Sight & Sound
With the growing popularity of contemporary
praise bands, many houses of worship have
experienced a significant increase in volume
levels, to the point where there are complaints from the
congregation. In-ear monitors, also known as personal
monitors or IEMs, can get this situation under control, while
at the same time offering the possibility of better sound
quality and improved performances from the praise band.
As with any new technology incorporated into a house
of worship, it’s critically important to have a firm grasp on
the facts before making a big investment. This article hopes
to answer some basic questions and dispel a few myths on
this important topic.
Why should my worship team switch to
Personal monitors are a very practical solution to a
common set of problems in live musical performance.
Typically, each musician is provided with a monitor mix,
allowing them to hear themselves (and the rest of the band)
The problem with this approach is that the monitor
speakers (also called floor wedges) and acoustic sounds
from nearby instruments interfere with each other, resulting
in “volume wars” between musicians. As a result, on-stage
volumes can become dangerously loud, and the threat of
feedback is significantly increased. In an acoustically reso-
nant environment like a house of worship, the stage moni-
tors also force the main PA system to be operated at a higher
level, while at the same time interfering with the fidelity of
Basically, IEM systems eliminate floor wedges by putting
the monitor mix directly in the musicians’ ear canals, creating
a much more controlled listening environment for both the
praise band and the congregation. In short, any praise band
that includes a drummer and/or amplified instruments can
benefit greatly by switching to personal monitors.
What are the benefits of IEM (in-ear monitoring)
systems over loudspeakers?
Improved Sound Quality–Both the praise band and
the congregation benefit from IEM systems. For musicians,