Sunday, 14 February 2016

Loud or Soft Monitor Speaker for Vocalist in the Church's Setting?

It is quite common for backup and worship leader to say "Guys, I cant hear myself can you boost the monitor volume". Does monitor volume so important and affect the worship session?

What is a monitor speaker?
Monitor speakers are designed to provide a flat frequency response so that that the audio signal is in original condition. The default monitor design does not have artificially boosting bass, treble or other frequencies to avoid resonances from the speaker and sound "nice".

Figure 1 Sample of Floor Monitor with Wedges for Vocalist

There are two types of speaker, based on where the signal is amplified. The characteristics of each type is described below.

1. Passive speakers

This types of speaker only provide basic feature of a speaker, in other words without built in amplifier.
Figure 2 Passive speaker setting

2. Powered speakers

This types of speaker does not need any external amplifier. It has built in amplifier and power cord needs to be connected to it. It is also called as active speaker. Most of the portable speaker is this types of speaker.
Figure 3 Active speaker setting direct from mixer

Figure 4 Active speaker setting direct connect to Microphone

Let me share with you the case happened in my church for vocalist floor monitor. All three monitor shared the same line/ Aux and it has caused inconvenient to everyone. Worship leader always complaint that the backup singer is louder than him/ her during the worship session. Nevertheless, backup singer also complaining not hearing themselves. In this scenario, shall we 'sacrifice' the backup singer and focus on worship leader only?
Solution 1:
Split the monitor into worship's leader monitor and backup singer's monitor. In this case, the worship leader will have his own monitor and backup singer will share one or two monitor among themselves.
Solution 2:
Always set the volume of worship leader louder than the backup singers. Take note that the backup singers volume must be satisfactory to them.
Solution 3:
In ear monitor for each singers on stage.

In the end, I chose solution 1 because that is the cheapest way (without purchasing new equipment, perhaps just one cable)

How to ensure the monitor volume is suitable?
When performing sound check, sound man needs to lower the volume of FOH. From there sound man will fix the suitable volume for the monitor based on singers feedback.

For more information, kindly contact me. Kelvin Yong

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