Sound Advice:
In Pursuit of Excellence at Willow Creek

Willow Creek in Barrington, Illinois, is internationally recognized as one of the largest and most technologically sophisticated churches in the US. But until you’ve arrived, there is nothing that quite prepares you for the scope of the church’s programs, or the scale of the place itself. A 7,200-seat auditorium was under construction just across a narrow walkway when the Shure Notes team arrived. We found ourselves sitting onstage at a 4,500-seat auditorium with three of Willow Creek’s audio engineers – Jeff Pelletier, Scott Ragsdale and Mike Eiseman. We had questions. They had thoughtful comments.

All About Monitoring

In house of worship presentations and performances- When the Word is heard well, it's because of MONITORS

If you're the one responsible for creating a good sounding service at your house of worship, you know all about the eternal struggle between volume and feedback. And the seeming inability for anybody to hear themselves the way they think they should while they're presenting or performing.
You also know that what we're talking about is monitors.
For those who are new to the world of performance sound systems, monitors are speakers, just like those used in the PA system, except smaller and configured for the presenters or performers to listen to instead of the audience or congregation.

Monitors exist in two basic forms: the traditional wedge-shaped floor monitor with woofers for the low frequencies and tweeters or small horns for the higher frequencies, and the newer in-ear monitor (IEM). Both types serve the same basic purpose - to help the pastor, choir singers, and musicians hear themselves while they're performing. In this issue you will learn the ins and outs of both types of monitors, which will hopefully help you to decide which type of system is right for your house of worship.

The Insider: Tim Vear
Shure & The Church

In preparing this issue, it was clear that the many of facts of Shure’s church audio history resided in one individual. The author of Shure’s popular “Audio Systems Guide for Houses of Worship”, continually revised and expanded since its formal debut in 1990, is Tim Vear, Senior Applications Engineer in the Applications Engineering Group.

Tim took us almost all the way back to the very beginning. We talked about how Shure grew with the modern church, the impact that the Church has had on Shure product development, and what makes you – our community of church audio specialists – so remarkable.

The scriptures say, "Forgetting those things which are behind...we press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." We should be "reaching forward to those things which are ahead," but sometimes it's healthy to take a quick peek backward as well; contemplating the wonderful things that God has taught us along the way. Abraham made a habit of stopping on the road of life, building an altar to the Lord and honoring Him for the things He had done. Let's take some time to do similarly. Why not stop right here, look back at what we've learned about "team worship," and honor God for His kindness in the teaching.

One helpful concept in learning to play together as a worship band is "The 100% Rule." Think of the rhythm section as a pie. If the band's final sound is 100% of the contributions of the players, then each player contributes only a portion of that total. So if there are four of us, each of us gets a quarter of the pie. If there are two of us, we split it in half...

© G. Baltes / T. Schröder

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