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Audio Monitors & Systems Stage monitors, In-Ear monitors, Close-field monitors, etc.

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Old Monday, August 17th, 2009, 02:27 PM
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Unhappy Worship Pastor feels "disconnected".

So I'm dealing with a conflict with my Worship Pastor. For the last two years it has been a goal to move everyone over to IEM's. Well, within the last year we hired a new Worship Pastor and he tried the IEM's for about 6 months. We also have an Aviom system to go along with our IEM's, however not everyone wears IEM's yet. My Worship Pastor has now preferred to go with one of our powered QSC wedges and an Aviom mixer as our electric guitar player does. He says he has felt too disconnected from the congregation and the rest of the band. We even set up ambient microphones for the people on IEM's and he says that didn't help. Today, he told me that he would prefer to have the "muddy sound" on stage and feeling more connected than having a cleaner sound with IEM's and feel disconnected. This really makes me feel like I can't keep a clean sound in the house because of the stage volume being produced and he rather have a bad sounding mix going to the congregation so he can have his "connection". How should I address this? Am I over reacting? Do I just need to suck it up and deal with it?
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Old Monday, August 17th, 2009, 02:32 PM
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The only solution I've heard to this is the ambient mikes.

I can imagine how you feel. It would be like someone telling me I had to use Powerpoint to design screens after I installed Photoshop.
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Old Monday, August 17th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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I would say a few things:
* Be humble (and hopefully the worship pastor will be also). As much as we need to get things "right", we also need to keep good relationships. The ultimate goals are to serve God and to help people know, grow in, and worship Jesus Christ.
* Keep communication open. Try to create an atmosphere where you're both able to express what you believe is best, while still respecting the other person's gifts and ministry. See if there's some way you can get him out into the congregation to see what you're trying to do.
* Get clarification regarding who has final authority. Are you "under" the worship pastor in your church's hierarchy? If so, allow him to have the ultimate choice which is his. If not, exercise your authority with grace and love.
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The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to danroth For This Useful Post:
alongtin (Tuesday, August 18th, 2009), Gene (Monday, August 17th, 2009), osborn4 (Monday, August 17th, 2009), Pastor Tim (Tuesday, August 18th, 2009), waynehoskins (Monday, August 17th, 2009)
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Old Monday, August 17th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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What wireless IEM were you using? The Audio-Technica M2 & M3 wireless IEM's have an ambient mic option that's a lapel the clips to you, so the ambient source follows you. That might help. Other than that, you may wind up putting a LF filter, such as an RDL Stick-On, between the Aviom and the QSC active speaker to reduce the LF energy produced.
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Old Monday, August 17th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewah View Post
So I'm dealing with a conflict with my Worship Pastor. For the last two years it has been a goal to move everyone over to IEM's. Well, within the last year we hired a new Worship Pastor and he tried the IEM's for about 6 months. We also have an Aviom system to go along with our IEM's, however not everyone wears IEM's yet. My Worship Pastor has now preferred to go with one of our powered QSC wedges and an Aviom mixer as our electric guitar player does. He says he has felt too disconnected from the congregation and the rest of the band. We even set up ambient microphones for the people on IEM's and he says that didn't help. Today, he told me that he would prefer to have the "muddy sound" on stage and feeling more connected than having a cleaner sound with IEM's and feel disconnected. This really makes me feel like I can't keep a clean sound in the house because of the stage volume being produced and he rather have a bad sounding mix going to the congregation so he can have his "connection". How should I address this? Am I over reacting? Do I just need to suck it up and deal with it?
Well, the guy has a valid complaint. It's like singing with your fingers stuffed in your ears.

You have stated that you have done ambient mics but they did not help. Perhaps you need to try different ambient mics in different positions with some processing. I would not rely on ambient mics of an IEMs. I would rather rely on great mics under control of the monitor engineer, with proper processing.

If he wants congregational noise, be sure that the congregation can be heard over the band. There is a fine line between stimulating people and causing them to become concert observers.

What mics have you tried and where did you place them?
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Old Monday, August 17th, 2009, 03:25 PM
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"Disconnected" is quiet a emotive, vague sort of word. Maybe you could get him to quantify what it is he doesn't like slightly better. Ask some leading question and see if you can get out of him some more specifics about what it is he doesn't like. Knowledge is power, so the more you understand what he doesn't like, the more you can do to help!
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Old Monday, August 17th, 2009, 03:47 PM
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Does he use the system with both buds in his ears? I have read that a lot of musicians/singers will only keep one in so they can hear/feel what is happening in the house.
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Old Monday, August 17th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riafekim View Post
Does he use the system with both buds in his ears? I have read that a lot of musicians/singers will only keep one in so they can hear/feel what is happening in the house.
And that is extremely dangerous. This May 2007 article from Mix Magazine discusses the Quiet Stage.

It is much more important to provide the proper independent EQ and processing for the individual's voice. As pdc mentioned, singing with both isolating buds in, the sensation of singing is very similar to that of having your ears plugged with your fingers, or having fluid on your ears. In order to compensate, it is necessary to reduce the fundamentals and increase the overtone series without accentuating the sibilance.

I'll try to post more detailed description tomorrow.
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Old Monday, August 17th, 2009, 04:34 PM
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Yeah, one bud in and one out usually causes pitch issues. It is confusing for the brain. It usually causes people to jack up the volume, possibly damaging their ear. It sounds logical to do, but it is a bad idea.
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Old Monday, August 17th, 2009, 04:50 PM
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Definitely read the article Cory linked to. IEMs in one ear only are a bad idea.

The phrase I've heard about switching to IEMs is "like having your head in a box". Ambient mics are usually the way to solve it. What is your ambient mic setup like? It may be that those are picking up too much of the worship team and not enough of the congregation. Listen in to what the ambient mics are picking up during a service. And as others have said, ask the worship leader for more specifics: what aren't they hearing that they feel they need to?
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Old Monday, August 17th, 2009, 04:52 PM
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To put the article in basic terms, Binaural Summation is a term used to describe how the two ears work together. When 1 ear is isolated, and the other ear open, the signal in the isolated ear needs to be as much as 6dB hotter than the open ear. So, if the open ear is experiencing 90dB-A SPL, the isolated ear may be experiencing 96dB-A SPL. Not a good situation.
I will post sometime tomorrow in a new thread a recap of my personal experiences with proper EQ of IEM's for the work I do with southern gospel groups.
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Old Monday, August 17th, 2009, 07:05 PM
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An idea I've thought of (but haven't implemented because we're low on auxes) is to mix IEMs stereo, with the panning about equivalent to what they'd naturally hear where they are. By opening up that image like that, you might be able to cure some of the head-in-a-box problems. Also give a listen to the mix itself on cans (ideally the same as the talent wear).

There could be other things going on that a change in processing might remedy -- EQ, dynamics, phasing, and the like.
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