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When congregation is singing, turn PA up or down?

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  • When congregation is singing, turn PA up or down?

    My sound guy has a theory that when the congregation is really singing and into it, that he should turn DOWN the PA. His thinking is that they will hear themselves singing and sing more.

    I suspect the opposite. If the congregation is really getting into it, turn up the music (if you're going to make an adjustment to the house at all) to increase the energy level of the room (provided that the dBs aren't sky-rocketing).

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    I've heard both sides before, and I don't think one can apply either wholesale. Everybody prefers something differently. A good worship leader will get people engaged no matter what the levels are.

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    • #3
      I'd say leave it alone. If they turn it down so they can 'hear themselves', they are very likely to start following their neighbor instead of the team. That can lead to everyone singing to a different cadence and it could throw the team off.
      If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

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      • #4
        Leave it alone! Let the leader do his job and lead. He can cut the instruments volume's when he knows he wants the voices to be heard over the instruments.
        My experience is that people get quieter when the volume drops and louder when the volume goes up.
        I didn't mean to be inaccurate, but I wasn't trying to be precise.

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        • #5
          Personally, I HATE singing in a congregation when I can't clearly hear the leader. So, without weighing in on the "turn up the master" or "turn the master down" let me say my $0.02 - Keep the leader's voice loud enough for all to hear.

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          • #6
            It's generational. Broadly speaking, folks above a certain age are more likely to say, "I can't hear myself. I won't sing." And folks under a certain are more likely to say, "Wait, I can hear myself. I won't sing." I'm exaggerating for effect, of course.

            I think your tech may have a point. But assuming your church is at least half under 40 (or your pastor is under 50), I'd go the other way (i.e., turn it up) when the congregation is in it more.

            But won't your musicians play louder anyway when they sense everyone is in it?
            @iamjskinny
            blog

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            • #7
              We generally don't change the volume at all. If the congregation is engaging loudly sometimes we will pull back instrumentally and vocally so the congregation can hear one another. We do this by playing or singing quieter or less on mic.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mike Darley View Post
                We generally don't change the volume at all. If the congregation is engaging loudly sometimes we will pull back instrumentally and vocally so the congregation can hear one another. We do this by playing or singing quieter or less on mic.
                I absolutely agree with this approach. And it's not so much the PA volume as it is the musicians bringing down their sound that makes people feel like they're contributing to the song by filling in the gap left by the musicians pulling back.
                The Posse Band live performance tracks can be heard by CLICKING HERE

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