“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.
The pastor told me the church used up the channels on their 24-channel mixer and that’s why they used Y-splitters on the stage for having two wired microphones feeding into the same input. Their audio needs had grown but this was a “simple solution that seemed to work.” Then he asked me how to deal with issues with that setup because the people using the microphones talked at drastically different levels.
The man told me the audio system was old but they were used to working with it. Oh, it didn’t give them the best sound and they had feedback issues from time to time, but they were ok with it. They only used it a few times each year (though they used it in front of large audiences). They were, overall, content with it.
Visiting a familiar web site is like putting on your favorite pair of jeans. It’s comfortable. You know what to expect. You know how many pockets you have and the back pocket is already stretched a bit to accommodate your wallet. Running a web site has much the same feeling. I didn’t want to take off those jeans. I was happy. I was content. However, my “mobile” site visitors, reading my articles, had to scroll vertically as well as horizontally.
The congregation was paying the cost of keeping the old mixer instead of upgrading the mixer and stage to handle more inputs. Each service, they would have trouble hearing one person on the stage. Sometimes, they heard way too much of another person.
The audience was paying the cost of the old audio system. They heard feedback, they heard a sub-optimal sound. They had problems understanding the words of the singers.
Rip down the curtains Martha; it’s time for a change!
This web site; mobile friendly, less images for a clearer focus on content and a faster loading page…happier visitors.
The church; still has the same mixer but their worship team has dropped in size so they freed up some inputs. Were their audio problems THE cause ( or A cause) for musicians leaving? I’m not sure. I’ve never asked. I don’t want to know.
The sub-par audio system? I spec’d out a system and they have approved the funds for the system.
The Take Away
There are times when it would be “nice” to upgrade a piece of equipment. Then, there are times when it’s necessary to upgrade a piece of equipment or even an entire system. If you cringe at the state of your current equipment, then imagine what the congregation members must be thinking.