Church sound can be one of the most challenging arenas to work in. It is very similar to live sound. However, church sound happens on a much more regular basis, and at a standard venue. Sound for Worship is a great way to have constant, weekly work available. But, many church patrons are very picky about their audio, and trying to mix live instruments at a listenable volume can be a challenge. Especially considering often the program goes between spoken word and worship music, there are a lot of intricacies involved in making that work smoothly.
While there generally may not be a lot of heavy lifting, getting the mix set right for a discerning audience can be quite a task. Making sure the band is balanced and at the right level, while still being able to hear the pastor giving his sermon, and at the same time ensuring the audience members at the front aren’t being blasted out of their pews, a lot of planning and work has to go into a good church sound mix.
Chris Huff from ProSoundWeb compiled a list of 11 questions you can ask yourself to see if you are heading in the right direction with your mix:
- Can I hear all the musicians and singers?
- Can I hear the lead vocalist and understand what they are singing?
- Is it clear which instrument is leading the song?
- Does the mix fit the genre of music?
- Does the mix fit the music the congregation likes?
- Do the instruments have distinct sounds?
- Does the mix vary within the song?
- Does the effect benefit the sound?
- Does the vocal sound squashed?
- Does the mix fill the whole sonic space?
- Do the backing vocals sit in the best place in the mix?