It is very likely that each church sound system will have unique requirements, we have previously helped churches with the following areas:
- Choosing the correct microphones
- Training volunteers in using their churches sound system
- Problem diagnosis and resolution with existing sound systems
- Hearing Loops
- Sound system design and installation
- Integration of projectors and computers
Choosing the right kind of mixer and microphones for your church
If you do not have anyone to operate your system during services and it has to be switched on before and after use then a simple "inline" mixer with individual channel volumes and a master volume would be a good choice. The best microphones for use in this instance would be high quality condenser microphones on flexible stems, these can be adjusted by your installer and left alone. The problem with radio mics and "unattended operation" is that the conditions in which the radio mic is operating change all the time.
If you have someone who can adjust the sound as required then you can consider choosing a more flexible mixer desk that can cope with the use of radio microphones and a wider range of speech styles. These mixers often come in a "console" or "desk top" format.
When considering the use of wireless microphones in church keep in mind these considerations:
Quality Hand Held wireless mics are less prone to feedback than lapel mics, and when held correctly provide a good sound signal, they do rely on being held correctly or a correctly positioned microphone stand
Lapel wireless microphones are very common and if the wearer has a suitable collar or tie they can be quite effective. However, the antenna and thin microphone cable to the transmitter require gentle usage. Also, if the wearer turns their head away the sound quality will drop
headset wireless microphones are popular among active presenters and performers, they are also highly effective as the microphone stays close to the wearers mouth regardless of where they look. However, the antenna and thin microphone cable to the transmitter are quite fragile and I have seen many destroyed quite quickly with less than gentle usage.
Unless you invest in licensed radio microphones or digital wireless microphones (currently license free) you can only use between 3 and 4 licence free analogue radio microphone systems at the same time.
Choosing speakers for your church sound system
This is definitely an area where your prospective installer should advise you on the location, number and performance requirements for speakers to cover your churches congregational areas.
Early church sound systems were fitted with column speakers designed for speech only transmission, and while they might have been aesthetically pleasing on the eye they have no place in a sound system that has to cope with music reproduction.
Getting large speakers to sound great is relatively straightforward, getting compact speakers to sound great is much more complex. If your church is a very highly graded listed building then you may have even tighter restrictions on the visual impact, in which case there are still high performing speaker systems that can be chosen, however they will be much more expensive.
Plan for the future
When considering your new sound system or simply upgrading an existing system try to visualise how the use of your system could grow in the next few years.
The process of laying and routing sound cables in church buildings is very time consuming and often involves specialist access equipment, so it makes sense to lay cables for extra microphones, projectors and audio monitors at the same time as your system is installed, even if they are not going to be used right now
Services from MPB Sound and Light
- church sound system installation
- church sound system maintenance and upgrading
- Sales of pro audio equipment for your church sound system
- Training for church sound system technicians