Whether you're a music pastor or simply a board member of a local church with some electronics installation skills, you may have been tasked with the job of installing a professional sound system in your church building. While there are many sound systems designed for home and commercial use that can be perfect for your purposes, finding the right system for your specific church can be more challenging than you may have anticipated. Read on to learn more about some of the unique considerations you'll need to take into account when installing a sound system in a church building.
Why are church buildings acoustically unique?
Installing a home surround sound system can be simpler for more reasons than just the smaller size of the room--for most surround sound systems, your goal is simply to project music or television audio to each of a few seating areas. Many home surround sound systems are also relatively portable, allowing you to rearrange speaker placement depending on the number of guests in the room and the volume of the music or movies you're enjoying.
On the other hand, church surround sound systems need to not only project music to a broader audience, penetrating every corner of the worship space, but also be able to handle the projection of spoken words without allowing them to sound garbled or muffled. Finding a system that can do double duty can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you're facing acoustic handicaps that aren't easily solved.
What factors will you want to consider when selecting and installing a sound system in your church?
Unless your church has been custom-constructed in the last few years, it's likely it doesn't have the ideal acoustics for the music and spoken words of worship services and other church events. This means that your best first step, before choosing a sound system, is to do what you can to improve the acoustics of the space so that the system you select can maximize its potential for clear sound projection.
In many cases, especially if your worship space is large or has exceptionally high ceilings, you can dramatically improve sound quality by installing some acoustic panels that can dampen echoes and minimize reverberation. These panels can minimize the cacophony that develops when a number of voices chatter in a large, empty space and are unobtrusive enough to fit into just about any church's decor and style.
Next, you'll want to do a bit of experimentation yourself, or talk to your congregants, about the areas of your chapel with the best (and worst) sound quality. If your congregants have trouble hearing in a far-flung corner or find that sitting too close to the stage causes their ears to ring, you'll have a better idea of where you'll want to concentrate your speakers, receivers, and other sound system components to ensure even sound quality throughout the room. You'll also ensure that your congregants know their voices have been both literally and figuratively heard, allowing everyone in the room to be equally included in the worship ceremony.
Finally, you'll want to start browsing for a system that meets your space and size qualifications while providing all the extras you'll inevitably need to purchase down the road. For example, if your church speakers and visiting pastors routinely move around during the sermon, investing in some wireless microphones that can move right along with them can feel more natural than having your pastors stand behind a wired microphone instead. Churches with extensive musical performances will want to ensure any system chosen can pick up and process the multiple octaves covered by a full band or professional-level choir. For more information, contact companies like Metro Sound & Lighting.