Beachwood, OH — The vocal team at The Moody Church in Chicago, comprising four to seven people a week including pastor of music ministries Tim Stafford, has recently adopted ASI Audio x Sensaphonic’s 3DME Music Enhancement IEM System. “When the pandemic hit,” says Stafford, “and we transitioned to broadcasting church services online only, we had to retool our monitoring needs for a virtual environment. Even more practically, when we started opening back up, we couldn’t have more than one vocalist using a floor wedge because of distancing. IEMs were the obvious solution, but I have heard volunteer vocalists struggle with IEMs because of the experience of extra bass pressure and over-isolation while singing. It’s easier to play an instrument with headphones/IEMs than to sing with them because of head resonance and isolation.”
The answer to the issues surrounding deploying IEMs for The Moody Church vocalists was the ASI Audio 3DME system, which consists of Active Ambient earphones with embedded binaural microphones and a bodypack that houses a headphone amp, dual mic preamps, earphone and monitor I/O and DSP for signal processing and mixing. System control is achieved through the free companion ASI Audio App, which allows users to pair any common portable device with the 3DME bodypack mixer for untethered adjustment of the system’s seven-band independent stereo EQ, limiter threshold and the blend of monitor mix and stage ambience.
“In my experience,” says Stafford, “the most pronounced benefit from the ambient technology is experienced by the vocalist. They like the fact that they can establish their monitor mix with the ambience off and then add the room back in, and it feels like the IEMs disappear. They don’t feel the need to take one ear out to hear the room or their own voice. Even if more than one vocalist needs to share a monitor mix, the ambience helps them hear their own voice more prominently. For me personally I can’t be tethered to anything – it has to be wireless.”
The 3DME system gives him freedom, he says. “It’s very helpful to move between playing guitar, conducting an orchestra, or going backstage without needing to take the ears out. I can hear the orchestra without needing a mix from the board and they sound like they’re in front of me. I can hear the choir and the organ without needing the board’s help. I can notice a question from someone behind me.”
“I like the 3DME system,” he concludes, “and believe that it addresses the important problems and barriers that make singers disinclined to opt into an IEM system.”
Photo caption: The worship team and choir during a service at The Moody Church. The frontline singers and leader Tim Stafford, pastor of music ministries, on guitar, all use ASI Audio 3DME active ambient IEMs.