Not You

Ever had a team member suggest a song that you knew would never work, and then it totally goes off? Twice? More confirmation that I do not know everything.

Although I’ll probably wake up tomorrow and post some pontification here as if I do know everything. Hey, I’m a worship leader…that’s how we roll. Come on now, you know it’s true:

Congregation wasn’t worshiping. Maybe you chose some poor songs, arranged them wrong, or went off on too many stop-worshiping-and-listen-to-my-capitol-records-is-in-the-congregation-today-vocal-skills tangents? Nope. Spiritual warfare.

Children’s ministry’s angry because the service went too long. Maybe you shouldn’t have given your sermonette during chorus build-up into epic stop number 23? Nope. Message went too long.

Hum in the monitor. Maybe you should’ve gotten the jack on your acoustic fixed? Nope. Sound guy.

Put the capo on the wrong fret? That was the right fret; team just wasn’t in touch with the Spirit.



66 thoughts on “Not You

  1. i never blame you for the service going too long…we’re having Sinnott fun and learning so much in Childrens Ministry that we don’t even notice…most of the time!

  2. Chris–haha Seriously, don’t us worship leaders just give the sound guy so much grief? And all the while you guys are like, ‘Well, get a decent guitar and we wouldn’t have to worry about it.’ hehe 😀

    Nater2d–haha Glad to be of service! 🙂

    Courtney–you guys are so the best children’s ministry I’ve ever worked with. 🙂 I was writing in more of a general way, but even on the days that I do go long (like two weeks ago, haha) you guys are so kind about it!!

    • oh yeah, since we are not blaming the worship leader. just wanted to say that my favorite pet peeve (that sounded like an oxymoron!) is that when the worship leader ask for the riff to sound like the CD, yet, changes the key and the groove to be something different … not complaining, just saying. and if i complain, I’m sure it is my fault and not the worship leader’s! hehe

  3. The team probably wasn’t in touch with The Spirit because the sound guy had jacked their monitor mix in between rehearsal and the 1st service. And they were scrambling the entire set to hear anything musically useful.

    I’m just sayin’ …


  4. My favorite is actually when the one sound guy leaves to do another duty in church, and the second one comes to finish the service. In our church you could see the balcony where the boards were from the stage, and likewise you could see him pulling sliders and changing knobs, while trying to hold a look on his face like “I know what I’m doing.” However on stage, all of a sudden no one in the band would be able to hear any singers, or vice versa, or the keys got louder, or the drums went down even more, or my guitar started to sound even more like it was coming from a $29 solid state amp….or all of the above. But in this situation….we actually could blame the sound guy haha!

  5. This makes me think of each worship leader’s approach to things. Is it more top-down or collaborative. Our Senior Pastor’s style, when leading worship, is pretty top-down. He doesn’t ask for input from the team or the sound guy and expects people to get on board with his direction, quickly. I don’t mean he’s rude or anything, just the way he does it. Now for me, it’s much more collaborative. Especially when it comes to some pretty talented folks on our team — I definitely value their input.

    The Sound Guy will take input from the Senior Pastor, I guess because he’s the Senior Pastor. Me, not so much. So , in our case, I conclude we’re better off with nobody at the board. The extremely rare instances of mike squeal ( which our poor guy couldn’t hear anyway ) are far outweighed by the weekly occurrence of taking a well set up board and zeroing everything to start from scratch ( effectively wiping out the first ten minutes or more of precious practice time ).

  6. Our worship time went great this week. Our drummer got a little thrown off on the intro of one song because I started it with all 3 of my delays on. I could feel the beet but apparently he’s not used to dotted eighth into quarter plus a low mix of un-timed analog delay.

    It really wasn’t that bad and really was on beat. He even admitted he wasn’t really paying attention… Score one for the delay pedals!

  7. Haha the craziness of worship–why do sound guys turn everything down? Ours actually boost the keys and the female vocals in the monitors and mains, and that’s it! Maybe there should be a rule to change the sound guy every 10 years–or give him training to get with the times. But then again, they still have to apply their knowledge even after that…I’m convinced certain sound guys exist so we will love those who persecute us–Ahh! I mean love those we don’t always want to. 🙂

    On a more serious note, God probably wants us to work on our confronting in love skills.

    Sometimes it’s good to take a break from worship. I play every other week and lately I’ve been focusing on writing my own music with some fellows and its refreshing.

  8. Ok, one more thing.

    The strange thing is the way the sound guy runs a board sends a message to the worship team. I.e. you might get X number of compliments from church members about your playing (which is heard on occasion), but when he turns you down, it’s like he’s saying he doesn’t value your contribution. Which on the times when you put a lot of work into it, makes you question why you show up to play. And the crazy thing is the pastor and worship leader can be on board with guitar too, and it doesn’t matter because they’re not the one moving the sliders.

    The flipside–usually key players are better at rhythm, even if their rhythm isn’t as enjoyable or creative–so if they do turn up the guitarists, we have to be practicing to the click.

    Also, sound guys make a big time commitment–not just for worship usually, for plays and other things–and I’m not the one sitting back there. So props to them for that.

    We play for God–so even if no one hears us, he does. But it is kind of silly to play if no one else here’s you. We can do that at home (ha, who am I kidding, the one time people hear us loud and clear).

  9. What the sound tech does with the mains is between him/her and God, the congregation and church leadership. I can’t hear that or control that so I focus on monitors. Those have to be at a level that works for the team.

    Yes there is a time to take break from it all. I’m feeling in my case it’s not just one thing, but a combination that can get you to the point where you really need some time out. That also gives you the opportunity, if asked, to explain what the issues are to leadership that may be oblivious, and possibly what your minimum conditions for returning might be.

    Sometimes leadership feels that you should suck it up and suffer for the cause. There is a place for long-suffering, but you definitely don’t want to be leading worship with a poor attitude.

  10. That reminds me of the sermon I heard on Sunday.

    What gets in the way of God?

    Many things.

    I guess I get it easier because I don’t lead worship but volunteer.

    I agree with you mostly but if in the case where someone can’t be heard, it really is silly to have them up there. It’d be like the singers up there without a microphone. I guess it could make people feel good to see young people up there…maybe it’s a certain amount of people to fill the stage? I’m not trying to be ridiculous, just trying to understand…

    Oh, and I should say that in my personal experience, keys and vocals are pretty much it for the monitors, which I can cope with, although in the future I’ll be asking for more bass. I don’t make them put me in the monitors unless I’m playing acoustic–even though part of me thinks, “don’t you want to hear what I’m playing?” it’s not that big of a deal if it’s still in the mains and the vocalists can hear me through my amp.

    I have to remind myself of 1 Cor. 13–and I’m not married yet, but it’s almost like learning it’s not about being right all the time. It probably comes down to what the sound guy considers the “essentials,” and also to how you’re whole team approaches playing. Theoretically if you’re all aiming to be one instrument, the one “essential” sound paradigm changes into something where each adds to it. If you’re not and the keys is used to carrying all the weight, well…

    It doesn’t help that in my situation the sound guy is passive aggressive and sensitive to criticism and doesn’t seem to love music like I do, but I’m non-confrontational and not always right and I don’t really know his heart like God does (as Randy points out). I just pray and play my part to match the band as much as I can and trust God will work in both our hearts.

  11. I agree with Randy, I’m trying to take one day off from playing worship about every 2 months or so. I’ve seen the attention get to people, and it’s just not cool. Everyone needs a little humbling every now and then (like the time I had one cord unplugged and I couldnt figure out why – 30 minutes later after walking off the stage embarassed and actually crying in the back of the stage =O!! my girlfriend came up to me and hugged me and took me out to the sanctuary to worship.) That morning really made me realize the importance of “its not all about me…even though I’m hardly heard at all through the PA.”

    I also learned that when God closes a door, you don’t want to bang it down. I had just made it to church on time that morning because I left my entire pedalboard home (30 min drive to church). So I’ve came to the conclusion that I need a break every now and then to really reevaluate why I’m playing – is it for me or God? and that I need to keep asking to be humbled, even though it stinks, because it doesn’t let me be prideful.

    • Yeah, sometimes it comes to that. I’m still searching for that Promise Land (a good mix), but God made the Israelites wait many a time because they weren’t honoring Him with their choices.

  12. It can certainly be a problem with our attitude or spiritual condition and we’re probably safest assuming that. But it can also just be the way things are set up. Are your youth/Sunday School workers ok with coming into classrooms that have not been cleaned? What if cleaning supplies take up 1/3 of the classroom. Ok so far, still long-suffering? Now put a ball and chain on the teacher’s ankle. Ok I’m being ridiculous but you have to sum up the obstacles and at some level the church has to decide how/if it’s willing to meet the worship team half-way. Or perhaps just one acoustic guitar and two singers with zero amplification? We all face different things and there is only so much a church can provide, especially smaller ones.

    Trying to bring first class sound can be a challenge !

  13. And for what it’s worth, there have been quite a few times where I’ve been so annoyed that I’m not loud enough in the house; then listened back to the recording and realized that I sounded so bad that the mix was better without me. 😉 lol

    As far as things changing in the monitors, more than likely they are changing gain structures. Which, to be fair, is one of the best-sounding ways to mix (rather than skew the eq’s). However, almost all boards have the monitor feeds post gain, which means changing gains changes monitors. This can be fixed by letting the sound techs know that anything they change in gain, once the monitor levels have been set, needs to be compensated for on the monitor mix. 🙂

  14. Haha! This was funny! I’ve actually had the capo thing happen to me! The song was about to begin…I put my capo on 6 and the keyboards came in. Since I was leading everything, I didn’t realize that the keyboards were in capo 5! haha.

    I started playing the riff, and it was completely off! I was like “What?!!!…I know I’m playing this right!”. Then I figured out it was capo 5. Then we finished the song perfectly! haha. It was funny! The good thing is that everyone though i messed up…which is good because I can take it. The keyboard player was brand new! haha

  15. Our techs know the monitors are post-gain but for whatever reason they don’t compensate the mix after adjusting the gain. Never have figured that out.

    As long as it sounds good in the house, I shouldn’t complain. That’s the most importatnt thing.

  16. Sounding good in the house is important, but not sure how that happens if sound on stage is poor. My latest approach when I can’t hear my voice in the monitor during practice is to just sing softer and softer. In short order, my singers let the sound tech know they can’t hear or follow me.

    I know it’s controversial, but when I used to attend a much larger church, the sound volunteers were eventually “let go” in favor of a hired tech.

  17. Huh…wordpress lost the first half of my comment. Basically, on the whole sound thing, I’ve found that just for me personally, it’s been huge to learn about sound myself; even take a few classes on it. That way, I can better communicate what I’m looking for to the sound guys, understand what they’re saying in return, give training, and also receive training from their expertise. Kind of like how if you go to school to be a conductor, you take classes on every single instrument? I think it’s the same with being a worship leader. You know how annoyed you get when the sound guy tells you how to eq your guitar or amp even though he doesn’t play guitar? That’s the same way he feels when you wouldn’t be able to even get sound through the speakers on your own, but you’re telling him how to mix. Now, that might not be entirely fair, but fairness has nothing to do with perspective. It can do a world of good to get into the trenches and run sound for a Sunday, or to take the ‘sound workshop’ at the next worship conference rather than yet another ‘how to get your worship song on the radio.’ 😉 Just my hopefully humble perspective on it all. I have a soft spot for sound techs, as they are too often mistreated; causing them to mistreat us back.

  18. As much as I love to be on the stage and playing for the last few months I have been mostly doing sound, partially because I can actually do it. When I’m running sound I know that the musicians want to start as soon as they are set up and practice as much as possible. I try to be the first one there and have things ready before hand. Extra accoustic? Have that DI set up and ready and know what channel it’s going into. How many singers? Which mic is the pastor going to use for the sermon? Do I need to have it EQ’ed differently (write it down)
    After I establish gain levels, I leave the mix and walk down to the front to ask each singer and musician what they want more of in the mix. It helps that we have in-ears with a click for all the musicians. Then I head back to the desk and mix the FOH. There’s no point in doing the FOH until the musicians are happy with what they can hear because they will play differently if they aren’t happy with the mix. Most desks/mixers have a pre-fader monitor send which I used so that changes I make to the FOH don’t affect the monitor mix. Once they are good, then I listen to each channel and EQ it to my liking and finally mix the faders to the right level. Then I walk around the room to hear how it sounds in different places (try it sometime, you’ll be amazed at how different it sounds in different places). I always have the worship leader end with running the first song so that the levels are all set for the beginning of the service.

    Learning sound should be like learning an instrument. You need to understand the theory as well as have good ears. I did a weekend seminar on running church sound that vastly changed the way I approach the technical side of running sound. If you church only has in-house training, you might be passing on the same mistakes to each other. I’ve noticed that unless they’ve had some professional instruction almost all church sound guys run their sound “wrong”. They learn it from other church sound guys. Imagine if you only knew how to play guitar based on what the other guitar players knew at your church. Imagine if they thought that Behringer stuff was awesome and digital modeling was the only way to go. Imagine if they tuned their guitars differently than everyone else and had to play different chord shapes because that’s what they had been shown. Now you start to get the plight of most smaller church sound guys.
    Get the church to spend $25 on this be sure to read it yourself so you better know how to ask for the right things from you sound guys. Look for a seminar in the area and volunteer to go with them so that you can both learn. I’m so glad that I did!

    Hopefully, we can all grow together and make an awesome sound that encourages our congregations and makes us proud to be involved and not causing division between us. If all this fails, just turn yourself up…..:)

      • it depends if your mixing desk has an in-built effects unit or if you need a seperate unit. Usually you assign the effect to an aux channel and add as much as you need via each channels aux control.
        External units are generally better quality and you still have to run them into the aux send and return on your board.

        • We don’t have that…we do in the sanctuary (we have a really nice sound board), but I lead worship in the youth building…things are not very high tech.

          How much would it be to get a unit to do that?

    • I personally have not read the book you are referring to, but, if you read the review & comments section @ Amazon, it seems like this book is erronous. so buyer, beware;)

      • Hmm, I didn’t read the reviews but I have read it. It certainly seems like there are some serious sound engineers with some serious distain for the advice offered within the book. Thanks Rhoy for the heads up! It did have a great into chapter on the attitude of the sound person as a servant which was great. Maybe some of the other books listed on Amazon under the same catagory would be a better investment.

  19. ok, Karl’s comment wasn’t up when I wrote mine, but it’s nice to know that we were thinking the same thing!

  20. I’m thinking that having a feel and understanding of the type of music your team uses is key. Maybe even more important that the specifics of EQ, group assignment buttons, etc etc. If the tech doesn’t really “get” your music, he/she may be trying to mix it to fit either their taste or how they remember the music at First Baptist of 1955. I’m not trying to harsh or negative, just realistic.

    When you try to push the vocal/instrumental volume up in the bridge for dynamics, does your tech understand what you’re doing, or pull the faders down to compensate? 🙂

    I actually proposed to my Pastor today that perhaps what happened 2 weeks ago with the power out was the way to go, given everything. That is, unplugged entirely.

    • I agree! I so want to get my hands on the sound at my church! 🙂

      The electric guitars are never heard…and the guy that plays electric is incredible. Just never heard. The drums need to be kicked up a little… volcals need more reverb and highs…etc.

      Our church is pretty big, but they run everything very quietly b/c of the older people in the church…I agree with that, but you still can have things balanced out at a lower volume. Turning the electric so low that the only way you can hear it is in your own ear is crazy! lol

      • ooh now we’re getting into controversial territory here – -hence my “anonymous” post but you guys know who I am ;)…
        our head sound guy is also the senior elder in our church so it’s a bit tough to critique him but it is so frustrating – you can basically hear some vocals with a quiet mush of instruments in the background. And at least that’s better than the other guy who sits behind the desk catching up on his work paperwork and has a philosophy of keeping it quiet so the old people who (in his opinion) give more tithes won’t leave!

        We have two other sound guys who are awesome, in particular one guy who used to do sound professionally and even worked with U2 at one point. The problem is that this awesome guy (who actually mixes so you can hear the bass and the kick drum and the guitars – it’s so sweet) gets hammered by the chief guy for being too loud, when really what they should be doing is asking this dude to take over the ministry as he is the best qualified. Uber frustrating!

    • I don’t know if our sound guy does this because I can’t really hear the mains when I play, but I should listen to recordings more and try to pinpoint that. I started to do that and that’s how I found out that whoa, the female vocals are really boosted disproportionately (partly because our male lead has an incredible, powerful voice).

  21. Wow some good comments here. I didn’t know that about monitors being post-gain. Is there a reason for that?

    I know that I wouldn’t want to be a sound tech. They take a lot of flack–so should be careful handing it out huh? (or even careful how we go about resolving things–complaining here about someone else without talking to them, hmmm, that doesn’t seem very Biblical of me).

    I like the idea of reading a book on sound. I’m not really gonna be in MN long enough for it to be worth it (actually probably gonna head out in your direction Karl–I got accepted to a grad school in CA), per se, but it would probably help me communicate better, as well as help out around the Church (one case in point: we have an awful, awful hum that is ever present in the monitors–sometimes two hums because of the bass amp–and unless someone takes initiative, it probably won’t be fixed–involves crawling underneath the stage and replacing cables so we can determine if the amp is bad or not).

    • Ya reading a book on sound is probably not a bad idea, to help communication.

      I could really use a book on drums – I’m terrible at explaining what I want to the drummers – I just say things like “play boom ba boombedy boom de boom” and they don’t get it. Fortunately my keyboard player speaks drum a lot better than I do so she can interpret for me 😛

  22. On having musicians and worship leaders run sound a few times, YES. 🙂

    On getting verb onto the mics, you usually keep it at the board and use an effects send/return. Careful of the cheap units, because they add preamp gain that ruins the reverb and the sound of the voice.

    On going acoustic, I think it’s best to do what’s best. I.e. if it sounds good without the system and bad with it (and you’ve exhausted all possibility of working alongside the sound guy), then go without. 🙂 Sunday tent revival style! That’s actually really cool. 🙂

    On recordings, you need to check and see if your church records off a separately mixed aux out (not what the congregation heard in the house), or out of a masters b out (what the congregation heard except for room acoustics). One is good to hear how the sound guy mixed it, and the other is good to hear how the musicians played and sang even if the sound guy had them off in the house.

    On monitors being post-gain, it’s because the gain controls the level of input. So you’ve got to have it first, otherwise the signals would just be too cranked. There may be some boards that have an initial gain level, and then separate secondary ones for both house and monitors. If so, I’ve never worked with one.

    @Caleb–right on! What part of California? 🙂

    • Claremont–it’s a small town about 30 miles from LA. I got into Claremont Graduate University.

      Good call on the recordings–I’m gonna ask my sound guy this Thursday. And I’m also gonna make it a personal project to rewire the cables under the stage, and hopefully get someone else on board.

  23. Good to know–it’s still tentative at this point, as I may end up on the East Coast again, but California would be nice. Any prayer appreciated for the big decision!

  24. Wow…so many people with so many opinions on how, “They’d do it so much better if they were in charge of the sound!!”

    Good luck.

    I’ve been a professional audio engineer for almost a decade, and mixed at too many houses of worship where that ^ was the attitude. I’ve also done sound in too many places where a tech wasn’t willing or able to take criticism or advice from anyone, no matter what. I’m also a hired gun bassist and play guitar (somewhat) as well as design and build my own pedals. So I’m not your average numbnut sound guy.

    The problem guys, and something I think a lot of you are forgetting, is that it isn’t about you. It isn’t about your tone. It isn’t about your guitar, or your amp, or your pedalboard the size of my dinner table or anything else. It’s about worship.

    Now, I know that means that you need to hear yourself correctly, and what have you, but out of all the national level acts I’ve worked with (which includes, BB King, Death Cab, Reliant K, They Might Be Giants, Dave Matthews Band, etc.) none of them even come close to being as picky as church musicians are. Especially when it comes to monitors. Y’all need to figure out what you need, and I mean the bare essentials, and figure out how to streamline everything to make it easier on yourself, and whoever mixes you.

    Do you need the keys in your ears? Maybe…
    Do you need the worship leader and rhythm guitar? I highly suggest it…
    What about the 4th electric, you know…that kid from youth they brought up so he can get some experience? No. Probably not, unless he turns out to be some prodigy who schools you, then I say go for it.

    Personally, I have the WL Vox and guitar up, my own bass, and the kick, snare and hats. That’s it. I love hearing the ripping guitar solos, but I certainly don’t need it! Same with keys. Unless someone is leading from keys, I never really have them in my ears or wedge.

    Bottom line is that the sound guy is most likely a volunteer, just like you. So cut ’em some slack, before you tick them off so bad they turn up your suck knob and make you sound like a moron.

    • Wow … thanks for the advice. it’s really great to hear it from the pros.

      but please don’t try to compare us to the pro musicians who are using top-notch gear and are being mixed by top-notch engineers such as yourself who really know what they are doing … that is not a fair comparison.

      you are right, we are all volunteers including the sound guys. however, i think most of us know what we want and it just doesn’t translate properly … where it gets lost in translation, it’s anybody’s guest.

      but then again, we probably don’t really know what we are all doing … so we give it all to God 🙂

    • I guess the question to ask is, what does worship sound like?

      I think I can speak for most that solos isn’t what we’re shooting for here–just a presence in the mix. It sounds like some others have this, but I’ve played rhythm guitar where people four rows back can’t here me at all, and I’m definitely playing. I have learned how to compliment parts better since then, and actually the sound has gotten better since then, which is pretty miraculous–and the two may be interrelated, but not completely. Probably a little of both.

      It’s the paradigm that Randy mentioned–that old baptist church–most people if they don’t like the changes can just frown and give you dirty looks. The sound guy has more power.

      So anyway, I don’t think what you’re talking about is what we’re talking about–but–I would like to sit in with some of the bands you mixed to watch them do their thing–in part I think most of us are figuring out “what works/bare minimum,” but our experiences are probably miles below theirs.

      Are there pissy guitar players? Yep–those same guys are pretty genuine and humble too–depending on what day you catch them on–like most people. Are their crappy sound engineers that seem uninterested in bettering their craft? Yep–but there’s probably another story we’d hear if we took a suggestion like Karl had and treated them to lunch.

      Haha, why did I write this? I dunno.

      Because guitarists like to be heard talking even more than they like their tone praised? 😀

      • Even reading my last comment, I can tell this is an issue that needs to be brought before the Lord. Like that FM Static song–can’t fix each other by ourselves? That sounds about right.

  25. Good stuff Josh. I think maybe looking at this from a different direction might help. In most churches you need to play an instrument reasonably well, or sing on pitch or both. Otherwise, you probably won’t be on the worship team. I think the same idea applies to sound techs in most churches, especially of medium to large size.
    If we allow someone to run the board, just to have a body there, we’re not doing anyone a favor. And then you may have to figure out how to graciously ask them to bow out. Obviously training is the first option, if the person has any aptitude at all. Sometimes that’s possible, sometimes not. And if nobody else is available, I vote for an “unmanned” board over someone who hasn’t a clue and isn’t open to suggestions.

  26. Rhoy, Josh B, & Randy–thanks for the insightful comments. I do agree with you, Josh B, that many times we are too hard on sound guys, and too picky about our monitors. I also agree with Rhoy, that on the volunteer level at most of our smallish churches (i.e. not BB King), there are times when it is difficult to get anything at all in our monitor, and all the while being asked to turn our amp down so low that the drumset drowns us out completely. I think people were just venting a few frustrations at that fact, as there have been times when without any bitterness at all, some of us have honestly wanted to just pack up our stuff and sit in the congregation, because it would be more worth our time and we could focus on God better.

    I think somehow, in the church arena, we need to find a way to integrate the sound ministry into our worship ministries. That way, we can say to the sound guy that the mix is wrong, with just as much love as we say the drummer when he’s off time. And the sound guy would receive it in love, because he knows he’s part of the team because he’s been at the barb-q’s, the worship team prayer before the service, etc. Likewise, hopefully the respect for the sound guys would grow on the team, and they would know that when the sound tech asks them to turn down or re-eq, that he’s doing it in the best interest of the music and team as a whole…and more importantly, for the worship of God.

    I think that integration and just a little bit of love would go a long way in solving a lot of these issues. As well as the humility on the part of the worship leaders and worship band members to take the time to learn a few things about the sound ministry.

    And Randy, that is a good idea about having an unmanned board sometimes. I’ve done this on occasion, and just blind mixed prior to practice, and it has gone over well. However, I have also taken the time to attend some sound seminars and trainings, as well as do independent research on the subject. Doesn’t make a great sound guy by any means (haha…definitely not!), but it has helped me communicate better with our sound team, as well as be able to mix/blind mix in a pinch.


  27. Yes, I spent a few years at the board before ever joining a worship team. I’m no expert, but everyone is correct in saying we should encourage our sound guys, make them feel part of the team etc.

    I think sometimes what has to happen is senior leadership lets the sound techs know that the worship leader will be the final authority on monitor settings. The leader generally can’t say much about the mains — although I am thinking about getting a wireless rig to be used just during sound check.

    If you aren’t using in-ears etc for various reasons, then the leader specifies the monitor levels and the tech should bring the mains up to compensate — within reason.

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