Monitors and Mains

I’ve had my mind on PA systems the last few weeks.  We’re a church known for our Rock bands on Sunday morning…and we just moved into our first facility that doesn’t have a system already installed.  (BTW.  God is providing us with a fantastic PA system through a number of very generous people…details to come!  Faith+action+community=miracles.)

As I’ve been searching for  gear it made me think about the two types of speakers in a PA system:  Monitors and Mains.   Monitors are the speakers pointed back at the musicians.  They allow the bands to hear themselves…to “monitor” their sound. Monitors are super important.  If you’ve heard a bad musical performance from a band that was otherwise talented and prepared, it was probably due to poorly mixed or placed monitors.  If you can’t hear yourself, the musical result is NOT going to be good.  (If you want to experience this, put on some big ear-covering headphones, crank it up and sing along.  People in the room will enjoy it…but not in a good way.)

The other kind of speaker in a PA system are the Mains.  They are the speakers pointed toward the crowd.  Mains are larger and more powerful than monitors, because hopefully your crowd is larger than your band.  Mains are what most people think of as the “loudspeakers” at a club or concert.

Here’s what I’ve been thinking.  You need both mains and monitors for live music.  Promotors and crowds might think monitors aren’t important, but without monitors the music that comes out the mains won’t be very good.  Musicians might think that monitors are the most important…but without “mains” you are just playing to yourself.  Without mains, great music never makes it to the crowd.

I think churches are a lot like PA systems.  You need both monitors and mains to get your “music” out.  As a church we need equipment and materialsto help our team do their job (monitors).  We also need facilities, financial giving, and service for our community (Mains).  Both are important.   One without the other is incomplete. 

OK, PA system metaphor off.   I won’t go into how the sliders on the mixing board are like the promptings of the Holy Spirit. :-) If you’d like to be part of helping sponsor the gear that our crew needs on Sunday morning to help them play “loud and clear” for York County and beyond: you can make your donation on this website or Sunday mornings at Frank Theaters.  Purchasing “monitors” leads to a better sound through our “Mains”.

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