Unruly Vocalists? Give Them a Stand!

February 4, 2014 | In Church, Music, Tech

Two weeks ago, I was mixing my church Summer Camp and made a decision before we arrived that we’d put all 3 vocalists in each session behind microphone stands. This, I hoped, would combat some issues I’ve been experiencing all year with vocalists who can sing quite well, but either don’t have great microphone technique or lack a bit of confidence.

This decision really paid off compared to the problems I had with getting vocals to sit well in a youth context for a couple of reasons. The first reason, which was that our less confident vocalists (who would occasionally play guitar) seemed to be more comfortable actually singing into the mic! This helped me to get decent gain before feedback across the board.

Tadhg and Megan

Tadhg rocking the stand!

The lead vocalist across the week, Tadhg, made solid use of his mic stand both as a piece of equipment to play with and to experiment with different mic technique. During some of the louder songs (for example In Tenderness) he was able to get right up on top of the mic, which made the 160X compressor work hard, but allowed his vocal to get nice and punchy and a bit more aggressive, which suited some of the songs chosen for the week.

The last, and surprise, benefit came on the 2nd last day when I asked one of the guitarists if he’d like to sing some response parts in a couple of the songs to amp up the front line a little. I was very surprised at how much of a difference this made to the energy songs like Anchored Hope, originally by We Are the Outpost.

So, if you’re struggling to get a good level out of your vocals on stage – give them a stand! We tried this at church on Sunday in the band that I play in, and I got some good feedback from people out the front!

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