5 Strategies for Church Sound
AV systems in houses of worship are all about pleasing the congregation. Here are some tips for putting the audience first.
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When it comes to audio in houses of worship, all your work—from mixing to microphone placement—will center on giving to the congregation.
There are two areas of importance when working with (perhaps working for) the congregation:
• Meeting expectations
• Understanding needs
The congregation has expectations just like the pastor and the musicians. The problem is their expectations are unspoken. The pastor will tell you when you aren’t meeting an expectation. A congregation member will complain to friends, the pastor, or, if you are lucky, they will tell you.
There are five primary expectations of the congregation:
1: A Distraction-free Service
What does this mean as far as your work? It means you have microphones on when they need to be on. A person in the sanctuary chairs doesn’t want to be distracted because they didn’t hear the first sentence where he said “Turn in your bibles to Psalm 27.” It means you pro-actively prevent feedback so they don’t get knocked off their seat if it were to happen. It means you do everything possible so they stay focused on the pastor, the music, or whatever else is going on at the front of the church.
2: Ability to Understand the Pastor
I’ve had a surprising number of people tell me they can’t understand the pastor at their church. Their common complaint is “he’s not loud enough.” However, it’s more than just volume. Referring back to the EQ process, specifically on EQ’ing for the spoken word, you
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