There are three primary components that affect the quality of sound; the quality of the sound tech, the quality of the equipment (and the equipment available), and the quality of the band. If only you could improve the quality of the band…you can. A few years ago, a worship team was struggling with improving their sound. Much of it was because of the large number of lead singers and how some of them would suddenly decide to sing harmony or would start stylizing. Then came the CD recording.
The first thing I should mention, being the technical bunch we are, is that not all audio recordings sound like the house mix. This depends a lot on setup. Heck, some of you have a dedicated recording mixer. In any case, it's not so much the quality of sound that's important as is what can be heard.
The worship leader knew the team had problems with the singers. But he figured "they will work it out themselves." They are Christians; they know what they need to do, right? If only it was that easy. They didn't change and he wasn't motivated to make them change.
One Sunday, I made sure to record the worship set and give the burned CD to the worship leader. I simply told him that it's good to listen to your band from time to time to get a feel for how each member sings/plays.
At the next practice, he was very quick to announce the changes each singer needed to make; "you need to stop stylizing because….", "if you are going to sing harmony that needs to be understood as a team during practice." So forth and so on.
As the sound tech's, you and I aren't in the position to whip the band into shape. The band answers to their leader. Therefore, you and I have to find the best way possible to approach the worship leader with concerns over the band. Now I'm not saying that just because the guitarist sucks or the keyboardist couldn't play a melody to save their live that it's up to us to say something. Maybe the keyboardist is rusty or has a great desire to play and practices each week. Maybe the worship leader is nurturing their musical gifts because it's the right thing to do in that situation.
I do believe there are times when you and I hear something that needs to be changed. For some of us, simply telling the worship leader "hey, you gotta change this" will work. For others, they need to hear it for themselves.
I have to listen to Devo now.