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Author Topic: Church Sound System  (Read 3747 times)

Chuck Survine

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #60 on: March 17, 2014, 10:12:35 pm »

Peter preached the first Christian sermon without a microphone and 3000 got saved in one day.

He must have had a good acoustics's man... The apostles also walked on most of their journeys, and you don't see that done much these days either.
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Chuck Survine

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #61 on: March 17, 2014, 10:29:16 pm »

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

???   I would equate this more to the sound guy and not the preacher who just wants to be sure the message is being heard. As a servant, wouldn't the sound guy make the preacher as comfortable as possible while he uses your equipment? Isn't he there to serve the users of the equipment??? And wouldn't it be the sound man putting aside his pride to adjust the PA to the preachers liking, and not his own??? You don't have to take it person like we're saying you're a bad sound man, just that I can't hear the monitor???  Is it that insulting to hear someone ask for more volume???

I don't follow how being at your best for the Lord is pride but I guess you have some logic in that??? And letting the PA do the work so you can save your voice it's pride, it's the reason we invested in a good PA???
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Chuck Survine

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #62 on: March 17, 2014, 10:43:16 pm »

Who is the chef and cook in your analogy?  Is your role serving or being served?

Since I am using the PA, I would not be the chef, I would be the consumer. So I am not serving, I am being served by the sound man.
 
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.

so let's back up a bit, if I can turn it up and it works the way I like it then I know it's possible. Theoretically a bumble bee can't fly, but that never stopped one from trying...  So generally (I can't speak for every situation) it's not a question of what's possible or any of your physics or theory, it's a matter of the sound guy honoring an end users request to make an adjustment the sound buy may not prefer. It would be different if the sound guy honored the request and the system started to feedback or ringing so he turns it back down. When I've been in this situation, the sound guy won't even try...
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Ray Aberle

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #63 on: March 17, 2014, 11:09:31 pm »

Since I am using the PA, I would not be the chef, I would be the consumer. So I am not serving, I am being served by the sound man.
 
so let's back up a bit, if I can turn it up and it works the way I like it then I know it's possible. Theoretically a bumble bee can't fly, but that never stopped one from trying...  So generally (I can't speak for every situation) it's not a question of what's possible or any of your physics or theory, it's a matter of the sound guy honoring an end users request to make an adjustment the sound buy may not prefer. It would be different if the sound guy honored the request and the system started to feedback or ringing so he turns it back down. When I've been in this situation, the sound guy won't even try...
Disclaimer: I'm not a regular church goer. I'm not even an irregular church goer.

I'm getting the vibe, Chuck, that you are looking at this as a "me versus them" thing. The sound guy isn't complying with your every request, so he must be "against you." The band doesn't want to do things your way, so they're also "against you." There's no "I" in "team," though. (Although as the t-shirt goes, there's a "u" in "suck." Haha.)

I think you should really sit down and discuss this whole situation with your sound tech and your band. Make sure they understand your concerns. Perhaps there's a solution that isn't apparent right now? Maybe they (the band or the tech) can make some good suggestions on how to improve the whole situation and make everyone happy while delivering the best quality product (the message!) to the consumers (your congregation). After all, isn't that the whole purpose of being there?!?

-Ray
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Kelcema Audio
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Ray Aberle

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #64 on: March 17, 2014, 11:14:26 pm »

I get the gist, instead of throwing money at this, we need to find someone to run the mixer. I think that's good advice and I'll pray the Lord blesses us with one. Until then maybe I can get one of the musicians to go back and mute the unused mics.

Alternatively, you could ask the congregation for someone to volunteer to expand their service to the church by running the mixer for you? From my experience in the Boy Scouts, sometimes you just have to ask people to step up. They're just waiting to be invited!

-Ray
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Jeff Carter

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #65 on: March 17, 2014, 11:51:18 pm »

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.
It's true that not hearing your voice well in an overly "dead" room is not pleasant for a speaker--but most church auditoriums are lively enough to reflect some sound back to the stage rather than sucking it all up.

Quote
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.
If there's more going on acoustically in the background, then I suppose that could drown out your own voice to some extent, yes. But surely if they're responding, they hear you?

(My church is about the opposite of yours... our room is pretty "lively", the congregation not so much. ;D)

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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?"

That's not really a great assumption, though, is it? For example, you've already listed one case (the ear-bud story) where your monitor was in fact not representative of what was going on for the audience.

If the monitor feed is all about verifying that you're actually in the PA, then there are some "people" issues--either lack of training on the sound tech's part, or lack of trust on yours--that are the root of your problems. All too often in the church we try to solve people problems with gear.
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Mothers, don't let your babies grow up to be physics PhDs

Jeff Foster

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #66 on: March 18, 2014, 10:50:33 am »

Since I am using the PA, I would not be the chef, I would be the consumer. So I am not serving, I am being served by the sound man.


Pastor Chuck,

Respectfully, I'm going to have to agree with most of the responders here and call you out on this.  I believe you have the wrong idea for what needs to happen.  I get that you want to hear yourself so that you don't feel that you need to yell, but you have been told repeatedly that is a bad idea.  Putting any monitors in the direction of a spoken word vocal mic is a bad idea.  Period.  I've been a sound man at my church for 23 years.  I have a lot of experience with guest speakers and tons of experience working with my pastor.  Your situation is screaming of trust issues with the sound personnel (if any).  You need to get your trust issues resolved before we ever start talking technical solutions.

As for the monitors, they are a bad idea.  You don't need to hear a loud PA sound to know that you are talking.  Get a headset mic, and let the sound person make it sound the best it possibly can in the house system.  Get over your hang up on having monitors.  My pastor has learned to pick up on other audible cues to know if the sound system is working, like hearing the echo from the walls in the room.  It sounds very different when the system is on as opposed to when it is off.  If you are used to a loud monitor, then it will take a while to adjust yourself to that, but it will be far better for the congregation in the long run.  Eventually, you will forget about the sound issues and proceed to just preach.  The audience would have much better sound and everything would just flow better.  However, until you give up the need for your own selfish control, you're never going to be free to preach the Word with grace and clarity.

To be very blunt, the problem is not the sound system, it is you.  Many suggestions have been made by many people here that most certainly know what they are doing, but yet you continue to resist their good advice and reject anything that isn't what you want to hear.  You need to ask yourself, are you preaching for your benefit, or that of your congregants?  Get over yourself, adjust your attitude, and put some faith in your sound personnel.
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Jeff Foster
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #67 on: March 18, 2014, 10:51:06 am »

so let's back up a bit, if I can turn it up and it works the way I like it then I know it's possible. Theoretically a bumble bee can't fly, but that never stopped one from trying...  So generally (I can't speak for every situation) it's not a question of what's possible or any of your physics or theory, it's a matter of the sound guy honoring an end users request to make an adjustment the sound buy may not prefer. It would be different if the sound guy honored the request and the system started to feedback or ringing so he turns it back down. When I've been in this situation, the sound guy won't even try...

Chuck,

I've been there-knowing (and if you work a system you can sense it, too) a system was on the verge of feedback and being publicly asked (ok sometimes demanded) for more monitor.  I have done both-not turned it up,and turned it up and let it squeal.  From my seat here's the issue.  Do nothing-you are wrong.  Turn it up and it squeals and you are wrong-you just disrupted the service AND who knows if you didn't just "crank" it to "prove" a point.  Either way it takes a team effort.  To use another analogy-a quarterback can't complete passes without a good receiver and a receiver can't receive passes without a good quarterback.  If they don't get along and work together AND trust each other to do their best they might as well stay home.
My pastor got to the point where if I set a system offsite he trusted me to have it set and he didn't feel the need to check it before a service-he knew that I knew what he wanted and would do all I could to get it as close to that as I could with the equipment I had.  Probably take a few years to get there-but I assume you are in for the long haul.
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Steve Swaffer

Ray Aberle

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #68 on: March 18, 2014, 11:01:35 am »

... and let the sound person make it sound the best it possibly can in the house system. 

*snip*
...and put some faith in your sound personnel.

I think the one thing we've forgotten is that, as of Chuck's post of March 13th, he doesn't have a sound tech to run the mixer during the service. This is a case of Chuck fighting the band as to how to best set up the system, in a manner that they can just 'leave it' for the duration of the service.

I mentioned this last night, and will do so again- I think that has to be your first priority-- finding someone within your congregation that has either the talent or the desire to learn about this industry, and give them the responsibility of making you sound good. Then...

- Sit down with him/her, as well as the band, and make group decisions based on everyone's input.
- Take a night and play with the system, so the new tech can get a feel for the service sound needs (their experience behind the board is going to be waaaaay different then when sitting in a pew!).
- Understand that the first couple of services might be a challenge. They may miss a cue, not un-mute a mic in time, or otherwise make a booboo.
- Let the congregation know! "Let's welcome Timothy, who is joining our worship team as our new sound technician. He's on a steep learning curve, so let's be kind to him, but I want to publicly thank him for hearing the call to God to serve Him in this manner!" If the congregation knows that Timothy (or whoever) is learning as he goes, they're going to be very supportive of him. (I would hope...)

Let us know how it goes!

-Ray
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Kelcema Audio
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Brad Weber

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Re: Church Sound System
« Reply #69 on: March 18, 2014, 11:18:49 am »

Since I am using the PA, I would not be the chef, I would be the consumer. So I am not serving, I am being served by the sound man.
It's my experience that the best results are obtained when worship leaders view their role to be serving the church membership and they work together with others such as the sound tech in that effort, so your response may hint at at least part of the problem.
 
You initially commented that the mixer was unmanned and you hoped to be blessed with someone to run the system.  Quite frankly, I am not clear on what 'sound man' you are referencing or who it is that is supposedly turning down the system, not doing what you ask, etc.

so let's back up a bit, if I can turn it up and it works the way I like it then I know it's possible. Theoretically a bumble bee can't fly, but that never stopped one from trying...  So generally (I can't speak for every situation) it's not a question of what's possible or any of your physics or theory, it's a matter of the sound guy honoring an end users request to make an adjustment the sound buy may not prefer. It would be different if the sound guy honored the request and the system started to feedback or ringing so he turns it back down. When I've been in this situation, the sound guy won't even try...
It is common for a sound tech to have to work with multiple parties (church leadership, worship leaders, musicians, church members, etc.) who often have differing or even conflicting goals.  The sound often tech has to balance all of those goals and try to keep everyone happy, an effort which can be the most difficult part of the role.  If one were to focus on just themselves and not consider how others may be affected then they might interpret the sound tech's not responding to their requests/demands as desired as being adversarial when it may actually just be the sound tech's trying to respond to their request within a 'bigger picture' perspective.
 
Unless it's a result of a relationship that you have had a part in creating then I doubt that your 'sound man' is intentionally not doing what you ask/demand just to spite you.  I believe that you are so focused on getting what you want that you may not be considering how that may affect others, however your 'sound man' may not be able to so easily overlook how the musicians and congregation are affected.  As others have suggested, a good, open discussion with your 'sound man', musicians and any others involved may help clarify the situation and perhaps lead to a more cooperative relationship based on some established common goals.
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