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Janelle Monae bassist Téja Uses Sensaphonics 3MAX

by FOH Staff • in
  • News
• Created: October 10, 2018
Janelle Monae bassist Téja at sound check with her Sensaphonics 3MAX custom in-ear monitors with soft silicone earpieces.

CHICAGO – Téja, bassist for Janelle Monae, has selecteda Sensaphonics 3MAX ttriple-driver in-ear monitor for use during shows on her current tour.

More details from Sensaphonics (www.sensaphonics.com):

One of the most common problems for touring musicians is losing the seal on their custom acrylic in-ear monitors. The result is a loss of low frequencies – obviously a huge issue for bass players. Téja, the bassist for Janelle Monae, knows this from personal experience.

“It’s a real distraction on stage, because we depend on our in-ears,” she says. “It was frustrating, because they sounded good when the isolation was there, but the seal would always pop when I was singing, or even just smiling too big, and I would lose all the bass response. I had them remade several times, but nothing helped.”

Before a recent Janelle Monae show in Chicago, band and crewmembers met with Sensaphonics personnel Claudia Pyne (artist relations) and Dr. Laura Sinnott, Au.D., about hearing health and in-ear monitors. During the discussion, Téja brought up some of her questions and concerns, especially regarding her difficulty in maintaining a seal on stage. She was excited to learn about the flexible soft silicone in Sensaphonics earpieces, which provide significantly more isolation and a stronger, more persistent seal.

“When Claudia showed us these soft, pliable molds that fit deep into the ear canal, I was like, ‘this is what I’ve been wanting!’ Until that moment, I didn’t even know that soft molds existed,” says Téja.

After listening to and loving the accurate, neutral response of a Sensaphonics dual-driver sample, Téja ordered the 3MAX triple-driver, single crossover model designed to deliver a little extra bass sound. She reports that the isolation, comfort, and sound quality are everything she had hoped for.

“With Janelle, I’m singing background as well as playing bass, so both bass clarity and vocal clarity are very important, and the 3MAX gives me both,” she says. “They’re very balanced, and the mid-register is great. And since I never lose my seal now, I can actually hear what I’m playing. I’m really excited about it.”

The other thing Téja appreciates about Sensaphonics is the company’s focus on hearing health. “Ear health has always been a secret panic of mine,” she admits. “As a musician, the possibility of losing your hearing is just a horrible thought. So knowing these monitors truly support healthy hearing really matters a lot to me.”

Asked about how the 3MAX affects her on stage, Téja explains: “First, they’re very comfortable – like I forget they’re in my ear. And my bass sounds great. I use my amps on stage and can feel the bass through the cabs, but now I can actually hear my bass notes through my ears, and the isolation means I don’t have to turn up my volume as much. Our monitor engineer always looks at my pack and he’s like, ‘Really? You’re volume is so low!’ And I’m just like, ‘But I hear it really well!’ And I do. With my old system, after a two-hour show, my ears would be ringing. Now, when I take my monitors out, my ears aren’t ringing and I don’t feel so fatigued. It’s a blessing.”

When she’s not on the road with Janelle Monae, Téja is usually in Atlanta, working on her own music. “A couple years ago, I put out an EP of covers, just for myself,” she explains. “It’s called The Hopeless Romantic, and you can download it for free. Now I’m working on original music, which I hope to release next year. It’s a new direction for me, just growing as an artist and moving forward. And I can tell you, whatever the future brings, my Sensaphonics will be with me.”

For more information on soft silicone IEMs and hearing wellness, please visit Sensaphonics.com. Téja’s music download is found at Helloimteja.com.

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