Church Sound Systems: How to Get Value for Money

By August 27, 2019 No Comments
Church Sound Systems

If faith comes by hearing, then the church sound system should be the number one priority. Quality and appropriate audio systems in the church is the first step towards delivering sermons that will make an impact on the congregation. Regardless of the church size, the sound system in place should be clear and audible enough to arouse the interest of the listeners from the onset.

No one would want to attend a service in a church with a lousy sound system. It is a complete put-off! But still, it is normal to experience sound hitch once in a while during the performance due to reasons such as:

·      Dead batteries

·      Amplifier overheat

·      Component failure

·      Leads can get pulled loose

There is much that contributes to quality PA system in the church other than expensive devices. The same way that the church is willing to invest in an expensive sound system, it should have a qualified operator. Lack of know-how to set up and operate these devices could be the reason for poor sound in the church. Also, an expert will offer advice on whether the church needs to improve, replace, or install a new sound system.

A church with an excellent sound system portrays the seriousness in leadership, planning, accountability and appreciation to givers. That said, let discuss a few things tips that could help you better your church sound system.

The Room Where The Audio System Is Being Set Up

Before you set up any media and audio system in your church, there is a need to put into consideration the environment it will operate in. You need to ask yourself several questions. Does the room have a hard surface that can reflect sound? Is the room made up of material that absorbs sound? It's not that these environment matters, but there are sound systems that suit different room environments.

Some rooms have anomalies that will affect the quality of sound from your church sound system. Rooms with dome-shaped ceilings and corner extensions are most likely to affect the acoustics quality of sound.

It is advisable to hire an acoustician to evaluate factors in your room and how they could affect the quality of sound from your preferred sound system. Hiring an acoustician is worth the investment and can save you money downstream before you purchase your preferred church sound system.

The People Who Attend The Service

The complexity of the sound system required for your church will depend on the number of people who attend your church. The sound system needed for a mega-church will be more complicated than that of a small church and will also require an expert level skill set to set up the system.

For example, in a small or portable church, a simple connection is made from the mixers to the speakers on stands. Large and mega-churches require complex connections and expert level skill sets from the person operating them.

The church sound system you buy should suit your congregant's audio needs. For example, a small sound system might not adequately serve a mega-church because people at far ends might have trouble getting the word or music as it is being delivered.

Hiring audio system engineers and experts to install and manage the system is worth the investment. A properly installed and fixed church sound system will be audible from all corners of the church.

The Types of Microphone Used

A common question that church leaders ask is: What is the best microphone? It is best to know that the most expensive microphone is not necessarily the best choice for your church. Choosing the right pattern and type of microphone is essential in delivering the best result in sound quality in your church.

Different types of microphones are designed for different environment and scenarios. Some kinds of microphone include moving-coil, head-worn, condenser, ribbon, bi-directional, Omni, and directional.

Other modern microphones include the wireless microphone which gives one the freedom to roam around as far as you could. The wireless microphone could either be head-worn or handheld.

It is crucial to evaluate the environment of your church and select a type of microphone that will suit the environment. The two commonly used microphones are:

· Dynamic Microphones

Dynamic microphones are the most common, and they work with pretty any application on stage. One thing to note is that these types of microphones are not effective from a distance and should be used closer to the source. They also have limited frequency response and sensitivity, but they handle high levels of input.

·      Condenser Microphones

Condenser microphones are much more sensitive and have a high-frequency response than dynamic microphones. They require phantom power, which is derived from the mixer to supply power to the electronics in the microphone. Condenser microphones are suited for acoustic instruments and vocals because of their high-frequency response.

You need to do some homework on the right type of microphone for your church depending on factors such as the size of the church, the number of congregations, and the size of the church sound system.

The Quality and Arrangement of Cables

Often, the sound quality of your church sound system will be influenced by the quality and arrangement of its cables. Many churches experience trouble with their sound quality not because of a faulty sound system, but because cables are faulty and placed wrongly. It doesn’t make sense to buy expensive sound system units and connect them with low quality and cheap cables.

It is highly advisable to evaluate the sound systems interconnection and ensure you are using the right type of cable, jack, and adapters. It is also vital to ensure that the cable from the source to the destination is as short as possible. For example, if you send a signal frequency from a guitar on stage to the mixing console's input without a direct injection more than 20 feet away, the signal will be weak, and it will pick up noise along the way.

The Direct Box converts high and low impedance instrument output and balances low impedance outputs to maintain signal integrity. This help in maintaining the sound quality through the cables. Also, it prevents the loss of high frequencies.

The Mixer

The central component of any significant sound system is a mixer. Typically, the mixer is designed to mix audio signals together if you have more than one sound source. Let's say you have four microphones, a piano, electric guitars, and other sound organs, this means that you need a mixer to combine the audio signals.

The mixer allows one to control the relative balance between the various sound sources and then send the combined signals to your speakers, recording device, and monitors.

The mixer is definitely the brain and heart of a live sound system and investing in a quality mixer for your church saves you the stress of getting extra peripherals. There are two types of mixers which include analog and digital mixers, each with different access levels.

A digital mixer is highly preferred because it eliminates the need to buy graphic equalizers, noise gates, recording software, computer interfaces, compressors, reverbs, and delay units.

The Snake to be Used to Connect Devices Together

The snake is an instrument that makes it easy to connect musical instruments and microphones from the stage to the mixer. Snakes come in various channel counts and length depending on the requirements of the church sound system. The snake is made up of multiple output/input jacks housed in a box and labeled for ease of operation.

Cables from the snake extend as far as needed to get to the mixer as individual connections. The outputs on the mixer connect to the snake and then extend back to the stage box which connects to amplifiers, monitors, and the loudspeakers.

The number of inputs and outputs in a snake depend on the number of instruments on stage. One should consider the number of instruments on stage to be sure of the right snake to purchase. Modern digital snakes use Ethernet cables to deliver audio and video as well as control the data signals to avoid loss and noise distortions in the signals.

Final Thoughts

It does not matter how much you are willing to pay for a new church sound system. If the acoustical environment has not been analyzed and evaluated well, your worship sound will suffer to some degree. Acoustics and church sound systems go hand in hand, and it is every aspect of these that should be considered to ensure your worship space is lively.

It is essential to understand the necessary instruments and tools that should comprise a church sound system. The instruments needed for a proper church sound system include mixers, appropriate microphones, a snake, direct box, and quality cables. Always remember, the vital considerations you should make before purchasing a sound system for your church include the acoustics of the worship room, number of congregants, and the budget set aside for the sound system.


About NFG