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Author Topic: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement  (Read 780 times)

Dan Courtney

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We are a small church, located in Ontario, Canada. We want to improve our sound production.

Congregation  - middle to older and about 50-85 weekly
Music             - combination of hymns and contemporary
Sanctuary:     - 50' wide x 35' deep - some 11' high walls but cathedral ceiling
                     - Stage 8’ x 20’
Worship team - guitar, bass & sometimes keyboard, 3 vocals
Microphones   - Vocal - Sure 58’s - 4-5
Pulpit mic      - Audio-Technica ES915 (very sensitive)
Monitors        - 2 - passive 10”- daisy chained
Speakers       - on side walls – Fender 1201A – 100 watt - passive - 70°H & 35°V
Amp              - using Amp from Yorkville PowerMax22 mixer - 2150 Watt
Mixer            - Digital Soundcraft ui24R – running mono
Snake           - 12 inputs – 75’ to stage box

*Pictures to follow*

PS We are in the process of moving the side wall speakers to the front – unsure of exact location
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 07:56:41 am by Dan Courtney »
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Dan Courtney

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Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 11:42:31 am »

Additional Pics

Shown is possible replacement of speakers.

Thank you.
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Dan Courtney

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Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 11:48:24 am »

Here is a clearer picture of the front of the church.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 11:51:10 am by Dan Courtney »
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 11:58:27 am »

Hi Dan.  Welcome to the forum.  What problems are you perceiving that you want to solve?
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Dan Courtney

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Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 12:09:09 pm »

Hi Dan.  Welcome to the forum.  What problems are you perceiving that you want to solve?

Thank you! That's an excellent question and being new in this sound position allows me only to comment from my own perspective that being:

a. - lack of even sound coverage throughout the seating area -- eg. dead area in the front middle
b. - clarity of the singing voices
c. - bass sounding a little muffled

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Dan Courtney

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Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2019, 12:22:22 pm »

Another challenge will be to determine the height and location  of our newly acquired used 12" wall speaker wall mounts. (They allow for both horizontal and vertical adjustments).
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 07:29:48 pm by Dan Courtney »
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2019, 12:44:06 pm »

Another challenge will be to determine the height and location  of our newly acquired used 12" wall speaker wall mounts. (They allow for both horizontal and vertical adjustments).

PS Does "Preview" work on this site?
There's only so much help that can be given in a forum post, but I will suggest a couple starting points:

- Point the speakers at the people and not into empty space - that is, aim them away from walls and tip them so the center of the speaker's pattern is aiming at your rear seating position.
- Intelligibility problems are probably 60% room related.  You want to minimize indirect sources of sound - i.e. stage monitors (move to in-ears if possible), and sound reflecting off hard room surfaces.  Acoustic treatment will likely make a much larger difference than different speakers.  Where and what kind depends a lot on the nature of the problem and the architectural impact you are willing to accept, but generally speaking adding anything soft will help - cushions on pews, acoustic panels on the back wall, curtains to the sides of windows, carpet instead of hard surface floors, etc.  Keep in mind that you will likely have to abide by your local fire codes, so you will want to do some research into the allowable materials and/or treatments that you can use.

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Dan Courtney

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Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2019, 01:38:53 pm »

I appreciate those suggestions, Tom.

Pointing the speakers inwards and toward the rear seating area, makes good sense. (Most of the people sit in that area :-) .

Yes, sound does bounce around our building. Curtains to the sides of the windows, might be doable.

I helped install some acoustic panels in a different building and they made quite an improvement. I remember clapping my hands when we had completed one side – no echo from that side!
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 07:33:11 am by Dan Courtney »
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Kevin Maxwell

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Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2019, 04:46:51 pm »

You could try using those mounts on the wall to the left and right of the stage area. I would put them to the outside of the beam I see in the picture. But first play something thru the speakers that you have and get relatively close to them and see how they sound to you. Are they worth using in a different location? They are not high quality speakers.

I would prefer to mount some good speakers (that have built in hang points on them) from the beams getting them into the seating area a little bit and aiming them down. The mounts that you have wouldn’t allow for mounting them on the beams. You also have to be sure that the structure that you are mounting the speakers to can take the weight and can be mounted properly. Properly mounting speakers is a long thread in and of itself.

Acoustic treatment done right can help in a lot of rooms. The done right part is the important part. If done wrong you could change the sound of the room for the worse. If you get carried away and do too much you will make it a dead room and that can be as bad or worse than a lively room. For this application I think we understand what you are looking for. The one thing that people have a tendency to forget is in a church with congregational singing you need to be careful to keep it lively enough so their singing doesn’t get absorbed too much.
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Dan Courtney

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Re: Suggestions wanted for small church improvement in sound reinforcement
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2019, 07:29:11 pm »

Your detailed response is appreciated, Kevin.

If one was to replace these 20 year old Fender 12” passive speakers, what should one consider? Would active speakers be recommended? Brand/model?

Your caution, re mounting the speakers safely, is well taken.

Acoustic treatment is something we should look into.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 07:33:32 pm by Dan Courtney »
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