Worshipers whose attendance through the years has been sporadic at best are in for quite a surprise when they set foot in today’s modern churches. While the scriptures might be thousands of years old, the sound systems churches employ are anything but antiquated. With contemporary worship bands, lighting features, projection screens, and special effects, some weekly services even rival rock concerts in the sophistication of their showmanship.
Of course, not every church service needs to be cutting edge. Some congregations may prefer a more traditional approach to music and worship. But whether the goal is spectacle or simplicity, your church’s congregants need to hear speakers and musicians clearly. This can mean overcoming the acoustic challenges of your space or the limitations of certain musical instruments. While achieving a great sound in your church begins with talented and musicians in the front of the church, knowing how to achieve a better church sound is all about expertise at the mixing board in the back.
Know Your Surroundings
Ecclesiastical architecture has always emphasized acoustics. Before the days of electric amplification, ministers and musicians relied on the room to carry their sound. Today, many churches are purpose-built for amplification, but others have achieved their modern sound systems through heavy retrofitting. Vaulted ceilings and hard surfaces reflect sound waves better than soft, absorbent materials under low ceilings. Make sure you’re not competing with natural amplification once you’ve wired a room for sound. You may need to install some of those soft materials along with your speakers to compensate.
Mixing-board novices may believe that controlling a board is simply about putting one signal up and another one down as needed. This is the first step, but understanding how to achieve a better church sound goes deeper than that. Making small but significant adjustments to individual frequencies on your equalizer is necessary to take your church’s sound to the next level. Instruments and vocalists without proper equalization can sound tinny, muddy, or brassy. Mixers should familiarize themselves with each band on their equalizer, from the lowest lows to highest highs, and know what needs an accent and what to dial back.
Feature the Piano
Whether you’re going all out to put on a show or simply featuring a lineup of talented musicians, you need to make the most of your piano. The guitar, bass, and drums have a way of swallowing up the piano in live settings, letting one of the most important instruments in the ensemble go unheard. A condenser microphone for a piano is highly sensitive. But it’s so sensitive that it’s better suited for studio recording than the stage, where instruments in proximity will easily overwhelm it. To truly capture the sound of the piano, whether your church is using a grand or an upright, consider Helpinstill’s line of combination piano sensors that provide piano amplification with uncompromised clarity.