I know a lot of churches that mix monitors from front of house. For most of my church career, that’s been the case.
To be sure, having a dedicated monitor position, console and engineer is a lot easier, but it’s not practical for most of us.
And while we’d all love to have all our musicians and vocalists on in-ears, wedges still are a fact of life for many churches.
For most of the churches I’ve mixed in, the biggest challenge for mixing monitors is that as an engineer, I can’t hear what I’m mixing. Sometimes you can solo up an aux and put headphones on, but that doesn’t really give you a sense for what’s going on at the wedge on stage. You take a guess at how much “a little more guitar” is and hope you don’t over- or under-shoot.
When I arrived at Coast Hills, we had a dedicated monitor position. One of the tasks I was charged with was eliminating it (mainly for budgetary reasons). While I was OK with this, I learned a valuable lesson in mixing monitors while working up there a few weekends; we had a cue wedge at monitors that was set to mirror whatever mix was soloed.
This worked brilliantly; when someone asked for more kick, we could actually hear it, and we could tell when we moved it up enough to make a difference.
After we eliminated monitor world, I moved that cue wedge up to front of house. Our mixing console has two solo buses, which is quite handy. Solo 1 is set up to cue individual channels into our headphones. Solo 2 is set up to drive the cue wedge. When we put any of our aux mixes in sends on fader mode (by pressing solo), what the artists hear on stage comes out in our cue wedge as well.