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More and more churches are recording their services digitally. If you record your services on a computer, I'd like to hear what software you use.


I posted a comment on David Teitsma's excellent article about podcasting that included what we use at CrossRoads CRC for recording, but will do so here as well.  

We use a older dual core PC 1GB memory running latest Ubuntu OS (upgrade regularly as it is free) with software program Audacity to record and edit sermons.  PC is hooked directly to our Yamaha sound board with it own volume control.  Audacity (also free and available for Windows as well) has visual live output of the recording so volume control and errors are easily adjusted and fixed.

After recording we save entire project, this is precaution in 2 ways, you don't want to start editing before saving in case of a crash (found out the hard way when we had a power spike which caused PC to reboot and lost the recording.) Also it gives you unedited version to go back to if you want.   I edit down to sermon only (easy to do in Audacity) then export it to a WAV on my jump drive.   I take it home and use Soundbooth from Adobe to remove any hiss or background noise as well as tweaking it for podcasting.  I then export to WAV again (it is a common format that is compatible with many softwares and is lossless) and use a free program Foobar2000 to compress to smallest size that sounds good.  Foobar2000 and Audacity both are free and available at

I would like to see a possible survey listing hardware and software people use to record.  I don't believe we are doing it the most efficent way, but do like the results.

Our sermon site

As a side note I would also like to mention that our Ubuntu PC is also used for making copies of CDs and DVDs for those who request them.  We use the free sotware KB3 that comes with it and I have to say it is bullet proof.  Very rarely do we have a bad burn or complaints that it can't be read.  Not the easiest interface, but reliable.  Over 300 burns and I may finally have to replace the burner as it doesn't always eject the disk on the first try anymore.


We also use Audacity on a Windows7 laptop. Using the Audacity settings we have chosen,  a one hour service is approximately 50mb, saved in a MP3 format to a USB. Using the USB MP3 file I import it into Roxio Sound editor, clean it up and burn to a CD for those that wish to have a copy. We also experimented with small portable radios that have USB imputs and we saved the worship service to USB and gave those out to shut-ins. Two problems we encountered with that; the USB's were slow in being returmed to us when the shut-ins were finished with them and there was some training of the elderly required to get them to understand how USB's work. After a trial run, we are back to distributing CD's

Time goes on and things change.


In a effort to speed the process of getting our MP3s on line as quickly as possible we have purchased a digital recorder.   I read many reviews and was disappointed to find that rack mounted units of less the $250 rated poorly.  After much debate we got a Tascam BB800 as it can be used in a variety of ways and has excellent recording abilities to a SDcard.  It allows a direct XLR connection and so we no longer use a Ubuntu computer to record with, saves space in the sound booth area which is important to us.  

So after recording (which is done in WAV format for quality) I take it and edit it in "Adobe soundbooth CS4".  I had a friend who bought Adboe CS5 and gave us the CS4 he had used before. Editing is for length, normalizing and adding web broadband setting.  Then instead of saving to mp3 I export to WAV and use Foobar2000 a free open source player/converter to convert to mp3 at 80Kbps.  It uses LAME.exe for its mp3 conversion and I still think it makes the best sounding MP3s for small size  11-14MB for a 40min sermon.    

Then use filezilla to upload to web site, and Dreamweaver CS4 to edit site and whole process from copying, editing and uploading is done in less then 40min.  Usally have audio online between 11:30am - noon

We have found that having a podcast hosted on itune has tremendously boosted the number of people listening to our sermons.  We have increased from 30-40/month downloads last year to around 700/month now 80% which are from itunes link.

Anyway I hope this is of interest and would be glad to answer any questions.


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