Is it time to upgrade your church sound system? It could be. Church sound is something we don’t think about much unless it malfunctions. However, an upgrade could make some dramatic improvements to the sound in your sanctuary or worship space. In addition, if you have an older church sound system, it may be wise to look into an upgrade. Ideally before it fails you on a Sunday morning. Unfortunately, electronics like mixers and amplifiers don’t always warn us when it is time to replace them. Sometimes they just stop working, and they tend to do so at the most inopportune times.
How Do You Know When it is Time to Upgrade Your Church Sound System?
Very few churches have replacement plans in place for audio equipment. It often takes some sort of problem or a major building renovation to get people talking about replacements and upgrades. Of course, the renovation of worship space are a great time to make upgrades. If your system is more than a few years old, it may be worth looking into something new.
Here are some of the signs that it might be time for a church sound system upgrade:
- You are having significant issues with your current system – Sometimes, issues like feedback, distortion, popping, static, erratic levels, and other audio problems can be solved with some basic troubleshooting and perhaps additional training for your volunteer or staff member that runs audio. However, sometimes, these are signs of an aging system that needs to be replaced.
- Volunteer recruiting and training have become problematic – Some older sound systems were designed to be operated by someone with experience. Analog mixing consoles can be a great option when you have a trained and experienced operator. However, with multiple volunteers with less experience and training, it is pretty easy for dials and knobs to get out of place, which can lead to some pretty unpredictable results.
- Newer digital mixers like the QSC TouchMix-16 have features that are much more user-friendly. These include savable presets that make it easy to restore preferred settings. Some mixers even offer built-in tools to help even novices make the most out of their system and space.
- Your needs have changed – Often, a church sets up a sound system when they have a microphone for the pastor and maybe one additional mic for a musician or guitarist. However, as time goes by, the needs of the church can change. For example, some churches have added whole worship bands and are trying to manage sound with their old mixer that isn’t up to the task. Others have added live streaming or have started recording worship services and need something that can handle the additional requirements.
- People are having difficulty hearing – In any congregation, you will have members, young and old, that have some amount of hearing loss. The ability to make out speech in certain spaces is one of the most frequently reported issues. Too often, churches try to fix this by turning up the volume. There are two problems with this. First, it won’t likely help people hear better. Second, by making it louder, you may get other complaints about it being too loud or even hurting people’s ears. This is not a loudness issue. If you have an older mixing board, amplifier, and speakers, you may be losing clarity. A new system can fix that. Sound technology has come a long way in the last several years. With advances in speakers, amplifiers, and mixers, you can make a drastic improvement in your church sound with a reasonable investment.
Don’t Be Afraid to Upgrade Your Church Sound System
Do you think that it might be time to upgrade your church sound system? Overwhelmed at the thought? Whether you are a pastor, church leader, administrator, or volunteer, you may not even know where to start. Fortunately, if you find the right vendor, there is plenty of church sound help available. Find someone willing to talk to you about the options for digital mixers, amplifiers, and speakers. An audio professional can help you put together a package that will fit your budget and ensure many years of high-quality church sound. –Bob Rout