Want to Make the Jump to In-Ears? 10 Considerations

From the musician’s perspective, one of the best reasons to use IEM’s is the ability to use Click and Cue tracks with your worship team.

Want to Make the Jump to In-Ears? 10 Considerations
Does your FOH engineer struggle with gain before feedback? Do the first few rows of your audience area suffer from “Monitor-Wash-itis”? Using an IEM system can go far to reduce your stage volume and will greatly help your house mix.
Want to Make the Jump to In-Ears? 10 Considerations
Does your FOH engineer struggle with gain before feedback? Do the first few rows of your audience area suffer from “Monitor-Wash-itis”? Using an IEM system can go far to reduce your stage volume and will greatly help your house mix.

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As I sit here, having just watched the “Lip Synced” Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and anticipating the tryptophan-induced food coma that will inevitably hit me in a couple of hours, I started thinking about how the introduction of in-ear monitors has impacted the way we mix monitors.

Yes, I am a nerd, and I have ruined countless shows for my wife, because of my love of all things tech and lack of conversational filter, but I think about these things … so in the spirit of a top-ten list (and not ruining yet another holiday show for my family), I came up with the top 10 things to consider if you are thinking of making the jump in to in Ear Monitors (IEMs).

1. Worship Style

What is your church’s worship style? The needs of a traditional worship set are greatly different than that of a more contemporary service. If you regularly have a choir, special music or large worship bands, IEMs might not be for you. More physical area can be covered by traditional wedges or side-fill monitors. If your set is more contemporary, you might want to consider moving to IEMs or a hybrid of the two styles.

2. Stage Volume

Does your FOH engineer struggle with gain before feedback? Do the first few rows of your audience area suffer from “Monitor-Wash-itis”? Using an IEM system can go far to reduce your stage volume and will greatly help your house mix ... especially in the first few rows. I have been an audio engineer for over 25 years. In my opinion this is one of the most beneficial reasons to switch to an IEM system.

If your set is more contemporary, you might want to consider moving to IEMs or a hybrid of the two styles.

3. Tracks

From the musician’s perspective, one of the best reasons to use IEM’s is the ability to use Click and Cue tracks with your worship team. Since the monitors are in the ears of the musicians and the audience cannot hear the mix, a click and cue track can be used to keep the band on the same musical page.

4. Talkback

Your TD or FOH/Monitor audio tech can use the talkback mic during the service to feed information to the worship director (or point out flaws in his wardrobe). I often will patch the announce feature of our intercom system from the producer position into the console and route it to the in-ear mix. This enables the TD to communicate with the Worship Leader if he needs to stretch the set. I have also used them to cue the band for their stage entrance after the message.


More About Jeff Snyder
A/V Professional services with 25 years experience in sound, lighting, rigging, power distribution, stage management, set/scenic design, convention services, facility management, video production and commercial broadcast engineering and production. Works as an audio contractor at Granger Community Church in Granger, Ind.
Get in Touch: jeff@eventswithmojo.com    More by Jeff Snyder

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.


Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Team Management · Budgeting · FOH Engineers · In-Ear Monitors · Personal Monitor Systems · Talkback · All Topics

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