How many times - in the middle of a sound check/rehearsal – do you get a nagging feeling that something is wrong, but you just can’t put your finger on it?
Even with the same system, the same band and the same setup every week, I still run into this situation more than I would like. (Or at least more than I like to admit!)
What changed? That’s always what the worship leader asks.
The specific question is usually something like, “My voice sounds different in the house that it normally does, what changed from last week?”
Now, I must admit that the snarky side of my personality wants to say, “Your ears!” or “Did you go to (or play) a really loud gig last night?”
But as time has not only aged me but also mellowed me out a bit, I keep the snarky stuff to myself (most of the time).
My typical response now is to ask the leader to describe the difference he’s hearing. “My voice sounds really thin” or “There is no edge to voice, it feels a bit buried in the mix” are among the descriptions he’s shared with me.
With this in mind, I ask the band to continue playing/rehearsing and take the journey from the sound booth balcony location to the main floor.
I stop in the center of the main seating area and listen for a moment to double check that what I’m hearing is consistent with what I was hearing at the mix position – and 99.9 percent of the time it is.
The only time it’s radically different is when somebody has their monitor cranked up way too loud and it’s spilling into the house.