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Praise and Worship Peeps, help me out.


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I honestly didn't know this was a thing. 

I recently bought a Line 6 PowerCab Plus and love it. This was probably the best decision I've made in my music gear lineup for guitar. But, while I was YouTubing reviews and tutorials on the PowerCab Plus, the term, "Praise and Worship Musicians" kept coming up in nearly all the videos. I'm not sure I fully understand this niche though I can imagine it involves bringing your gear into a church assembly and setting up to play in a service. 

So the reason I'm calling on you is, according to what I've learned from the videos, you guys are on top of this profiling thing. I'm interested in learning about your rig and how you use it. i.e., How do you run it through the PA, Do you use an amp too, Which profiler do you use, Where do you get your IRs, Which IRs are your preferred, Please tell me about your patches - especially if you are using a Line6 Pod, Are any of you using the PowerCab Plus, if so, please give details of your IRs and connections, i.e. direct out or miced up????? (extra question marks for all the questions.)

Also can you explain the Praise and Worship niche a little better.

For those of you interested in the PowerCab or PowerCab Plus I would encourage you to see some YouTube videos. 

--Ting

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The P&W crowd are on the forefront of the modeling wave because so many churches insist on silent stages.  Marshall halfstacks just don't over big when making a joyful noise unto the Lord.  Line 6 and Strymon rule the P&W market.  Modelers, load boxes, and IR simulations are the preferred - no, required - gear.

I played for a year in the praise band in our small church outside Houston about a dozen years ago.  When I first signed up, I was worried I'd have to learn a bunch of country licks or something similar outside my normal classic rock/new wavey "thing".  Then I heard the CD of tunes they wanted me to learn and calmed right down.  "Oh, it all just sounds like U2.", I said to myself.  "I know how to do that."  So I turned on my chorus, set my DD-3 for dotted eights and away I went.

Praise & Worship is a HUGE market only for guitar gears manufacturers but for all sorts of production equipment.  Sound reinforcement, video, broadcast production.  Big digital consoles, line arrays, in-ear systems.  There are churches all over the place with systems a sophisticated (or maybe moreso) than a typical medium-sized concert venue.  Sweetwater and the other big retailers all have departments dedicated to consulting and selling to the church market, as do all the large audio manufacturers.

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Rich_S pretty well nailed it. 

I used to play at different churches pretty much every Sunday when the trend then was more of a rawk feel. I would take a small closed back cab and put it in front of me angled up and pointed away from the congregation. Still could get feedback when needed, but the sound guy/gal would have control of the levels. 

Now, stage amps are simply a "no". I play one place once a month (the church that I go to) and the amp is in a separate room. Don't like it, but it's better than a modeler. 

U2 has survived as the style of music worship directors want. Drives me nuts. I like to beef up the songs a bit and make them heavier. I can get away with that here as a big chunk of the congregation is my age and likes the same type of music I do. (a lot come to our band's gigs...  : )

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In addition to rock and blues bands, I have played in P&W bands since 1990. I went the POD route in the early 2000s but ran it to a power amp behind me. Every band in every church  has had amps onstage. I am currently using a 5 watt tweed Champ with a pedalboard for different flavors. I don’t do the airy, over the top, reverb thing that so many do in this genre. I play just like I do in any other band….I serve the song. Sometime with a nasty distorted tone, sometimes crystal clear and clean. I do not do the “expected” thing and I do not emulate or copy U2 or any of the CCM bands. I find most of them sound too effeminate for my taste so I play with the tone and style I want. My current worship pastor trusts me and sets me free to play however I desire.

Volume is always an issue. Most of the singers never played in a real band and simply don’t understand what an electric, amplified band actually is. A little education and patience go a long way. The biggest issue is usually the sound people. Every church every time for me. Church volunteers man the boards and most don’t know how to mix music….or worse, they don’t know what sounds good musically. Most of the musicians in the congregations are PLAYING. I find an amp stand is really helpful as I can aim my amp right at my ears so I can still hear and yet keep the volume low. I practice at home WAY louder than I play at church.
 

Some churches have an uneasy relationship with electric guitars and drums. They want them, but….it is funny. 

Overall, I find playing in church very rewarding. It also helps me grow musically as some of the hymns we play have interesting chord changes. 

 

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Last time I played: I ended up with a Tech21 Trademark 60, on a stand, pointed at my face. The DI sounded good enough, and I could boost with the footswitch because the sound guy would certainly not know where to boost the guitar volume. That was pretty much perfect for P&W at that time (15 years ago?), we were using in-ears towards the end of that.  Some guys were going with a line 6 Pod, but I never liked the sound of those.  For bass, I really liked the tech21 bassdriver DI, and an amp or not depending on the monitor situation.  My 14 yr old daughter is singing at quite a few events now, I hope to get to play bass or guitar with her sometime, she's got the talent I wish I had, but I'm happy with that.  

  We were doing some fairly well attended Saturday night things about 20 years ago, and a few times I ended up playing bass and running the board (I knew those songs REALLY well...): wireless into the bassdriver DI, and I could wander around and hear how it sounded in different parts of the room, and manage the little techy things with the pa (standard old fashioned analog PA with wedges, no in-ears), - that was super fun.

  The drummer would always be expected to play more quietly than usual, some of them just get really good at playing at a lower volume.  I imagine P&W drove a lot of electronic drum sales in the past 20 years.  

 One of the singer/guitarists I used to play with has been on staff with the biggest church in the city for quite a while, and he was just showing me his new modeler - of course I can't remember the name, but he was telling me you plug it into your amp and it runs a whole big test and models your actual amp somehow, then you can share it etc.  

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5 hours ago, Ed Rechts said:

It's funny how I read that initially.

P.O.D. is probably the heaviest P&W band I have ever heard, and since they are out of San Diego and attended my church (coincidental) I have seen them many times, even randomly sitting in with the band on Saturday nights at the Rock Church  in Point Loma.

These guys prove Hank Hill wrong...

I remember POD from around Y2k. They had a song that the lyric was, "Click, Click, Boom." I remember it was about a kid with a gun though I don't remember the rest of the story but I remember the story was sad. I remember an interview with one of the members about that lyric. They never confirmed it that I know of but P.O.D may be an acronym for Paid On Death meaning the crucifiction of Christ paying for our sins. A few of their tunes that I heard were very good. 

Edited by Ting Ho Dung
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It is a HUGE, HUGE genre. I had no clue just how big until I opened my shop and a lot of the local P&W fretted repair and maintenance business came my way. 

Some of my clients invited me to join the - or one of the - P&W Gear page(s) on Facebook and I had to bow out because they dominated my SM feed. Constant posts, constant alerts, constant everything. You think we talk a lot about gear? These guys put us to shame. A thread on "what brand of strings do you like?" could generate hundreds of responses, regardless of redundancy. Modelers vs. amps and in-ears vs. floor monitors will take up half of Facebook's bandwidth.

I'll mess the facts up on this story too, but last April Fool's Day IIRC, one of the P&W Gear page mods pranked that a trademark or copyright infringement was being addressed by changing the Facebook page's name from "praise and worship" to "worship and praise," and the new page name would be "WAP Gear." This was when the Cardi B. song of the same name was a pop culture topic. You can only imagine the chaos that ensued.

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6 hours ago, Ed Rechts said:

I have seen them many times, even randomly sitting in with the band on Saturday nights at the Rock Church  in Point Loma.

It's all fine and dandy until I want to quickly run into Trader Joes but can't find a parking spot within six blocks.

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Lifelong wine-drinkin', heathen Methodist here. For all of you that do the praise and worship thing; good on you.  I just don't get it at all. It's perhaps the one genre I dislike equally to bro country and modern dance pop.  But wait...I don't criticize ignorantly:  I unwittingly ended up sitting in with one such outfit back in 1988 when a gent from a local PFWB church cold-called me to fill in for a lad that had broken his leg.  After six weeks, I prayed to God for mercy and luckily, He spared me and released me back to the ancient world in which 18th/19th century hymns still rule in church services and rock music is well...rock music, undiluted by nefarious adaptations.  At least the worship music practioners are buying shitloads of gear and helping keep the gear business hopping; I'll give them that.

Edited by Biz Prof
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I play in a P&W band at 2 churches. At one church I still use(my own) a pedal board and an amp. The other church I use a Helix direct into the PA. The monitoring is all done through an aviom system with in-ears at both places. The Helix works really good and sure weighs less than my 65 pound amp and 30 pound pedal board. Cuts stage volume and easy to carry. P&W is not a typical band situation, I cant say that loud enough.

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1 hour ago, Biz Prof said:

Lifelong wine-drinkin', heathen Methodist here. For all of you that do the praise and worship thing; good on you.  I just don't get it at all. It's perhaps the one genre I dislike equally to bro country and modern dance pop.  But wait...I don't criticize ignorantly:  I unwittingly ended up sitting in with one such outfit back in 1988 when a gent from a local PFWB church cold-called me to fill in for a lad that had broken his leg.  After six weeks, I prayed to God for mercy and luckily, He spared me and released me back to the ancient world in which 18th/19th century hymns still rule in church services and rock music is well...rock music, undiluted by nefarious adaptations.  At least the worship music practioners are buying shitloads of gear and helping keep the gear business hopping; I'll give them that.

The small Presbyterian denomination I belong to is mostly hymns and no electric geetar, though I have seen 2 bass players, though.

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Hartley Peavey told me that if it wasn't for the churches and their use of his gear, to include sound systems and instruments, he wouldn't be in business. It shows.

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2 hours ago, Biz Prof said:

Lifelong wine-drinkin', heathen Methodist here. For all of you that do the praise and worship thing; good on you.  I just don't get it at all. It's perhaps the one genre I dislike equally to bro country and modern dance pop.  But wait...I don't criticize ignorantly:  I unwittingly ended up sitting in with one such outfit back in 1988 when a gent from a local PFWB church cold-called me to fill in for a lad that had broken his leg.  After six weeks, I prayed to God for mercy and luckily, He spared me and released me back to the ancient world in which 18th/19th century hymns still rule in church services and rock music is well...rock music, undiluted by nefarious adaptations.  At least the worship music practioners are buying shitloads of gear and helping keep the gear business hopping; I'll give them that.

From another forum:

First time ever I think it sucks being an atheist…p&w gigs must be the best ever!
Low volume gigs, dedicated crowd, always sing along and hands in the air, excellent time slots, no beer thrown at you, weekly/steady gig, no COVID cancellations, and you get to play with too much verb and delay.
What’s not to like?…well…I’d have to swallow some lyrics maybe 😉

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I go to a Baptist church, so we can get loud at times. I used to have a Line 6 Flextone III with XLR out. I'd put that through a Rolls active db box that had an attenuator. Later got a DV Mark Evo 1, which had a little better convincing tube tone, but was dying to bring a tube amp in.  Just before Covid hit, I picked up a 50 watt EL34 type and an alnico 12 inch. Only used that set up a couple Sundays tryin' to get my, y'know, that edge of breakup tone. Yeah, the 50 watts was still a bit much. Wanted to swap out the speaker with an Eminence Maverick and give that a shot, but by then, Covid had closed the church down.  

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