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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Ears are such wonderful things -- every person has a built-in mixer (and limiter, to a degree) in their own head; yet we think we can improve the situation by eliminating "ambient platform noise" (i.e., music), so everyone gets this crystal-clear sound and nothing else.  Good sound is quite attainable with normal speakers and acoustic instruments if the players learn to place themselves where they can see and hear properly.  This is not always an easy task; but with cooperative members and leadership, it's quite doable.  It also helps to have a senior pastor who has the guts to let those that insist on ear-splitting volume ("the youth will leave if you go under 140 dB!!!") that the church is for everyone, not a select few hard-metal devotees with loud voices.

Someone mentioned a good point: why can bars get away with monitor speakers, while churches feel like they have to get rid of them? It's a reasonable question, and I'm not sure I have a good answer.


In the congregation I was in back in Michigan in the 90s the pastor's wife wanted to get rid of all amps and all monitors on stage.  She would have liked deleting the mics and mic stands as well.  It was all for how the stage looked.  She wanted it clean and devoid of anything but the podium and some decorative background plants.

 

IMO most of these requests come from issues that have nothing to do with musical or sound level interests.

It's a pity this forum doesn't feature a "like" button, because so many people are saying such sensible things!

Perhaps I should just shut up and say, 'yep - what he said'.

But I do have a perspective.

I don't like wedges because, unless the stage is very deep or has an acoustic front wall, the sound of the wedges bounces into the house and muddies everything up. I also don't like the cluttered look.

I don't like in-ear-monitoring for worship, because it isolates the band from the worshippers - it's really hard to know whether a song is 'going well'. If the event is completely scripted and rehearsed this is unimportant, but for sensitive, spontaneous worship it's a bit issue.

But I do like monitoring because, as so many have said, it massively improves the tuning and balance of the band.

So what are we left with? I like these little "mic stand" monitors

You know the ones -

This particular one has two inputs, so you can do the clever "my signal and the main mix" balance, as someone suggested earlier.

There's still potentially the problem of stray sound, but because the speaker is much nearer the user the sound level can be kept lower. Also the sound from a 5" cone doesn't carry as far as a 12" wedge.

And there's the problem of the stage potentially looking cluttered, so it's a compromise...

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