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Author Topic: New speakers for small chapel  (Read 1631 times)

dick rees

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2017, 09:47:45 pm »

First thing to keep in mind is that this room, by its shape and choice of surfaces, is acoustically compromised for worship. It looks like it would make a great classroom, not so much a worship space.

I'll agree with this much.  Beyond that, all the well-meant and technically correct advice is still contradicted by the fact that the room is too small to be using amplification.  I stand by my previous suggestion of using acoustic music.

Intensity of feeling, emotional impact and an enveloping sense of one-ness is not "volume dependent".  Let the celebrants sing their hearts out and put the requisite amount of physical effort into it and it'll be fine.  There's little or no need to use amplification in such a confined space.  It will cause a host of problems, both technical and otherwise and distract from the worship and communion.
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2017, 10:08:51 pm »


Young folks can be pretty energetic (understatement of the year, there) and keeping volume levels low will take some strong discipline. The principles behind Mike Sokol's "semi-silent stage" will be important for keeping stage volume under control and, therefore, a clean mix and good coverage.

That would give them some valuable lessons to carry on through their life's musical journey, in other words break their bad habits before it's too late!

Jonathan Johnson

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2017, 12:02:15 am »

I'll agree with this much.  Beyond that, all the well-meant and technically correct advice is still contradicted by the fact that the room is too small to be using amplification.  I stand by my previous suggestion of using acoustic music.

Intensity of feeling, emotional impact and an enveloping sense of one-ness is not "volume dependent".  Let the celebrants sing their hearts out and put the requisite amount of physical effort into it and it'll be fine.  There's little or no need to use amplification in such a confined space.  It will cause a host of problems, both technical and otherwise and distract from the worship and communion.

That was in the back of my mind, Ivan, and I think I'll have to recant and agree with you. Perhaps a small system for speech would still be in order -- even for that it may not be necessary, depending on who is talking.

A complete acoustic set creates a different vibe, almost more intimate. In a room that small, an amplified system can easily overwhelm the congregation, making each person feel less a part of the worship and more an audience for a performance. And that counters what corporate worship is really about.
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Taylor Phillips

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Re: New speakers for small chapel
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2017, 10:14:27 pm »

While I won't disagree with any of the technical points made by the others here who are for the most part far more competent than I, I'm going to go in a bit of a different direction.  While yes, an acoustic ensemble would be more practical in that space, is the youth group actually going to enjoy it?  "High energy" and "acoustic set" rarely seem to exist simultaneously.  (Personally, I rather dislike contemporary acoustic worship music - if I can't a loud band, bring the choir and pipe organ/orchestra back!) Rather, I think you should possibly go in the direction of some bar bands, or the youth bands I saw when I was a teen, which is to use the guitar and bass amplifiers along with the acoustic drums to fill the room and only rely on the house sound system for vocals.  Yes, it's a potential for disaster when dealing with undisciplined youth, but if the musicians are able to take just a bit of direction on how to control their volume and blend with each other, it can actually work quite well.  One key is to use smaller amps and smaller drum kits.  The other key is finding musicians who understand their purpose is to serve congregation they are playing for and not themselves.  If it can't be done, then yes, go acoustic.

As for electronic drums, my advice would be to avoid them in your case.  If you don't have a near-perfect sound system, they will simply sound bad no matter what setting, and unless you use in-ear monitors, you have the potential to create the same amount of stage volume as acoustic kit - only with the sound going in the wrong direction.  I ran sound for a church college & young professionals service a few years ago and the stage volume actually decreased and cleaned up a lot when we switched to acoustic drum kit thanks to it no longer being part of the monitor mix.  IMO, electronic drums are severely overrated.  If you need less volume use "cool-rods", brushes, or hand drums.
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