The style of monitors you use can make a big difference in the overall quality of your production from the stage. Many churches and venues start out with simple wedge monitors because they are inexpensive and can be moved around as necessary. However, they offer less precision than in-ear monitors. A combination of the two offers a better performance all around.
When it comes to getting the right mix for your musicians, in-ears are the clear choice. With in-ears you can personalize the mix to each musician. Each individual uses a range of different cues from the music surrounding them to stay on track. With wedges your musicians are likely to be sharing a mix and may not be getting the cues they need.
If your church regularly brings in different groups of musicians or you have people moving around the stage, in-ear monitors provide superior flexibility over wedges. In-ears ensure that their mix follows them everywhere they go no matter which side of the stage they’re on or who else is on the stage with them.
Perhaps one of the more obscure ways to look at wedges versus in-ears is the health of your musicians. Backup singers who can’t hear themselves in the mix are more likely to strain, a common problem with wedge monitors. Acoustic players who can’t hear themselves will ask you to turn the volume up until they can find themselves. This has a negative effect on the overall quality of the room as sound starts bouncing off the back wall and can cause hearing damage for the musicians. By putting the mix right in their ears, you can turn the volume down and turn down the instruments they don’t need rather than turning everything up.
Granted, in some cases it is not feasible to give everyone their own in ears. If you have a full choir or large group of musicians on stage there is room for wedges. In this case, no individual musician needs to stand out from the rest so it is easy to create basic mix for the entire group.
Price of In Ear Monitors
The biggest issue usually comes down to the price difference between the two. Wedges are far less expensive per unit than in ear monitors. If you have a limited budget it is possible to use a combination of wedges and in ears. Over time you can add more in ears as funds become available. This will take some planning with your AV integrator to prevent overlapping wireless frequencies. However, it offers a short term solution that can get you started toward quality equipment.
For most applications, in ear monitors offer better quality mixes and reduce the strain on your musicians. However there are some applications where wedge monitors are useful, including budgetary needs.
If you are interested in upgrading to in ear monitors for your musicians, contact Loud Media Group and ask about our affordable wireless in ears systems today!