I heard about this “idea” awhile back, never really knew what they meant until I ran it through my brain for awhile and then it dawned on me, and it’s a great idea. One thing that I am sure some churches struggle with (including ours) is guitar amps on stage being to loud, or just adding unwanted sound to the music. But, how does a guitarist hear himself if he doesn’t have the amp there.
One note before I go on. We have two guitarist now. One on bass, one on acoustic guitar. Both of them use DI (Direct Injection) boxes. The DI box takes the signal from the guitar itself, splits it up, sends the sound to the main mixer board, and then also to their amp. That way I get clean, un-modified sound. With Electric guitar I would not do this, I would either mic the amp, or pull signal after the amp processing so I get the exact type of sound that is being sent out from the amp.
Ok, back to the topic. I have started to hear about “amp room(s)”. Hmm interesting concept. Above is a photo of an amp room that I “borrowed” from the net. The way it works is… on stage, the guitarist just plugs in his guitar. That cord feeds into the “amp room” where the Amp is setup. These rooms can be fairly small, and since no one really sees them, you can us acoustic absorption devices to cut down on reverb and reflection. In this room is were the amp is “mic’d”. The sound from this mic is then fed to the mixer(s) and is sent back to the stage via the monitors or via In-Ear monitor (IEM). Whalla! Pure amp sound, with no amps on stage! Interesting huh? Of course this idea takes pre-planning in the building, but it is something I will keep in mind if I ever have input on a church/stage design.