Can You Hear Me?

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"Check one. . ."

"Check two. . ." 

“Can you hear me?”

Do you hear these words at your church about an hour before the service begins? These words were also heard during a two day, intensive, Church Sound Boot Camp.

During the first weekend of August, Friendship CRC, South Christian High School, and CRC Worship Ministries hosted a conference for church tech team members on how to best utilize their sound equipment and enhance worship in their congregations. The conference was taught by Curt Taipale from Taipale Media Systems, Inc. 

The conference focused on:

  • How microphones work and which microphones should be used in various situations 
  • Which cables should be used to connect equipment
  • How to best use a mixer board to achieve great sound quality for the congregation, recordings, and possibly live stream
  • How to use speakers and monitors effectively

One hundred fifty-seven volunteers and tech leaders attended this two day event. Experience levels were anywhere from “What does this knob do?” to “Where do I place microphones in a grand piano so I don’t get feedback and still reject unwanted noise from the rest of the praise band?”

photo courtesy of Worship Ministries
 

Ages ranged from those who are digital natives to those who started mixing sound when the preacher podium was the only place that had a microphone. Attendees came from all over the Midwest; Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa and even two from Washington. By the end of the conference, new friends were made, connections formed, and the comfort level in using audio equipment was increased.

For further information contact Rod Jager, Worship Director, Friendship CRC, [email protected], or Diane Dykgraaf, CRC Worship Ministries, [email protected]

What questions regarding church sound do you have? What are your most pressing technical needs? 

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Participant

I attended.  If you have the opportunity to send a team to this, please do.  It is well worth the investment.  I was the only one who could attend from our church.  He does these bootcamps all over the country, so just check it out on his website as to where & when.

What if we did not use sound systems to run our services?  The one with the mike controls the service.  Our worship leaders no longer lead.  Because of sound systems, they run the worship.  I really believe that the loudness in church is discouraging community.  Our kids come in and hear a great worship band, but the band continues as they walk out, and there is no dialogue between the kids.  They all walk out looking rather lost.  What if we had church services where the imperfect voices of God's people was the most important?  What if we had a church service where clapping and "hallelujahs" were not drowned out?  I think we are using our sound systems like they used the bells in the old days.  The loud sounds from the church sanctuaries is to let the outside know that a party is happening inside and they should come in.  Otherwise I do not know why they have such loud services that we cannot even bring our babies into.  Sound systems are very important in group settings, but are we over playing them?

Participant

This isn't about over playing them (although I do think you have a point in having sound systems too loud).  It's about using the equipment you have properly.  I love to hear the congregation sing acapella - we do it all the time. It's about leadership and knowing what to do.