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Author Topic: Church Sound System  (Read 3817 times)

David Parker

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2014, 11:31:38 am »


In this analogy, I would say the pastor is the chef, not the diner. Your preference of how you want to hear yourself should be secondary to getting good, intelligible sound out to the congregation so they can effortlessly hear your message.
exactly. Where is the servant mentality Jesus taught us? Sounds like a pride issue.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #51 on: March 17, 2014, 12:10:46 pm »

exactly. Where is the servant mentality Jesus taught us? Sounds like a pride issue.

Or we admit that the 10am GodShow is just that, a show for folks who share the same spiritual beliefs, and that the preachers, musicians and lay staff are cast members and we focus on delivering the show no matter how much humility or diva conduct comes with it.  But never forget that we're about as far from the sermon on the mount as we can be...

Or we can admit that church is mostly a big feel-good commercial to sell a particular brand or flavor of faith.

Once you reduce the service to fundamental *conduct* (not principles), you pretty much have one or the other, and some times you have both.

"We're show people, so let's put on a show!"  Shirley Temple.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #52 on: March 17, 2014, 12:22:44 pm »

When you go to a restaurant, do you want the food seasoned to the likings of the chef, or you? Do you want your steak cooked to the likings of the cook, or you? That's all I'm trying to say, I have the mic, can't we make it to my likings, at least while I'm using the mic and when you use the mic by all means make it the way you like...
Who is the chef and cook in your analogy?  Is your role serving or being served?
 
I'm sure anyone running your system would be happy to try to fulfill your wishes but they probably have to balance your goals with the wishes of others and what physics allows.  You ask about others seeing your perspective, perhaps you also need to try to see theirs.
 
I believe that your problem is not that you can't achieve what you want but that you may not be able to achieve it in the way you apparently want.  If you used a wireless mic with a headset style microphone and the mic placed close to your mouth along with a wireless in-ear monitor then you could probably turn yourself way up in your monitor mix and not only not get feedback but also allow the level for the congregation be adjusted as best serves them without it affecting you (or you affecting them) so much.  But unless you are willing and able to employ such measures then physics may dictate what is possible.
 
Actually, you can have both or at least a good compromise. My understanding a good EQ can incapacitate most feedback then you can turn the mic's up all the way without feedback. That's the theory and it's kind of what I have going on now bu with a 9 band EQ I am hurting too many frequencies. They say a 31 band EQ will do less harm.
Getting technical, feedback is when the loop gain exceeds unity or in simpler terms when the sound from the PA at a microphone is louder than that sound naturally at that microphone.  So if you try to hear your voice louder than it is naturally at your mic then chances are good that it will be more difficult to avoid feedback.
 
It gets more complicated in that feedback tends to be frequency related as well.  You don't necessarily need to understand all the details but as you physically move around the physical relationship of the PA sound sources to one another and to your microphone keep changing, resulting in the frequencies that may be causing feedback also varying.  A frequency that does not cause feedback at one location may cause feedback at another location, perhaps even just a few inches away, and vice versa.  So the potential benefits of static equalization on increasing gain before feedback may be limited due to your apparent tendency to move around.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2014, 01:11:49 pm by Brad Weber »
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David Parker

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #53 on: March 17, 2014, 12:30:21 pm »

Or we admit that the 10am GodShow is just that, a show for folks who share the same spiritual beliefs, and that the preachers, musicians and lay staff are cast members and we focus on delivering the show no matter how much humility or diva conduct comes with it.  But never forget that we're about as far from the sermon on the mount as we can be...

Or we can admit that church is mostly a big feel-good commercial to sell a particular brand or flavor of faith.

Once you reduce the service to fundamental *conduct* (not principles), you pretty much have one or the other, and some times you have both.

"We're show people, so let's put on a show!"  Shirley Temple.
I was recently the victim of a "witchhunt" at the church where I was music minister for 20 years. If they'd told me they wanted a younger face so as to relate to a younger audience, I could have accepted that, but the comments went along the lines that the Holy Spirit couldn't move unless the music was like they wanted it. Amazingly, of all the instances in the bible of the Holy Spirit moving, none of them had music involved. Nor PA systems. As you "hint", the church needs to get back to basics and stop trying to attract a crowd with a "show", all the while catering to prima donnas who put on the show.
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Mike Scott

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #54 on: March 17, 2014, 12:51:42 pm »

I will repeat myself.... and add a more specific comment... you have a people problem not a technical problem, and Chuck, you are part of the problem.  Loose the attitude and work with the team that is trying to help you.  Church is a team sport but everyone is supposed to be on the same side not trying to beat down the rest of the team.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #55 on: March 17, 2014, 01:28:04 pm »

I was recently the victim of a "witchhunt" at the church where I was music minister for 20 years. If they'd told me they wanted a younger face so as to relate to a younger audience, I could have accepted that, but the comments went along the lines that the Holy Spirit couldn't move unless the music was like they wanted it. Amazingly, of all the instances in the bible of the Holy Spirit moving, none of them had music involved. Nor PA systems. As you "hint", the church needs to get back to basics and stop trying to attract a crowd with a "show", all the while catering to prima donnas who put on the show.

Wow.  I'm surprised they were so blunt.  "We now bring you the 90 minute infomercial, in progress..."  Focus-group tested, mother-approved.

Now that there is a new music minister, I bet that church gets a new PA system, lights and video within the next 2 years.  I'll double down on that bet if the senior pastor has been there less than 5 years.
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David Parker

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #56 on: March 17, 2014, 04:14:29 pm »

Wow.  I'm surprised they were so blunt.  "We now bring you the 90 minute infomercial, in progress..."  Focus-group tested, mother-approved.

Now that there is a new music minister, I bet that church gets a new PA system, lights and video within the next 2 years.  I'll double down on that bet if the senior pastor has been there less than 5 years.
No, the church is dying. I wasn't the problem. The pastor is the problem, but he wasn't going to remove himself. they would have everything you describe, but they can't afford it. Funny thing is, all the honest folks at the church say the new music minister isn't any different than I was. Of course, I'm not there any more. I could only stand so much fun.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #57 on: March 17, 2014, 04:35:04 pm »

The problem I'm having, is I like a mic that is sensitive and will pick me up anywhere around the pulpit. I don't want to have to eat the mic or speak directly into it, most pulpits I speak at will pick me up without having to do that. I can turn up the mixer input gain and main output levels to get the pulpit mic the way I want it, but we then get tons of feedback, ringing and our musicians say "you're pegging out the equipment". They adjust it and I again have what I call a dead mic that I have to practically eat to get the response I want which makes it tough to read my notes and make eye contact with the congregation. And it's killing my voice having to practically yell to get it to pick me up and who wants to eat a mic for 30 minutes??? I know we can do better
 
The Church is small, just 65' x 43' with a 20' wood, steeple ceiling. Our unmanned mixer is a Eurodesk SX3242FX that was recently donated and we have 12 mic's hooked to it that don't have off switches (mostly in the choir stand). We also have a really good digital wireless mic, but again, no one really wants to use it because they turn the gain down so low I have to eat it to get it to respond the way I want. I can turn it up but the musicians again go into their frenzy...  Too add, they play so loud with all their electronic amplification that we have to tell them to turn it down several times during a service because we can't hear the choir or even me speaking at times.
 
So we have a Eurodesk SX3242FX with 4 speakers total, two large JBL's (I have no idea what the model numbers are because they're embedded up in the front wall) hooked to the mixer main outputs in the front of the sanctuary and two faithful BOSE 802E with active equalizer (I love those little dudes) in the rear facing toward me that are hooked like monitors coming out of AUX SND 1 & 2. The BOSE in the rear are powered by an old Peavey 2600 (stereo) but the two JBL's in the front are wired in parallel and powered by a Peavey 3000 mono amp. So we're really only using one main output from the mixer
Going back to this earlier post, some of your problems may be due to basic issues with your aujdio system and its operation.  For example, it seems that the musicians only monitoring is the same Bose speakers at the rear of the room that you use for your monitors.  It might help in several ways if the musicians had their own monitor mix(es) that could differ in content from what you want in your monitor mix.  There's no apparent reason for you to have a stereo monitor mix so maybe the second Aux send on the console could instead be used for an independent second monitor mix.
 
To adjust what you hear in your monitors you should be adjusting only the asssociated aux send level(s) on the related channels and should not be adjusting the input gains, the channel faders or the console master fader.   If the Auxes on your mixer are setup properly for monitors as pre-fade sends (the "PRE" button next to the aux send controls pushed in) then the channel and master faders shouldn't even affect the signals to the Bose speakers.  In fact the mixer master fader shouldn't affect the level of the Bose speakers no matter what, which makes me wonder if you are actually turning up the house system until you hear yourself from that.
 
When you say "...we can't hear the choir or even me speaking at times." are you referencing the congregation not being able to hear you or your not being able to hear yourself?  While it might be ideal for you to hear yourself clearly while the musicians play, that may not be practical without some changes to the monitors and/or your microphone, as discussed below.  On the other hand, if the stage levels are really too loud then controlling those may help in several ways.
 
 
 
In terms of avoiding feedback it's really pretty simple, once you've reached what the system can do then turning up your mic means turning down your monitor (or turning up your monitor means turning down your microphone).  Unless something changes that is the way it is and wanting it to be different won't change anything.  So how do you change it so that you can turn up both your microphone and monitor?  That's also pretty simple, you increase the level of your natural voice at your microphone and/or you reduce the level from the PA getting into the microphones.
 
You seem to have issues with talking loudly so the only practical option to make you louder at the microphone seems to be to move the microphone closer.  That might mean using a handheld microphone held close to your mouth or an earset/headset boom mic with the mic element close to your mouth.  What you may feel is "eating the mic" a technician may call increased Potential Acoustical Gain.
 
As far as keeping the PA sound out of the microphone, that is greatly complicated by your moving around and especially going out into the congregation while still wanting to hear yourself.  Probably the most effective option would be for you to use a wireless in-ear monitor, that way you could turn your monitor up with virtually no pickup of that sound by your microphone.  Do that and give the musicians their own monitor mix from monitors located much closer to them and things might be much better.
 
If that is not practical or acceptable then it seems to get much more challenging.  Common approaches such as moving the monitors closer to you so they can be run at a lower level, limiting the area covered by monitors and so on while potentially quite effective seem impractical if you want to be able to go virtually anywhere in the room and to hear yourself wherever you go.  Using a cardioid handheld microphone and staying aware of where the rear null is pointed could help but you seem to not want to have to focus on anything other than what you're saying, so having to think about how you hold and direct the microphone may make that a less than practical option.  It may be that all you can do without some changes in equipment or how you preach is to turn off or down any microphones not being used to keep them from contributing to the sound from the PA and monitors getting back into the system.
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Ben Brunskill

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #58 on: March 17, 2014, 06:49:50 pm »

Or we admit that the 10am GodShow is just that, a show for folks who share the same spiritual beliefs, and that the preachers, musicians and lay staff are cast members and we focus on delivering the show no matter how much humility or diva conduct comes with it.  But never forget that we're about as far from the sermon on the mount as we can be...

Or we can admit that church is mostly a big feel-good commercial to sell a particular brand or flavor of faith.

Once you reduce the service to fundamental *conduct* (not principles), you pretty much have one or the other, and some times you have both.

"We're show people, so let's put on a show!"  Shirley Temple.

This is getting way off topic, but I have to say this is a great post. Ive been leaning towards this opinion for a while now. Im not OK with the God-show anymore.
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Chuck Survine

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #59 on: March 17, 2014, 10:08:33 pm »

I would say the vast majority of pastors I encounter prefer *not* to hear themselves, actually. Our auditorium shape tends to reflect PA sound back onto the stage quite efficiently (I consider this a bug rather than a feature).

You saying they don't want to hear themselves but they can because of how the building is built. I think if you took it away they would say different. Maybe not all but certainly "some" in a dozen.

Then again I wonder if it has to do with the type of church. We have a loud church where the people talk back at the preacher.

During sound check, I always push the pastor's mic pretty hard to make sure I have plenty of gain available if needed...

Sounds like a good sound man to me...  That's all I would ask...

In this analogy, I would say the pastor is the chef, not the diner. Your preference of how you want to hear yourself should be secondary to getting good, intelligible sound out to the congregation so they can effortlessly hear your message.

Not if the PA is the food, then the preacher would be the consumer and not the chef. If you're referring to the message then yes the preacher would be the chef  but we're talking PA. And if you can't hear yourself, then my assumption is they can't hear me either. If anything, me hearing myself IS my assurance they're getting good sound which then allows me to to turn my focus on delivering a good message and not "what the heck is that sound man doing today" and "why does he keep turning the PA down when I get up to speak???  Is he trying to kill me?"
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