One Time You MUST Upgrade Your Equipment (and the reason for the new site design)

Photo provided by libbym78

“We have been running on this mixer for 20 years.” “It still works.” “Most of the channels still work.” “We’ve learned to work around that issue.” “The musicians are used to it.”  These are just a few reasons you might give for not upgrading your equipment, financial issues aside.  But refusing to upgrade equipment also comes at a cost.  And it might be the musicians or the congregation who are ultimately paying the cost each week.

The stories of one web site, one church, one band and how each paid a cost…

I had fallen in love with the design of this web site.  I had spent a lot of time tweaking and changing until it finally came to a place where I really liked it.  But, there was a problem and it was one that was costing me dearly.  When the site was first designed, iphones and other mobile devices weren’t around or were so in their infancy that the idea of creating a “mobile-friendly” design wasn’t considered by most web developers.  As time rolled on, checking my web visitor statistics showed that mobile traffic was growing. …keep reading »

Creating Your First Equipment Loan Policy

post_equipment_loan_policy

Opening the microphone case, I was shocked when I noticed a microphone was missing.  I checked another box.  I checked the sound booth.  I checked the microphone stands.  That’s when I remembered the women’s retreat.  The women’s group held a retreat over the weekend and even though the retreat went from Friday night to Saturday night, they hadn’t returned the equipment.

That’s not the only time my equipment had vanished on a Sunday morning.  

Around the same time that happened, a new ministry started at our church.  All of their ministry work occurred outside of the church and required microphones and cables. …keep reading »

How to Protect Your Electronics

The very first computer I bought came with a power strip.  "You don't want to fry your computer during a storm," said my friend.  However, electrical protection is more that just ye ol power strip.  What happens when there is a voltage drop?  What if the electrical line is dirty?  I've cover these questions and a whole lot more.  

There are a few topics I need to cover before we get into electrical protection;

  • How Does Electricity Work?
  • What is a Power Surge?
  • What is a Power Spike?
  • What is Electrical Noise (a dirty line)?

How Does Electricity Work?

An electrical line is made up of metal wire and an insulator.  All of these materials (life itself) is made up of atoms.  An atom contains protons, neutrons, and electrons.  The electrons are negatively charged whereas protons are positive.  As you can see in the picture below, electrons circle the nucleus like planets around the sun. 
 

When enough electrical energy is applied to the wire, the electrons surrounding the nucleus are released and pushed down stream.  The path electrons follow is called a circuit. …keep reading »

How To Get The Equipment You Need

You want better equipment?  Expect to hear some of these statements…"What’s wrong with the equipment you have?  It’s worked for all these years hasn’t it?  Do we really need it?  It costs how much?  For that price, I think the church can live without it."  And my favorite…"ok, if you say it will help the church, then get it."

There are three steps in getting better equipment for your church.

First, you need to know exactly what equipment you need that would indeed improve the sound system.  Adding a CD recording component is good but does not enhance the worship / service experience.  Adding a compression unit, that you currently don’t have, would be beneficial.  Therefore, before you move to step two, you need to know exactly what you need…and how to use it. …keep reading »

Catalog Your Equipment With This List

I spent time helping a family who were flood victims.  Part of my work involved cataloging their belonging, for insurance purposes, before we threw them out. That got me thinking about all the A/V equipment at my church.  If the church was flooded out, I would be the person responsible for answering the question, "How much money do you we have in Audio / Visual equipment?"  Therefore, I've compiled a list for all types of equipment.  With this list, you can add the brand and quantity such as "Shure E2 earbuds: 8" for your own cataloging.  In some cases, don't worry about the brand such as microphone stands.  For cables, you need to also note the length. …keep reading »

Church Sound Booth Construction

Constructing a new sound booth in an existing sanctuary is not an easy task.  My church completed construction on a new sound booth in our sanctuary a few years ago.  This article outlines our experiences and how we ended up with exactly what we needed.

Remember The Line-of-Sight

This is probably the most important piece of information you should know…sound booth operators should hear what the congregation hears.  A booth located out of direct line-of-sight of the main speakers will only receive sounds reflected off the walls and the floor.  This reflection causes sound to be perceived as softer and muddy.  This results in the sound operator increasing the volume in the main speakers so THEY can hear thereby, blasting a higher-than-necessary level of volume into the majority of the congregation. …keep reading »