I'm at a church that had all their monitors removed from the platform. The guy making this decision is not and has never been a worship leader, a vocalist or a musician. He's placed the main speakers on stage and angled them a bit for the band & the audience. So now, if any musician requests more volume so he/she can hear what they're doing...it affects everyone.

Isn't this an improper way to proceed?

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It's not angled much because there's no feedback & the bass player sure wishes he could hear his bass, meaning this set up isn't working. I believe the concept was to make the stage look cleaner/less cluttered. I've never seen a set up like this.

Um - clearly you need to have monitors of some sort!  A silly decision.

Best solution - completely declutter the stage; move the band off the stage and down to the side!  I never liked being on stage anyway.

Would I be correct in understanding that all instruments run through the PA, rather than having their own stage amps like any real gigging band (churches are weird with their demands to remove amps from a stage)? If so, then that's not going to help anyone.

People need to hear how they sound, each instrument being loud enough for the player to hear themselves over everyone else - no-one can hear anything in a full band mix except the drummer and who ever is playing lead lines. You can get away without monitors and amps in a very simple worship team (a couple of vocalists and acoustic guitar, piano) but that's about it. Add a drummer an he'll swamp everything

This sounds like a really bad idea.

Yes, all instruments & vocals run through PA with no stage amps.

And you're right about the drummer. He was demanding more volume immediately.

Sad part is that the pastor has no experience in this field so he's clueless

and simply going along with the guy he designated to set up this mess. 

Can you find someone he might respect with a strong pedigree in musical organisation to advise him? You might be able to show him this thread too.

I was at a larger meeting on Sunday where the band did have stage amps, but all running at low volumes and facing sideways: you could hear vocals, an acoustic guitar and drummer, plus occasionally sax (so no keyboards, bass or electric guitar audible). It's a real battle to worship when you're being distracted by a thin, nasal, toppy mix grating away on the ears, and trying not to think about how it could so easily sound good. :-( 

Yes, I might show him this thread. thanks

I do not know if your singers use "close harmony," but if they do - and people like it - not having monitors will result in "near miss" harmony (aka lack of harmony) which will be obvious to all; except perhaps to the profoundly tone deaf.

 

There are many web sites devoted to church platform monitor use. The first thing is to have a discussion with the pastor and this person who cleared everything out to express your concerns. (and I would have plenty)  Maybe he could spring for in-ear monitors if he does not want the clutter?

Well, therein lies a whole different issue. Newly appointed worship leader whose been given the job so he can learn the role is obviously tone deaf. He gets lost with every melody & hits flat notes in about every sentence. Harmony is nothing anyone is paying attention to. It's too stunning listening to the worship leader.

Just curious; aren't the worship leaders in charge of the whole ministry? And if so, doesn't stage arrangement & sound fall in the group. And if so, shouldn't the worship leader be in charge of all this?

Depends on how the congregation is structured.  In some congregations the WL has charge of everything and in others the musicians and sound guys answer to different people.

 

A tone deaf WL?  Really?

I don't think you'd be able to show him this thread now - not if you want a positive response. :-(

Technical issues aside, what's his heart in all this, as much as you can tell? And is this a paid position or voluntary? 

No, I agree & won't show him the thread now.

Assuming you're talking about the worship leader & not the pastor, I'm told by the pastor that he has a good heart & wants to be take on this role. I really need to get out of the mix & let them run with this in the best way they see fit.

Yes, the worship leader. It's good if he's not being paid, because it makes trying to work through this with him much less threatening than if a livelihood were at stake.

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