4 ways to reduce stage noise in church


The benefits of lowering stage noise are clear:

  1. Better sound
  2. Happy audience
  3. Positive feedback

Amazing, right?

The only question is:

How can you reduce stage noise ?

That’s easy: follow my guide below.

Option 1 : Reduce drums volume

  • Drum shield

Drum shields are very effective in preventing stage noise. They are often used to reduce or redirect live drum sound. Some churches even go so far as building a full cage for the drum set. Any kind of sound redirection tools is helpful. Just make sure you buy a good quality shield in front of the drum set.

Another thing to consider with a drum shield is where the sound is being redirected. Typically, a drum shield will reflect sound up, and against the back wall. So if you are reflecting this drum sound onto hard surfaces, such as walls and a low ceiling, you are probably doing more harm than good. Consider adding some baffling behind the drum set, against the wall, or above the shield, or both.

You can also use in conjunction with drum shields,sound absorption panels behind the drums, a drum shield will just cause the sound to bounce around before reaching the listener at about the same intensity. on the other side sound absorption panels will help absorb a good portion of the sound, to keep it from filling the room with incoherent echoes.

In my experience as a drummer, More often than not drummers behind shields tend to play too intense. Even though their volume is controlled, their intensity and tone do not match the rest of the band.the best thing to do is communicate with the drummer to play at levels and intensities that match what is going on with each song.

Worship drummers often dislike drum screens – we’ve an article in he archives on the topic here.

  • Drum silencers

Drum silencers are made-to-measure rubber pads that sit on acoustic drums and cymbals. They act as a barrier between the stick and the drum or cymbal, reducing the noise.

  • Tuned drums

A big help from the drummer comes in the form of getting him to tune to the drums (especially the snare) as low as possible. The lower the snare is tuned, the lower the volume and the better control you have in the house.

On a side note, the two main high-volume elements are normally a snare and cymbals. While you can tune your snare down, you can’t tune your cymbals down. However, you can get new cymbals. Most churches have very high-pitched, cheaper cymbals. They don’t realize that by spending a few more dollars they can get cymbals designed for their situation. Most cymbal companies make a series that produce less volume and are darker sounding. These will help with natural volume.

  • Electronic Instruments

This is the final step to getting rid of unwanted sound – to replace any acoustical instruments with their electrical, un-amplified equivalents.  Whilst some instruments are easy to see the benefit (piano for example) others require a bit more tact when approaching – and actually require a good amount of dialogue with your musicians.  It will (of course) require a good amount of budget so probably take this option as a last resort!

Option 2:  In-ear monitors

More churches are looking to move from traditional floor monitors to in-ear systems as prices have decreased, along with an increase in features.

In ear monitor are a great way to control stage volume and craft a better main mix.

 Successful IEM implementation into a praise band starts by identifying who can benefit and making their transition a pleasant, stress-free experience.

When used properly, in-ear monitor systems should lower the overall volume on stage, improve the quality of the main mix, and better satisfy the monitoring needs of the people on stage.

We’ve covered the pros and cons of in-ear monitoring on Musicademy in the past.

Option 3 : Guitar amplifiers

Guitarists typically want to keep their amp sounding as good as it does when cranked up, but without the problems caused by overwhelming decibel levels.

This is some solutions that churches are using:

  • Placing the amps in front of the guitarist, to cut down on the amount of direct amplifier volume in the congregation.
  • Placing the amps in isolation cabinet.
  • Using high quality guitar amps.

To make a point it is very recommended when isolating guitar amp, to use in-ear monitors and they must be a high quality monitors in order to get a good sound.

Do also check out Andy’s post called Is your guitar too loud?

Option 4 : Get USED to playing softer

One of the best options if it could be done, is getting used to playing softer. Experiencing with lighter sticks, rods, brushes. And using a smaller kit,cymbals(…). Help tremendously in handling on-stage volume.

If you are trying to play softly (using a smaller kit,cymbals…),but it doesn’t work. Don’t worry the problem might be with the room. Brick walls,hard floors a lots of windows are not helpful to the acoustic challenges of a worship band.

However there are small solution that can help to play smoothly.

  • Set up the kit on a nice rug. The floor reflects sound of drums and rug help to control it.
  • Avoid to set up in a corner. It is well known that kit sounds best when it is in the center of a wall facing out with fabric behind it on the wall to stop reflected sound waves.If you must do that try to hang a theatre curtain or heavy cloth around the back of the kit and even the whole band if you can.


Reducing the sound on stage will require dialogue with the musicians you are working with as there will be a significant impact to them the key is to work with musicians, not against them. The process of reducing onstage noise will take time, energy and money – however, it’s a worthwhile journey to take if you are serious about improving the quality of the sound system.

By following these guidelines you can reduce stage,which bring a lot of clarity to the house mix. The more you minimize the noise on stage, the better your sound will be. I hope these suggestions help you control your stage volume and make your mixing better, and more fun.

About the author

What’s up? I’m Christopher, the founder of topdrumgear.com where I review the best drum gear like electronic drum sets,  in the form of top 10 list. Feel free to follow me on @topdrumgear or check out my blog.