable. I will probably get actual in-ear monitors at some point (but play them quietly, of course), but for now I guess that I can’t leave my “studio.”

I am a little bit disappointed and confused about why the latency is so high… :thinking:

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I just looked it up and apparently bluetooth has 3 times the latency of an equivalent wired connection.

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And on top of that, it might be holding extra audio so it doesn’t have frequent momentary glitches (but plenty of time to ask for some upcoming music a few times if needed).

There are newer codecs for use over bluetooth that have lower latency than the standard codec, but they haven’t been widely adopted by device manufacturers. For now, the least painful solution is a proprietary low-latency transmitter-receiver pair as offered by legacy IEM vendors like Shure and Sennheiser. There are also budget-friendly IEM style solutions of dubious provenance marketed under various names from factories in Shenzhen, China.

Apple has a note about the latency, perhaps I can reduce it…

If you’re just practicing, you could skip the Logic part of the chain entirely and wire your AxeFX straight to your monitor mixer (or whatever). There’s no need to listen through the interface and the DAW’s input monitoring. I’d suspect that it’s highly likely that the AxeFX has some latency, which might be very small but would add to the Logic latency.

In terms of the “big speaker” solution, even if that wasn’t entirely serious, there is an important related point which becomes relevant in a lot of ways. Sound does not travel instantly or even near-instantly. The speed of sound is about 1 ft./ms. So, if you’re 20 feet away from your speakers, you’re hearing THAT part of the signal 20 ms after it hits the amp. Now, there is a well-known psychoacoustic adjustment that you make (the Haas Effect) which makes you perceive the directionality of a sound as being from wherever the FIRST (related) sound to hit your ears is – even if that sound is 20 dB or more (a LOT) lower. So relatively small monitors (or even the sound from the strings themselves) can provide timing and directionality information that you might take for granted if you’re unaware of this side of things.

So if your amp was 15 feet across the room, you’d be getting a whole lot of “latency” if that’s all you were hearing (15 ms or so). Of course, when you hear and feel the rattle of the strings from the guitar in your hands, it’s not as confusing. But what if you (hypothetically) plugged your ears or something?

When you put in-ears in or wear isolation headphones, that’s pretty much what you’re doing. So any serious latency, beyond, say, 2 ms or so, will really announce itself to you.

I really think you’re overthinking this. If I was absolutely dedicated to getting this to work, I’d probably run a $20 headphone extension cable from your monitor switcher (or better yet, from the headphone out of the AxeFX, if it has one) to the living room, put on some headphones, and call it a day. There are some cheap solutions for breakout boxes for studio headphones, too – like the Furman stuff. Then you could just run a TRS cable or two mono instrument cables, which might be even easier. And that’s a zero latency solution.

check this out

I use a Marshall MS2. It’s a tiny battery powered amp that hooks onto your belt. Not for tone connoisseurs, but you can go anywhere and still hear yourself play. They are pretty affordable, too.

I think that @kgk wants to keep the tone of his axe FX i tact, but I agree with you here - there are very affordable mini practice amps out there. Also, I have always thought that playing through a ‘crappy’ amp made you pay more attention to your playing - if you can sound good through a crappy amp, then go through your normal amp - it will blow you away!