The Church Sound Forum here on ProSoundWeb is a free, on-line resource of information and dialog for individuals working with sound at their church. Following is an interesting discussion from the forum offering a lot of useful advice. To participate, go here.
Question Posted By Kevin
What would you say is the number one concern that a church may go through when purchasing new equipment?
Reply By Dan
People who don’t know what they’re doing and have some misguided notion about what a system should do, cost and/or look like. If you take care of the people problems, everything else will fall into place.
Reply By Dave
Sad, but true. Another main concern is trusting the company who is advising them, as many churches have little expertise in the field of sound & lighting.
I know my church has been bitten once or twice by people who really know their stuff but have recommended things that are cheap and easy to install, which didn’t do the job or solve the problem.
These mistakes can be expensive.
Reply By Bob
Clearly defining what they want the system to do now, six months from now, and two to three years later. Then comes BUDGET. For some reason, budget seems to be set first, before the system requirements are spelled out.
Usually it’s better to wait until funds can be raised to meet the system requirements than to buy what is in the budget now.
Reply By Mac
Thank you. This is the heart of the matter. It’s so frustrating to see all the posts (on the forum) saying we have “X” amount of money, so what should we buy?
Another issue that is almost always ignored is the cost of design and installation. Spending all your money on a bunch of gear - no matter how good the gear - does not make a good system.
Reply By Clark
I can attest to that. We’re in the middle of a renovation. The first budgetary numbers is what they always come back to, forgetting that they added $30,000 worth of stuff we “can’t do without.”
Reply By Ivan
I would agree to some point, however, spending a lot on an improperly designed (over-designed in some areas and totally missing the most important issues) is something I see quite often. In many cases, the customer could have spent less and ended up with a better performing system.
This is not to say that you can do it cheap, I just see way too often sound systems that (as designed) do not have proper coverage, enough gain before feedback and etc., but are full of almost useless “fluff” that drives the cost way up.
People can’t hear it properly, but they have lots of “cool expensive” toys to play with.