Jad Gillies is a worship leader and Creative Pastor at Hillsong Church. He oversees worship leadership teams across the church’s Australian Campuses. Jad has also recorded songs with some of the best contemporary artists in Christian music today.
Hey Jad, Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. First of all, can you tell us why you decided to transition from wedges to in-ear monitors in general?
I wanted to hear everything. We have a lot of people on stage and a lot of noise so it was tough to get away from those cymbals and actually hear what my guitar was doing.
What was the tipping point? When did you finally have enough of the wedge?
We had to make some changes both at home and on tour to the level of noise coming off stage, our FOH engineer was pleading for less bleed off stage and also into vocal microphones. We were able to get more consistent tone from amps etc without all of the spill so it was a win.
How do in-ear monitors fit into your setup? Meaning how do you use them?
We now run our amps off stage so besides the drums there isn't a lot of stage noise to contend with. It means the FOH product is cleaner and more consistent and we can all hear each other and are able to take control of what we need discretely.
What’s in your mix?
I like to get a good rhythm section blend, (I prefer a less boomy kick sound so it doesn't take up to much room in the mix), drums for vibe, bass guitar to pitch off, I get guitars panned, not too much keys 😉.
I like my vocal to have a high mid boost (something you cant really do when running wedges) for a bit of zing and I like my guitars reasonably present in the mix.
How did using custom In-Ears improve your performance?
The whole isolation factor is a game changer. Blocking out the noise and tailoring what I receive means my ears aren't trying to locate my guitar or vocal through the noise. It has changed touring simply because my ears and voice are not tired or damaged at the end of a show.
What is your favorite thing about in-ear monitors?
I like the capability of the multi-driver models. Hearing full clear bass was an issue in the early days of IEM. Being able to create a sonic picture that is true to what is being played on stage is great.
What are your thoughts on universal-fit in-ears versus customs?
Well, you just can't get the level of isolation with the universal type which use foams or rubber for fitting. It makes all the difference.
Anything else you would like to mention about in-ear monitors and UE?
Hillsong/ Hillsong UNITED have been using UE products for over a decade and have really enjoyed working with the team. I want to thank everybody at UE for their support and professionalism. Thanks.