4 Tips for Better Worship Audio

Worship audio and adjusting the soundboard

Proclaim makes the tools required to craft brilliant church presentations available to churches of all sizes. But the visual presentation is only half the battle on a Sunday morning. The other half—audio—can be a little more difficult. Here are four simple adjustments you can make this week to improve your audio mix.

Start with a flat EQ

Before sound check begins, reset all your EQ levels to neutral. Pull down the faders on any unused channels. Clear all of last week’s filters, and—if needed—relabel your board. Start with a clean slate. This will keep unintended effects, filters, and levels from harming your mix. It will keep you from accidentally leaving last week’s cello settings on the backup vocalist’s microphone this week.

Increase your dynamic range

Dynamic range is the distance between the softest sound and the loudest sound in a given mix. Aim for a distance of 5–10 dBs’ difference between the loudest (probably the snare drum) and the quietest (usually a secondary instrument or vocalist). If every sound registers at the same volume level, the result is a wall-of-sound effect that’s very aggressive. If congregants complain about the worship band being too loud, but you’ve measured and it’s within a reasonable range, this is likely the reason it feels louder than it is.

Use pan to separate similar sounds

If you have two instruments with similar sounds—a pair of acoustic guitars, for example—you can separate them by panning each off to the side a little. It allows the audience to hear each instrument in opposite ears. Bass, kick, and snare ought to remain centered, but vocals, guitars, and other supporting instruments will all benefit from a slight pan in one direction or the other. Doing this will limit the amount of EQ you’ll have to do on each instrument to separate them. Don’t worry about the congregants on the far side of the room; they’ll have no problem hearing the instruments panned away from them.

Turn down male vocalists at the 325–350 Hz range

Male vocalists are hard to mix. Most of them—high baritones and low tenors especially—can get lost in the mix. Guitar, bass, kick, and toms are all operating in the same 5–10 Hz range. Cut the male vocalists in that range (325–350 Hz) by five dBs or so, and you’ll hear their voices with a lot more clarity.
Apply these four simple tips to make your audio mix sound as good as your Proclaim presentation looks.

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Make your worship services more awesome with Proclaim Church Presentation Software. Proclaim comes loaded with a library of multimedia resources worth more than $1,000 (and growing). Kill two birds with one stone: download Proclaim and you’ll get a ton of great stuff you can use right away.

Written by
Ray Deck III

Born in WV, Ray escaped to North Carolina at a young age. He came to Logos after an 8 year stint at a faith-based nonprofit in New York. When he is not assembling sequences of words, he’s probably running, surfing or shooting skeet, but you should probably go look for him. He has a terrible sense of direction and is probably lost.

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Written by Ray Deck III
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