Improve your front of house sound instantly

Here’s the situation, you’re running your church house sound and it’s, lets be honest, not great. It’s muddy, you have little, or no control and it frustrates the life out of you.

Sound familiar?

Let’s look at what you are working with. You’re a small church with a relatively good sound system. Monitor speakers provide your fold back system for the worship team, your guitarist is using his own amp, and the drummer is sitting behind his screens complaining that he still can’t hear anything no matter how much he turns up his monitor speaker.

Your sound tech is facing a no-win situation here. They are constantly fighting against the volume level in the building and the fold back sound. The fold back in a small venue will completely overwhelm your front of house sound so no matter what your sound tech does you cannot get a clean sound for your congregation.

In a small venue, live speaker systems for fold back will always overwhelm the front of house. They are not designed for use in such small venues, but rather for large stages in much larger venues. In a small venue the fold back will always muddy the sound as there just isn’t the headroom for two live speaker systems as such they will always be competing with each other. Sadly there isn’t a lot we can do about it.

Yes, you can spend all day tuning and checking the systems to try and get a better sound but if you want to improve your house sound dramatically there’s one sure fire way of fixing this issue without spending a fortune.

In one simple phrase, in ear monitoring.

Basically, you need to get rid of the on-stage monitors. They are killing your house sound.  The transition to in ear monitors will be the best move you will ever make. The benefits are simple. Your house sound will instantly be improved, and each of your band members can have their own dedicated monitor sound specifically tailored to themselves. The down side? It will take time for your team to acclimatise to the in ears. Some may never do so. You will get complaints, at least at first. However, if you persevere then the benefits will soon kick in and your team will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. The control it will give both your worship team and your sound tech will amaze them.

So, what do you need? There are really two options, they depend on both budget and the sound system you have in place.

The first option is to use a multiple input / output headphone amp system linked directly to your auxiliary lines on your desk. There are numerous systems out there that will do this but one of the cheapest and easiest is the Behringer HA800. This is an 8-channel headphone amp that allows you to insert separate inputs for each channel. Simply send a line from your auxiliary bus to the HA800 and plug your bands headphones in. Simple. Obviously, this is a wired system so you will need extension cords between the Headphone Amp and the user. The sound tech will need to set each AUX channel for the user at the desk.

Approximate cost for this setup – Around £200 plus cables.

The second option is to use a ultranet based system to give each band member ultimate control of their sound right at their feet. To do this you can use an ultranet monitor system giving you multiple separate monitor systems each fully adjustable by the user.

Firstly, you will need an Ultranet switch to connect everything together. Connect it to your desk via an ethernet cable. This then connects to your personal mixers (up to 48 of them) by each band member. These mixers allow each band member to directly control their in-ear sound to their own preferences. The clarity and control of a system like this is second to none.

This system is more expensive than the first option, running at least £1000 for 5 users depending on the system you have (this cost is based on a Behringer P16-D/M system).

Whichever system you go for, your sound tech will be forever grateful, and your sound quality will be dramatically improved.