HELP! THE DRUMS ARE TOO LOUD!
Here's something to think about - Whether you're playing in a stadium or a 200 seat auditorium, the amount of musicians on stage and their equipment doesn't really change all that much - it's really defined by the music style and approach.
So the acoustic level of sound coming off stage can be pretty similar despite those vastly different sized environments because the size of the band is about the same.
The truth is, the smaller the venue, the more challenging it can be to deal with the inherent ambient level of a full band on stage.
What to do?
There are lots of different ways to try and solve the problem, such as drum screens, acoustic treaments, and even the desperate measure of changing out to an electronic drum kit.
You might have foregone mic'ing up the drum kit, because the perception is that it is already too loud. This is not always necessarily the case. Sometimes mic'ing up the drum kit and running a balanced level through the main speaker system can help blend the drums in so they dont stick out so much.
What I mean by that is this - if most of your instruments and vocals are running through the main speaker system, but your drum kit is only being heard acoustically from a particular point on stage, it can be easy for the average listener to determine that the drums must be too loud because 'i can hear them coming from over there!'.
Another common issue is the problem of certain cymbals dominating over the top of your sound and spilling into the vocal mics and degredating your mix and clarity. One way to try and mitigate this is to select some lighter guage, sweat sounding cymbals that will better compliement your particular environment. Sometimes a compromise for the greater good.
Of course the issues dont usually stop with the drum kits, there's other things to think about like the monitor wedges. Sometimes smaller churches can have more total speaker firepower on stage via wedges than the main speaker system. So changing out the monitor wedges for in-ear monitors can be a great solution.
Also, locating the electric guitar amps out behind the stage or in isolation boxes so that the guitarists can still have a great tone/sound, and returning the sound to the guitarist via in-ear monitors is a proven method to reduce stage level.
Feel free to get in touch with us if you need some advice, we'd love to hear from you.