A Church Setting

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by wesleypak, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. wesleypak


    Mar 15, 2005
    Fairfield, CA
    Hello, I'm from northern california and have a question for you guys. Although I can play little bit of bass guitar, I don't consider myself as bass guitar player, but I can play guitar and drums well. :bassist: We are planning to spend a lot of money on buying stage monitors and microphones. Right now, we have two main speakers, bass speaker (not very good) and no stage monitor. Instad of connecting Bass guitar directly to the mixer, we use a separate speaker, because it just sounded better. I'm not sure whether bass guitar player prefer to use seperate speaker, but it's just sounded better :)

    My friend told me that I should just connect the bass to the main mixer and not use the seperate spaker for bass guitar, so he recommends to buy

    JBL JRX112M 12" 2 way stage monitor
    Behringer F1220 12" 2 way stage monitor
    Behringer F1520 12" 2 way stage monitor
    Yamaha BR15M 15" 2 way stage monitor

    We only have 7 people on our worship team and 70 congregation in our church.

    I think we should either get brand new bass speaker and use it seperatly from the mixer and get only 2 stage speakers.

    what do you think, guys?
  2. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    When you say seperate bass speaker do you mean a seperate amp or combo amp.

    At my church we run bass directly to a Mackie board and through the two stage monitors that our singers key from as well as the house speakers for the congregation. We have an in ear monitor sysytem for the instrument palyers and the signal from the board runs to those as well but through a seperate pre-EQ set up.

    This set up works fine but I prefer to use an amp before going to the board. I will go back to that when I pick up another combo amp.

    As for the speaker choices I really don't know much about the Behringer speakers. You will get alot of Behringer bashing in here. I use two of their effects units in our rack at church and we have a GMX210 guitar amp we use on stage with no trouble but I have never even seen one of their PA systems let alone worked with one. I am willing to bet that there are better PA products out there for close to the same amount of money.

    We use Carvin monitor speakers both 12" w/ Horn and 15" / horn and they have been reliable speakers.
  3. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    In a church that size (70 people) I would probably reccomend a small combo bass amp something in the 1-200 watt power range. Unless you have a problem room or an unusual worship ministry (very loud rock), Your basically talking about a coffe house size congragation. I doubt in that size church you have the budget to purchase a PA system that will produce a good sound and provide you with quality stage monitoring. At the typical church worship levels (and I've played in many contemporary worship- Fred Hammond and David Crowder styled) the small combo should do just fine. And will allow you to put only vocals and maybe accoustic gutiar thru the PA to keep your sound system requirements much simpler and ecconomical.
  4. Just get a small combo for yourself and let the others go through the board.

    I have played a sanctuary of 700 people with a WM12 and barely had it cranked. I've played smaller groups and whatever combo I was using, be it an LA8 or a Baby Baby Blue, I always had more than enough volume for CCM and Contemporary Worship.

    A small combo is the way to go, and don't get more than 100 watts, that is about all you would need. I would recommend the WM12.
  5. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    I used a Hartke Kickback 10 combo amp as a personal bass monitor. I put it at my feet right in front of me tilted back and I can pretty much adjust for my own personal taste with the sound hitting me front on. I feed the XLR out into the mix and the sound guy tunes that to his liking for the congregation. Both of us are very happy.

  6. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    For a church that size, you definitely want to go with a small combo first as Frankie sez. If you're playing in other situations, you may want to go bigger though. If you decide to follow your friend's suggestion, then you want to get a good quality active DI box or preamp with a balanced XLR output.
  7. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    this is a bit obtuse, but here's a quick primer i emailed to a friend for his church's newsletter:

  8. Sorry to sound so, i dont know, arrogant? , but what is it with church bands and such over in the US?

    Im an atheist, but im not taking the piss or anything, i just dont get it, over here its not something you really see, bands playing in churchs that is
  9. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Wrong! A lot of churches still do rely on a pianist or organist for all their musical accompaniment and there are some places where there's no music at all. However, an increasing number of churches field "bands" of one form or another, playing in a diverse range of styles.

    If you want, I'm sure I could dig up a church or two in Dundee where you could observe this and reassure yourself that it's not just "a US thing".

  10. I understand about a pianist or an organist, both churches on each side of my house ( i live about half an hour away from dundee ) , have huge organs that are a fair few hundred years old, but and organist or a pianist isnt a band, that is all im saying, yes, you could probably find a few over here, it just seems more common in america, around where i live most churches are still traditionalist, sunday best, old people looking down their noses at you and such ( one of the reasons i personally cant stand religious preachings and evangalism )

    ( not meaning to start any arguments here ) :bag:
  11. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Don't worry - no arguments. However, I think there is an objective basis for thinking that church music is pretty diverse and often full of life and richness across the world. I'm a long-standing member of the ChurchBass email list and so that gives me a pretty broad perspective. I think, if you did a tour round the States, you'd find plenty of piano/organ based music as well as a broad range of 'contemporary' services.

    One area in which the demographic of US churches does seem to differ from the UK is that there are more 'megachuches' (with hundreds or thousands of members) - a set up like that allow for the production of a more elaborate "show". Wesleypak's original post describe a situation that sounds similar to my church - we'll normally field a four or five piece band with additional vocalists, and I have an old Peavey combo on the stage for the bass as well as sending a DI feed to the mixer.

    It sounds like you've got a fairly stereotyped view of what 'church' is like (and, sadly, there are examples which back your view up). However, if you look around a bit, I reckon you could probably find a few places that would challenge your preconceptions of Christianity as old people looking down their noses at you. Personally, I find that my church is a setting where I sometimes get to do my most innovative playing (although, granted, South East London is a bit of a distance from the outer reaches of Dundee) :D

  12. steve_man


    May 15, 2002
    wesleypak what type of music do you play?

    My church band plays jazz, fusion, rock, blues and gospel.
    We really cook sometimes and when the music is jammin' you want the music loud ... well at least most people ... you still get your people who complain it's too loud (not always old people either).

    Anyways, are you looking for something that can accomodate a variety of situations? Look for something to suit your bass (5 and 6 strings), gives you an even response, plus a bit more volume in case (extra stage presence, out door scenario, etc.).

    I play through a GK 700rb 210. And it suits me very well. I'm running close to 300 watts. I've always found that stage monitors does not do the bass any justice. And even when I went through a little 110 (with monitors) it didn't sit well. I once used a swr workingman 110 combo and hated every moment of it. Some people could hear me but others couldn't, but most important I couldn't hear or feel the bass which really threw off the groove!

    I do have suggestion that should suit a number of venues. I remember that GK is coming out with a NEO 112 combo amp. I've always found that 112's suit many situations so check this out...
  13. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I'm using an Ampeg Portabass single 12" cab with a neodymium speaker in the church I play in, and I really love it. The monitors you're planning to add seem like they might be a little too much. The problem, especially in a smaller building, is the tendancy musicians have of turning up the monitors to the point they flood the room over the mains, driving the soundman insane. Also, if you get those 4 monitors, but are only running one mix into all of them, then the singers will start complaining about the bass and guitar being too loud in them, and vice-versa. In my opinion, I'd get smaller monitors for the singers, a better cabinet for the bassist, and put the bass close enough to the drummer so he can hear the bass. I'd only put the vocals through the monitors, too. Of course, if you can afford to go in-ear monitors, you could really set things up nice for everyone without producing any unwanted stage volume.
  14. wesleypak


    Mar 15, 2005
    Fairfield, CA
    Dear: i_got_a_mohawk

    A Church is where people worship and since people like different kind of music and would like to express their love for God differently, we sing in jazz, rock, blues and gospel. Some people have wrong conception that we have to be very formal in church, but even king David danced for God as if he was little child in front of his whole nation. Christianity is not based on some fairytale, but based on the facts that really happened in our forefather's time. I don't know how you became athiest, but I pray that you would see christianity not as religion, but as loving relationship between God and all mankind.

    Anyway, what amp do you use? :bassist:
  15. Hman


    Jan 8, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Church worship music is the fasting growing live band/music in the US!!! You get to play gigs everyweek...and the reward is awesome :hyper: you should try to attend a Newsboy concert/worship somewhere in the UK and you'll know for yourself. ;)

    btw...I use Thuderfunk 420 and El Whappo Jr. at my church :eek:
  16. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Right now in this town, Detroit, the best house systems and the best tech setups are in churchs. In between the large African American Church's.
    Word of Faith, Staight Gate and Perfecting (Mavin Winans) and guy's like Fred Hammond and Marvin Miller being arround . We also have some large "seeker churchs" and "charismatic churchs". Several of the churchs in this area have had there sound systems written up in Mix Magazine! I played in one that had a Sonny DMX-R100 as a sub mixer, thats an 18000$ board that they only used when they wanted an automated mixer for choirs, shows, etc. not the main board! The same church has Demeter tube direct box and an Agular DB 680 for the bass players , not bad! Some churchs take there music pretty seriously.
  17. Robear22

    Robear22 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Beach Park, Ill
    I have used a variety of setups in my church but I am currently using a Behringer BX3000T into an Avatar SB112 and Delta 210. Our church seats 120 max and some may say that 300 watts is overkill but one thing I can say is I can always turn it down. But it is nice to have the headroom and boom when I need it such as when we play in other churches or I play outside. I also have a rack setup with a newly purhcased BBE BMAX and europower 1500 power amp. I know that is a lot of power but in my years of playing I have learned that there are times when a little combo is not going to cut it. It is all dependant on what type of music you are playing and what type of instruments you are playing with.

    We play music from Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, Hillsongs, Israel Houghton, Martha Munizzi, and Steven Curtis Chatman. Our congregation is mixed so we have to provide a variety of styles and music for everyone. I play with a Hammond B3 organ, a keyboard player, drums and percussion. I enjoy it and we have grown as a group.

    For the size of the venue you are talking about either a big combo or a head and one cab should suffice. And remember, you can always turn it down. Better to have more than enough power than not enough. ;)
  18. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Whereas some churches don't like an amp backline at the front of the church ( I can understand the aesthetic sensibilities) I would much prefer to have some kind of amp on stage as opposed to playing through monitors.

    #1, you need a fairly hi-performance PA in order to go direct to the board and still obtain the volume and articulation that you need to hear yourself on stage AND project into the congregation.

    The Behringer solution that has been described doesn't seem to fit the bill in that respect. I would echo the suggestions that involve starting out with a good combo amp, although I agree with Robear and wouldn't necessarily cap the power at 100 watts as has been suggested. Ample, clean power that you use just a little of is always better than a small combo that is working hard and distorting.

    A good Peavey TNT115 (that you can buy for dirt cheap used) or Yorkville XM200 combo (there are many other good ones), would both be good cost-effective and good performing combos to suit your needs. It's nice to have the extra headroom that would allow you to play fairly loud and yet still be clean.

    The aspect of having an onstage amp that is most appealing to me is having good stage volume. Bass is meant to be felt as well as heard. I feel that this is a key component of establishing the pocket and keeping everybody tight when the rest of the band and the singers can feel the pulse of the bass notes through the stage. Ah yeah, oh yes, that foot-massaging action is just what the doctor ordered.
  19. Ok, fair enough there probably is, but trust me, i supose its just the small town beliefs, but around here there is no contemporary, and i hate how the people that go to church think they are better than me (seriously, over here its like something out of the 1800's!) , there is no contemporary music or such (from what ive know, i was "christian" as a child, basically because everyone was at school, the school being linked closely to the church which was right next door, but as i grew i got my own beliefs, and i put my faith in science, and prefer to believe in theorys such as darwins on evolutuion and such)

    Would like to see some contemporary blues n jazz in a church, not to sterolise (you know what i mean), but ive got visions of james brown in the blues brotheres here :cool:
  20. steve_man


    May 15, 2002

    That's my church's setup for the most part. The only exception is that we put the digital drums and the keyboard through the monitors too.

    I agree with smaller monitors and better amp placed next to the drummer. It's a great setup and I wouldn't have it any other way (even for much larger crowds). I find that when band members are getting volume from their amps the band gets into it much more.

    We play for 50 - 60 (max) people.