Church changed setup and it's horrible now

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by AntAir267, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. AntAir267


    Mar 4, 2011
    I play in the youth ministry at church and I've been playing for about 2 months there now. It's great, I get along with everybody and the sound guys rock and stuff. I show up today and the leader and the sound guy decided to move the entire stage setup around. It looked fine aesthetically and I didn't mind, at least until we started playing. They put all the amps facing the back wall and they moved the drumset to the right of the stage because they wanted to reduce "stage volume". Before the balance was perfect, but now all I can hear are wailing guitars and insanely loud drums since the plastic cover thing didn't face me anymore. I can't hear myself or the singers, and when I try to turn up they ask me to turn back down. I don't know how to approach this, and considering I'm their newest member I don't feel like I have a right to complain about a horrible setup. And no, I don't want to quit. Guide me Talkbass!
  2. Tell them the other instruments are so loud you cannot hear yourself.

    It is a reasonable statement that deserves their attention.
  3. I agree, just talk to them.

    We're about to rearrange the stage at my church and if an issue like this came up, the worship leader would want to know about it.
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    +1 to speaking with the BL.

    I also suggest uou ask the BL to stand next to you during rehearsal so he can hear what you hear.

    You may have to try tilting your rig back, change where you stand a bit or see if you can get your stage location changed.
  5. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    They rearrange the stage at my church almost every week. Drives me freakin' nuts.

    We're on in-ear monitors with personal Aviom mixers so stage volume and hearing myself isn't a problem, but I'm a guy that just likes things to be consistent from week to week. Plus every time they shuffle the stage they have to re-wire stuff and invariably there are issues that arise from that, which consume valuable rehearsal time to fix.

    And FWIW I'm a huge non-fan of placing the drums on one end of the stage or the other. It looks stupid, and makes it harder for the players on the opposite end of the stage to lock-in especially if monitoring is iffy. Drums are the literal and sonic "core" of the band and as such, belong center stage.
  6. This is something I've had to deal with quite a bit in church situations as well. One thing I can say is that generally when a change like this is made, it is in response to someone (even the worship leader) saying "things are too loud". So the things that seem relatively loud over others (bass and drums) get the short end of the stick in the "re-arrangement".

    Go about talking to them carefully. One thing I've noticed in church settings is that sound guys get very defensive, very quickly (they are generally volunteers, and many times not that experienced). Scratch that; all sound guys, no matter what the setting, are generally defensive. So when approaching about something like volume, preface it with how you like the new arrangement, but I'm having just a tad of difficulty hearing yourself. Ask them to guide you in adjusting your volume, they will appreciate it.

    And you can also sandbag... I always, when sound checking, roll back my volume knob on my bass about 1/8 of a turn. If during the set I'm having difficulty hearing myself, I'll bump it a bit. The sound guy can always adjust foh on the fly. (This is hush, hush though :) )
  7. Bad news.... Chances the band should turn down vs turn up

    Live playing is kind of like this everywhere , part of the gig involves listening with what they give you

    Beyond this -your replies are baseless as you haven't provided adequate info
  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Yup... for some reason drums and bass at 90 dB are "too loud" but an acoustic guitar or screechy female vocals at 100 dB aren't. In the church world anyway.
  9. This is accurate

    I have an RTA permanently mounted at where I work - the senior citizen choir and organ are the loudest things in the church

    In a worship setting primary vocal and primary chord instrument = 50% of the mix .... Rest should be foundation and wallpaper
  10. I'm very fortunate to be in a setting where the type of music we play is bass and drum driven. Our sound guys get this, and mix well for the type of music we do. Granted, our ave. age of attender is around 25-26.

    MNAirHead is spot on that stage volume is generally too loud over all, and that is generally caused (IMHO) by drum volume. Our church (even when portable) constructed a complete drum enclosure, a separate stage piece with four walls with plexi panes and a roof, and mic'd and di'd everything. We run in-ears. Good thing about it is that the subs are located right by where I stand so I can also feel the bass.