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Church Sound: Staying Aware Of What’s Happening With Personal Monitor Mixes

Just because the musician has control it doesn’t necessarily keep monitors from being a problem

By Gary Zandstra May 31, 2011

With the advent of personal monitor mixing for musicians, the front of house guy is theoretically free from any monitor issues. 

However, that’s if:
1) The system is set up properly;
2) The musicians know how to use the stage system;
3) You don’t mess with the channel gain (If direct outs a channel are used).

Remember, though, that just because the musician has control it doesn’t necessarily keep monitors from being a problem.

The church where I mix has personal monitor mixers available on the stage.

Our musicians are top quality, and are there consistently (we don’t have much turnover). So 99 percent of the time monitors are never an issue. However, that remaining 1 percent can be frustrating!

I should note here that we do two distinct services every Sunday – they are very different from each other in terms of program and production elements.

This past Sunday during sound check for the first service, the worship leader stopped mid-song and said very emphatically, “Can’t you hear that!!!!????”  I responded, “Hear what?”

He then proceeded to play a note right around A 440. As he played it I could hear feedback wanting to take off.

On stage we had multiple choir microphones, a full rhythm section, a string player, a sax and a clarinet.

I immediately thought the problem must be the choir mics, so I dialed out the general area of 440 Hz on the EQ.

This seemed to help, sort of, but things still sounded “off,” and anything the musicians played in the key of F seemed to exacerbate the problem.

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About Gary

Gary Zandstra
Gary Zandstra

Consultant, Dan Vos Construction, Writer for Worship Facilities and ProSoundWeb
Gary Zandstra has worked in church production and as an AV systems integrator for more than 35 years. He’s also contributed numerous articles to ProSoundWeb over the past decade.


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craig says

You had a lot of instruments on the scene and I think that’s the reason for this problem. Aer conditonat

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