Vocal Acoustic Monitor Instructions
These instructions were written by Jimi Zimmardi. Jimi Zimmardi is rated one of the top vocal coaches and voice technicians in the United States and endorses the VAM® Vocal Acoustic Monitor. All of Jimi’s current students are using the VAM® to hear their vocal tone more effectively and improve intonation and pitch. Jimi has books, videos and warm-up CDs on his techniques and teaches private lessons and vocal workshops nationwide. You can visit thehealthyvoice.com or contact The Jimi Zimmardi Voice Studios at (617) 924 3868. If you’ve purchased a VAM®, you can purchase any of Jimi’s products or lesson packages at a special discount.
Thank you for purchasing the VAM® Vocal Acoustic Monitor. You will find that when you use the VAM® in any setting that you will hear your voice better than you’ve ever heard it before. Your VAM® has been made with the most durable plastic materials available and is strong enough to take a beating. With conventional daily use, you will find that your VAM® should last you a lifetime.
The VAM® design was uniquely designed to bring the entire sound spectrum of your voice into your ears so you will hear all qualities of your voice more effectively. Using your VAM® effectively will allow you to really hear and improve your tone and intonation especially if you have issues with the sound of your voice or retaining good pitch. The VAM® Base Unit was designed to be used in a wide variety of situations. VAM® also comes with an optional Bass Enhancer Unit that allows you to hear the low Bass Frequencies of your voice with even more clarity. If you purchased a VAM® Base Unit and your unit did not include a Bass Enhancer Unit, visit the products page of vamacoustics.com and we’ll be happy to ship one to you. The VAM® Base Unit also comes in various colors which are also available on our website.
Before you get started, it’s important to realize that voice loss can occur when singers try to sing over loud stage volume or loud volume in a small rehearsal space. To retain good vocal health, we suggest that if you are using the VAM® in an amplified setting that you also set up conventional amplified monitors that are directed right into your ears. You will find that when you use the VAM® with good personal amplified monitors that your voice monitoring will be optimum. In environments where overall volume is low, you will find that using the VAM® exclusively will also be effective. The moment that you start pushing your voice to contend with loud stage volume is when you will require amplified monitors. Use caution and common sense and be sure not to push your voice where you feel tension in the extrinsic muscles under your chin in front of the larynx. Pushing you voice and using tension in these muscles can cause hoarseness and possible voice loss. We suggest that you use proper vocal technique when you sing.
Scenario 1) USING THE VAM® FOR PRACTICE IN AN UNAMPLIFIED SETTING WITHOUT A MICROPHONE
Prior to using your VAM® in this setting, be sure to keep the removable plug on your VAM® attached to your Base Unit. The removal plug is identified with a mark on it that says NIAGARA S1414-2. Your VAM® will work more effectively if the plug is in the Base Unit in this setting.
If you’re practicing or doing vocalize warm-up exercises off the microphone, pick up your VAM® Base Unit like you’re picking up a telephone. Position the Base Unit so that your entire ear is inside the unit where the letters V A M are. Sing into the VAM® where the removable plug is and the sound of your voice will resonate through the chamber of the VAM® and go directly into your ear. As you’re holding your VAM® while you’re singing into it, tilt the Base Unit slightly away from your ear to find the best position.
You will find that you don’t have to cover your entire ear to get the best sound. Simply tilt your VAM® slightly away from your ear and you will find the best position to hear your tone quality and intonation effectively. If you are a powerful singer and can sing with a loud volume, you should tilt your VAM® slightly away from your ear. If you’re singing loudly and you can feel a tickling sensation in your eardrum, simply tilt the VAM® away from your ear or sing with less volume. You will definitely notice this even more when using the VAM®’s optional Bass Unit.
Scenario 2) USING THE VAM® FOR PRACTICE IN AN UNAMPLIFIED SETTING WITHOUT A MICROPHONE WITH THE OPTIONAL BASS ENHANCER
VAM®’s optional Bass Enhancer is designed to enhance your Voice Monitoring on your voice’s lower Bass Frequencies and also gives you increased volume as well. To assemble the Bass Enhancer, simply hold the VAM®’s Base Unit in one hand and attach the Bass Enhancer using the Easy Install & Release Tabs. The best way to attach VAM®’s Bass Enhancer is to place the bottom Release Tab on the Bass Enhancer into the bottom hole of the Base unit first and then attach the top Release Tab of the Bass Enhancer into the top into the top hole of the Base Unit. Position the bottom tab into the bottom hole and the top tab will snap into place and fit snuggly into the Base Unit. To remove the Bass Enhancer, simply push the Bass Enhancer downward at the top tab of the Bass Enhancer so that the top tab comes out of the top hole of the Base Unit and simply pull the Bass Enhancer out of the Base Unit.
To effectively use the VAM® with the Bass Enhancer, you should hold your VAM® like a telephone. Simply sing into the opening of the VAM® that’s shaped like a musical note. The sound of your voice will then resonate through the chamber and come out through the Vocal Out part of the Bass Enhancer. The Vocal Out is identified by the openings in the Bass Enhancer shaped like the letters V A M. We suggest that when you use the Bass Enhancer Unit that you hold it right against your ear like a telephone to get the best sound. Be sure to use caution when singing loud phrases as we spoke of before. If you feel a tickling sensation in the eardrum, simply tilt the VAM® away from your ear or sing with less volume.
You can not use the Bass Enhancer unit with a microphone.
Scenario 3) USING THE VAM® BASE UNIT FOR PRACTICE OR PERFORMANCE IN AN AMPLIFIED SETTING WITH A MICROPHONE WITHOUT A MICROPHONE STAND
The VAM® Base Unit was designed to fit most omni-directional microphones with a ball shaped head used universally by the music industry. The design on these microphones is found on the widely used Shure SM58 or SM58 Beta as well as other omni-directional microphones with a similar design. The ball on these microphones will secure your VAM® nicely and takes under a minute to set up. All microphone designs vary. We recommend that you read your owner’s manual on your microphone to see if your VAM® will mount on your microphone.
To assemble your VAM® Base unit onto your microphone, simply unscrew the ball of your microphone and remove it. Remove the Removal Plug on the Base Unit marked NIAGARA S1414-2 so that your VAM®’s Microphone Through Hole is now open. Take your VAM® Base Unit and place your microphone into the open Through Hole. Now take the Ball of your microphone and screw it back on with the VAM® Base Unit so that it secures the VAM® Base Unit. At this point, you’re ready to use your VAM®. NOTE: It is very easy to position your VAM® Base Unit to either your left ear or right ear by rotating the Base Unit to which ever ear you want to sing into. To use your VAM® in Scenario 3), simply follow the steps outlined in Scenario 1) above, but now you’re going to hold your microphone with your hand and tilt the VAM® towards your ear to get the optimum sound that’s best for you.
When you use your VAM® while holding your microphone, you should experiment with position by tilting the VAM® towards your ear while you sing into the microphone. Remember you don’t have to cover your ear with the VAM® to get the best sound. We recommend that you use amplified monitors with your VAM® to get the best Voice Monitoring that you can especially in situations where you’re singing in a loud environment.
Scenario 4) USING THE VAM® BASE UNIT FOR PRACTICE OR PERFORMANCE IN AN AMPLIFIED SETTING WITH A MICROPHONE AND A MICROPHONE STAND
Scenario 4) is the hands-free option that you’ll use with a microphone stand. Most Guitarists, Keyboardist and Drummers that don’t need to hold their microphones will use this option. Simply follow all of the instructions in Scenario 3) and attach your microphone with the attached VAM® onto your microphone stand. As in Scenario 3), while you are singing into your VAM®, we suggest that you find the best position to hear yourself by tweaking the position of the microphone with your VAM® attached to it on the microphone stand. If you’re playing your instrument during this hands-free scenario, you should find a comfortable and effective position to get the sound into your ear effectively as in Scenario 3). You should also coordinate the position of your VAM® so that it works to its best efficiency with the amplified monitors you will be using. If you position your VAM® correctly with your amplified monitors, your monitoring experience will be optimum.
In stage monitoring, you should be careful not to turn up the volume of your monitors too loud or you will experience feedback. This is especially apparent when the microphones are near the monitors and feedback can easily occur. You will find that the VAM® will increase your monitoring capability so that you won’t need to turn up the volume on the amplified monitors as much. This will decrease the chances of feedback. You will also find that VAM® will not cause added feedback when used conventionally.
Scenario 5) USING THE VAM® WITH BASS ENHANCER FOR PRACTICE IN AN UNAMPLIFIED SETTING WITHOUT A MICROPHONE MOUNTED ON A MICROPHONE STAND
This Scenario is Scenario 2) with a Hands-Free Option. If you want to practice with the Bass Enhancer hands-free, you can mount the VAM® with the Bass Enhancer unit on a Butterfly Clip attached to a microphone stand. Simply take a butterfly microphone clip mounted on a microphone stand and clip it on to the protruding lip found in the middle of the outside of the Base Unit. This scenario should be used for practice only in an un-amplified setting where you want to use the Bass Enhancer unit for practice.
Butterfly mic clip (not included) attaches to either the rubber plug or the center rib of the VAM®. VAM® as a hands free unit attached to a mic stand as illustrated, will allow drummers, guitarists, keyboardists and others to finally have a way to practice vocals privately. The VAM® produces an amazing volume from your voice alone, no need for a microphone or any powersource. To demonstrate what we mean, take both hands, create the shape of the VAM® in front of your mouth and ear and sing or speak. Ahh, now you get it. Imagine this volume 10X cleaner and studio-like. For beginners it allows you the opportunity to hear yourself privately to build confidence. For pro's or anyone, no need to lug or purchase extra equipment, this is your vocal P.A. without the "P"(elecrical) this is an acoustic amplifier that you power with your voice.
We hope that you will use the VAM® in any scenario you’re comfortable with. If you have any technical questions, feel free to contact us at www.vamacoustics.com.
On our website you will find a lot of valuable information as well as instructional videos on how to use VAM® effectively.