We've recently moved over to a (fairly primitive) wired in-ear system at our church, to reduce our deafening stage volumes and enable us to use click tracks etc. It's working well, but we're finding it's taking loads longer to get monitors sorted as each band member's mix now needs to include things like drums and electric guitar which previously they would just hear from stage spill. We don't have a monitor desk, monitors are run from FOH (A&H GL4000 analogue desk, 6 auxes for monitors), so there's a good 30-40 minutes at the beginning of each rehearsal when foldback mixes are being tweaked ad nauseum.
In the service, if a mix isn't quite right, there's very little that can be done as it'd be impossible to gesticulate to get the sound guy's attention without being wildly distracting to the congregation! So we just have to muddle through and most of the time the mix is good enough to work.
I am however - understandably - tempted by going the personal monitor route. I've used the Aviom system before and really liked it, but am now even more attracted by what seems the more musician-friendly MyMix system http://www.mymixaudio.com/
1) Do any of you use personal monitoring systems in church? If so, do they really help productivity/musician interaction or are they just an expensive toy?
2) Less likely as it's very new, does anyone have any experience with the Mymix system? I've heard bad things about the Behringer rip-off of Aviom's system, so not going to touch that one despite it being a quarter of the price.
Might be helpful?
Thanks Toni, that's helpful re how MyMix compares to Aviom.
I'm also interested though to hear from people who maybe have fairly recently moved to having monitors set from FOH or by a dedicated monitor desk, to using personal monitoring. Has it improved things? Are musicians more able to concentrate on music rather than endlessly making monitor requests for a not-quite-right mix? That kind of thing... any pluses and minuses of the whole concept from anyone using a personal monitoring system in their church very welcome! :)
Any comments from anyone using personal mixing? Good/bad/waste of money?? :)
Hi Matt, I'm definitely an advocate for IEM. As a guitarist in the worship band, and sound tech when not playing music, I can tell you that I've experienced many benefits (we use the Aviom system).
I'm sure you're familiar with these advantages, but I'll outline several that are really compelling:
I honestly can't really think of any huge downsides -- except for the incremental cost to fund the system upgrades. But in my opinion, well worth the investment. Yes, it takes a bit to make the transition, but we will never go back to the old wedges!
Thanks John, really helpful. I had a play with the MyMix system at a trade show this morning and it is excellent, really helpful visual feedback on the whole mix - a friend came with me and despite not having seen anything about MyMix before got it working beautifully in about 2 minutes. If finance looks like it might be forthcoming I'll arrange a demo in church and will post the results here if anyone's interested?
We have 4 players, each with an AUX from the console to a headphone amp on the platform.
Drummer in an isolation booth.
Running metronome track, and some instrument backing tracks.
Biggest boon is the band leader (keys) has a mic that he can queue us with. We do complex material and that helps us . Keeps us all together on changes, dynamics etc.
Vocalist use floor wedges.
I mix my guitar signal with the band mix on a small mixer, so I can hear myself over the rest.
We dial it in at rehearsals before service.