Although a very small church with a small congregation can get by without a lot in the way of AV equipment, the larger the church and the congregation gets, the more this type of equipment is necessary. A number of factors will affect which type of equipment is best, including the church design. There are solutions available given most budgets. Taking a few things into consideration may help with Church AV Design.
Consider the Current Situation of the Congregation
The first thing to do before going out and spending a lot of money on a new AV system is to take stock of the current system. Consider what is working and what isn’t and come up with a plan to deal with church audio that makes use of any equipment that’s still working well. Prioritize what needs should be addressed right away and what changes can wait as it isn’t always possible to redo everything at once given budget constraints. Start with the basics and add the fancier stuff later on. This could include making changes to the church lighting situation, as it can also improve the entire church experience to have some more interesting lighting to go with the audio improvements.
Consider Quality as Well as Price
It’s always possible to get inexpensive AV components, but these are sometimes very low in quality and thus not worth the money. They may need to be replaced more often, making it so these parts end up costing more in the long run. It’s better to make gradual improvements to the system using high-quality components. The amount of money that typically needs to be spent depends on the number of people who will be attending services at any given time. For example, if the main service typically consists of somewhere between 200 and 300 people, you’ll probably need to purchase audio gear costing between $20,000 and $30,000. Sometimes it’s possible to save money by purchasing used equipment, and you can also sell old equipment that still works but no longer suits your needs to help raise the money for new equipment.
Take All Types of Components Into Consideration
Make sure to take all the different components of the church’s AV system into consideration. Don’t just think of the microphones and speakers, but also make sure that there’s enough power, the wiring is done properly and all the components are properly placed. Make sure that there’s plenty of space available for the necessary components and the people who need to operate them. Make sure that all components are properly installed and that they are compatible with each other.
Consider the Operators
Once there’s an AV system in place, somebody is going to need to operate it. Make sure that there are a number of people that are well trained in operating the AV system, and have these people take part in any purchasing decisions, as they are the ones that are going to have to use the equipment and they’ll have some insight into potential issues that could come up.
Don’t Forget Maintenance
Have a professional come in regularly to help maintain the equipment and be sure to get anything that is damaged fixed as soon as possible. It doesn’t make sense to invest a lot of money in AV equipment if you aren’t going to properly maintain it. Equipment that isn’t properly set up or maintained won’t sound as good and may actually be dangerous, as equipment that isn’t set up or working properly can shock the people who touch it.
Hold Rehearsals Before Services
Whenever new musicians and AV people need to work together, there can be issues that come up. Holding a practice session before the service will give them time to learn to work together and fix any kinks, such as the music being too fast or too loud or people not being familiar with the equipment that’s being used. Nobody wants to hear squeals from the microphone when it gets turned on, for example, and people won’t be able to hear the music if the musicians don’t know how to use the microphone properly.
Contact Arizona Sound Productions for more information on designing AV systems to suit your needs. The right AV system can enhance any church service. Just be sure to work with a dealer that has a lot of experience with church sound systems.