Church Acoustics: 5 Biggest Challenges and How to Fix Them

Many churches struggle with acoustics. With a small-to-medium sized church, you may not have the budget to hire acoustical engineers or sound designers for your worship space. So, what's a church to do?

In this post you'll discover 5 common acoustic challenges facing most churches. You'll also learn about 5 acoustic solutions that can be implemented by your tech team to improve the overall sound quality in your church.

5 Common Acoustic Problems in Churches

  1. Outdated building design. The acoustics in the church may have been designed for unreinforced sound. These types of spaces often lack clarity when it comes to reinforced music and amplified speech. (This is common in older churches designed for traditional liturgy and congregational...
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Church Live Streaming Trends

Live streaming technology has become an important topic for churches, pastors, and tech teams looking to deliver a quality online worship experience for their congregation. But the big story for churches isn’t the concept of live streaming or even the technology required. The focus now turns to engagement and how to blend onsite worship with the online experience.

There are several emerging trends for creating a quality live streaming worship experience that can benefit the entire congregation.

Broadcast vs. Engage

One of the most important decisions a church can make is where they live stream services. This choice leads to other factors that will affect congregation participation, outreach, and more.

Most of us are familiar with...

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How to Set Tech Goals for Your Church

Change is something that is certain for all us, and that includes our church tech systems. Your electronic equipment won’t last forever. So, what’s your plan when something needs to be repaired, replaced, or upgraded?

While it might seem obvious to set tech goals for some of the bigger projects, it is equally important to plan for smaller maintenance tasks.

Planning and goal setting help save money on church technology, now and in the future.

Setting Tech Goals

Goal setting is similar to planning, but it provides a broader framework and vision to work from.

Identifying clear long-term and short-term goals for church technology will help during the planning process. Having clear goals also allows for creative thinking in how...

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2 Awesome Tips for Simple Church Sound

Church sound can feel pretty complicated and overwhelming at times. There is so much to keep track of, especially for a beginner.

And when you add mixing effects (like EQ and reverb), live streaming, and finding help on the tech team, it can seem like an impossible job to get perfect.

I know what that feels like. It’s exciting to serve and “make things work” every week. But it’s also challenging to get it right all the time.

My biggest problem used to be figuring out how to control feedback. Then it was learning to EQ and training my ear. And finally it was the dreaded team building and management. Ahhhhh!

If you’ve served on the tech team for any length of time, I’m sure you can relate to one or more...

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How to Mix with EQ, Panning and Reverb

Mixing live sound can seem like it’s all about volume control, but it’s more involved than simply raising or lowering the faders of various audio sources.

You’ll want to use a few simple tools to help create a mix that has depth, texture, clarity, and focus.

Fortunately most consoles have these simple tools built in (yes, even analog consoles).

EQ – the most powerful mixing tool

EQ can do more for your sound than just about any other gadget in your audio toolbox.

Use EQ to clean up your mix, separate instruments that may be competing with each other, and shape the overall tone of your soundscape.

Use high pass (also called low cut) filters to reduce low frequency rumble in channels that don’t need the low...

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The Beginner's Guide To Gain Structure

Note: this post is contributed by professional sound engineer Terry Bledsoe, author of The Beginner's Guide To Live Sound Mixing: Or How Not To Get Fired On Your First Gig

Okay, I know you want to get going and playing with some gear, but let’s get a few basics out of the way. First of all, this is a simple sound wave:

Hertz measures the number of these that happen in one second. The number of Hertz that happen is the Frequency. The more the Hertz, the shorter the waves and are higher pitched frequencies, the lower the number are the low frequencies, that require more power to produce.

The amplitude is how strong the signal is. This is measured in decibels or dB. Too much amplitude and we have distortion, too little and we get...

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How 1/4" Audio Cables Work

The venerable 1/4" (6.35mm) phone plug has been with us for a long time – since 1878!

Something that has been around that long is bound to have a lot of different uses associated with it.

Yes, it's called a "phone" plug because...

The original use was as a convenient way to manually switch telephone lines at the central station (you know, those old-fashioned switchboard operators?).

As it relates to audio and professional live sound systems, the 1/4" plug is used for 5 primary functions:

  1. Stereo cables (headphones)
  2. Unbalanced cables (guitars)
  3. Balanced pro audio cables (console outputs)
  4. Insert patch cables (side-chain effects like reverb or compression)
  5. Speaker cables (monitors & mains)

The first four cables may look exactly...

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Live Streaming Checklist for Churches

Live streaming your church worship service comes with a unique set of technical requirements and production workflow that can be very different from traditional in-person services.

As a church sound tech, it is important to factor in the technical needs of the complete live streaming setup, even if you have other team members handling things like lighting and video.

You’ve heard it said before, but audio is the most important part of live streaming. It’s important to get your mix and audio connections dialed in before going live.

It’s also extremely important that you test your audio levels at every stage in the live streaming workflow.

This means that you not only monitor the stream mix at the console, but also at the...

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The Beginner's Guide To EQ

Note: this post is contributed by professional sound engineer Terry Bledsoe, author of The Beginner's Guide To Live Sound Mixing: Or How Not To Get Fired On Your First Gig

Equalization, or manipulating the tone of sound is broken down into two main parts: System EQ and Channel (or instrument) EQ.

System EQ is adjusting the sound for the type of speakers you are using and the space that you are mixing in.

Channel EQ is how we manipulate each instrument to be distinguishable and yet work within the entire mix.

Let’s start with a very basic System EQ.

System EQ Concepts

Your Tools

We shall begin with a simple Stereo sound system, as in mic, mixer, amp and two speakers.

This is the simplest system in the sound universe.

With analogue...

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Mixing Consoles for Small & Medium Churches

If there’s one technology component that your church needs to take its time and focus to decide on, it is the question of what audio mixing console should be used.

This decision can make the difference between ok sound and great sound, and it will definitely make a difference in the confidence (and even the size) of your sound team.

The main sound system controller at your church goes by many names: soundboard, audio desk, mixing console, mixer, etc. They all refer to the same thing.

Selecting the right soundboard for your church might be the biggest audio decision you make. After all, it’s hard to mix good sound without a good soundboard.

Here are some questions to ask to help lead you to the right choice for your church.


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