A Guide to Choosing a Church Sound System

I.  What is your system required to do?
l(Think of your church’s present and future needs.)
lDoes your system need to:
lØ      Amplify voices?
lØ      Amplify music?
lØ      Amplify live instruments?
lØ      Amplify taped background tracks?
lØ      Provide a monitor so the vocalist can better hear the tracks?
lØ      Function with more than one monitor mix?
lØ      Be able to handle more microphones?
lØ      Provide facilities for the hearing impaired?
lII.  What additional areas need to be covered with sound?
lDo you need speaker in the:
lØ      Nursery?
lØ      Cry Room?
lØ      Narthex?
lØ      Choir room?
lØ      Offices?
lØ      Hallways?
lØ      Kitchen?
lØ      Fellowship Hall?
lØ      Area surrounding the church (outside)?
lØ      Other Areas?
III.  What are your recording requirements?
l(Think about how good your tape mix needs to be.  This will help you determine how many microphones you need.)
lDo you need a separate audio mix with audience sound, other instruments, etc.?
lDo you need to:
lØ      Record on cassette tape?
lØ      Record on CD Player?
lØ      Send a signal to a radio station?
lØ      Feed a cable system, VCR, or broadcast TV?
lIV.  What problems are you experiencing with your present sound system?
lØ      Do you have poor coverage resulting in dead spots?
lØ      Is the sound quality unnatural?
lØ      Is it difficult to understand?
lØ      Is it easier to understand the person speaking when the sound system is turned off?
lØ      Can you get enough volume without feedback squeal?
lØ      Can the sound operators hear the system well enough to be able to set the volume accurately?
lV.  Think about your church’s future needs.
l(This is a good time to brainstorm with your support staff and sound personnel.  Anticipating future sound system requirements and providing for them now will help avoid potential disaster or disappointments – plus save you money in the long run.)
lDo you need to consider providing for:
lØ      A children’s musical?
lØ      A drama group?
lØ      Visiting quartets or choirs?
lØ      Special effects for Christmas or Easter programs?
lØ      A children’s puppet ministry?