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Church Sound Advice: Sanctuary Feed To Nursery And Overflow Rooms?

Useful advice on techniques for sending the sanctuary feed to other areas, from our Church Sound Forums.

By PSW Staff March 22, 2016

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. This was taken from an older thread that was moderated by Tom Young, a highly respected A/V consultant with decades of experience. To participate in the forum, go here.

Question By Ken:
I’m a volunteer at our church and I’ve recently taken on heading the all-volunteer audio team. I’m a musician by training and taught music in the public schools for a stretch, but these days I have a different day job altogether.

We’re upgrading our mixing board (to an Allen & Heath GL3000) and we will be sending a feed to sanctuary overflow space and to the nursery.

Our nursery is about 240 feet walking distance away from the mixing board, which is located in the sanctuary.

What is the preferred method of getting signal to the nursery? Wireless? Hardwire balanced cable through conduit?

If we hardwire it, are we going to need some kind of signal treatment to get the signal that far? Once that’s resolved, what’s a typical set-up for the nursery?

Do you install a small rack-mount type mixer to give the nursery crew the ability to adjust the volume and play/mix CDs with the sanctuary feed?

Or just let them continue with small boom boxes for the lullaby music?

The benefit of your experience and insight would be most helpful. I’ve been around churches and involved in live sound for a while, but tending to the installed needs of a facility (that will be growing in the near future) is new for me.

Reply By Justin
We have a Mackie 32-2-2 console, and we have the mains going out of the XLR connectors, so what we do is plug a 1/2-inch send into one of the left or right 1/2-inch outputs.

We don’t pan things very much, so it doesn’t matter.

This send from the console goes to a low-watt amplifier that we used to use for monitors, and then it provides output to a loudspeaker in the nursery.

Reply By Dave
You could look into installing a 70-volt system – they can be quite inexpensive and have good expansion capability. This also means that you can give the nursery people volume control.

Look at the Rane Note about constant voltage distribution.

Reply By Tom Young
If you’re dealing with approximately 300 feet of cable distance, the best method is to use a balanced line-level signal either directly from the mixer or with a processor in between.

If there is no balancing device at the mixer end, then use an appropriate transformer to accomplish this. A mono source signal is appropriate.

In the nursery (and other secondary spaces) a 70-volt system is usually sufficient and the most affordable. Like everything else, you get what you pay for.

I would advise you to not get the bottom-of-the-barrel level of equipment. Get something in the middle price range. (Not available from Radio Shack or 98 percent of music stores.)

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