For many people, church is about community and communication. The connections and fellowship that arise through shared experience in a house of worship have long been at the bedrock of many societies.
In our digital age, people are more connected than ever before. This has led places of worship to find ways to make their messages more effective so that they might reach even more people. One way in which we’re seeing places of worship tackle this issue is through the application of the latest audiovisual (AV) technology.
Where a pulpit and a powerful voice used to be enough to get the word out, a wall of amplifiers may be just as commonplace as a pipe organ in many churches today. It’s all a part of better equipping houses of worship with the sound systems they need to make their messages known.
Here is what you need to know about church sound systems, and the right questions to ask to ensure you’re finding the right solutions for your spiritual headquarters.
Church Sound Systems are Trending Bigger
“Church is more social today,” says Matthew Marotta, Director of Program Management for Datanet AV, an audiovisual and IT solutions provider with over 34 years of experience in the industry. “You went from this isolationist ‘me’ movement to more of an ‘us’ movement where people want to be more socially aware.”
As churches continue to grow in both size and popularity, so too does the need for better equipment with which to deliver their message. Multisite churches have grown particularly popular, with congregations often as high as 10,000 members spread across 11 different campuses.
How does one church reach all these people? The answer is with the latest technology mindfully scaled to their specific needs.
Marotta explains that as churches look to appeal to broader audiences, they find themselves serving many different markets spread across large geographic areas. As a result, these churches may have one central parent site that projects their message to multiple locations.
These interactive live-streams are achieved through the application of audiovisual solutions specially catered to a place of worship’s specific needs.
“We’re seeing from the AV side that a lot of the video technology we have, from LED walls to projection screens, requires a robust sound system,” says Marotta. “A church is going to need to understand those expectations.”
This begs the question of what congregations should look for when they’re considering a church sound system to make their message even mightier.
What Do You Need in a Church Sound System?
It has been established that places of worship require bigger and better sound systems to engage congregations and better compete for the attention of people around the country. Even so, where does a house of worship begin when it comes to finding the right sound system?
Erin Floyd, Marketing and Sales Associate with Datanet AV, says that solutions can be different for every client, although there are a few basics that go into most systems.
“A bare-bones system for any church is going to need speakers, microphones, a mixer, an amplifier, and then the cabling that goes along with that,” says Floyd.
What are the Basics of a Church Sound System?
- Cables and Wires
However, Floyd points out that there are numerous factors in making sure that a church is investing in the right solution. These factors can include the shape and size of a building as well as layout, ceiling, and additional infrastructure.
“A lot of it is really going to depend on the size of the church. People know what they want but not necessarily the direction they need to go,” says Floyd. “It’s not really a one-size-fits-all sort of thing, it’s about what the customer needs and how we can help them get there.”
Marotta recommends that clients have a firm understanding of the height, width, and depth of their space to better account for acoustics. Churches should also have a clear goal as to what they are hoping to accomplish.
What Specifications Should I Know for My Church Sound System?
- Building Size
- Style of Ceiling (Vaulted or Flat)
- Size of Audience
Does the church want to provide better sound for an in-house band or musical production? Maybe the goal is more specific to spoken word or communication between multiple campuses. Ultimately, the goals of the church are what determine the necessary package and setup.
Sound Systems Ensure Consistency in Presentation
Depending on the size of the church sound system required, prices can range between close to $1,000 for a basic setup and above $20,000 or more for high-end audiovisual systems. Because of the disparity between pricing for different packages of audio systems, the team at Datanet IT recommends that people ask lots of questions and come prepared. Not only does this protect the client from unwanted upsells, but it also helps the AV provider in finding the most ideal solutions.
Marotta says one thing churches should remain mindful of is ensuring consistency in sound and quality across different platforms. Examples of this would be filming in the field using a high-definition camera, but displaying the results using standard definition technology.
“You don’t want to have a 4K experience of filming on your mission trips and come back and throw it up on a 480 (pixel) screen. You want to make sure that the apples are the apples on both sides of the fence,” he says.
“If you want your sound to resonate within your church, and you want to have a clear, crisp sound on the recording, you’re going to want to make sure you’re going to have a system that can capture that.”
Working to Find Everything You Need, and Nothing You Don’t
Audiovisual solutions for places of worship are just as varied and diverse as the institutions themselves. By partnering with reliable audiovisual experts, churches can take comfort in working with someone they trust to accomplish their individual goals.
Marotta says that this dedication to each individual client is what sets Datanet AV apart.
“We try to make sure we’re delivering exactly what the customer wants, where the customer needs it, and how the customer wants it,” he says.
Floyd echoed the sentiment and the need to focus on the wishes of the customer, rather than pushing big-ticket items on unsuspecting clients.
“It’s really about listening to the customer and what their needs are, rather than trying to get them to buy a whole lot of things they don’t necessarily need,” says Floyd.
Don’t go hoarse trying to make your message heard. Learn how you can improve your reach and effectiveness with the right audio solution for your place of worship. Reach out today to discover the right church sound system for you and your congregation.