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Church Sound: Gear Snobs

Never feel bad about choosing the best option for your church, even if it’s not what the "cool kids" are using...

By Mike Sessler January 5, 2017

This article is provided by ChurchTechArts.

 
Editor’s note: This one obviously goes back a few years, but the information is worthy of repeating.

Audio folks can be snobs when it comes to gear. But the reality is, we can’t always have our favorites.

Sometimes, it’s a simple budget issue. At Coast Hills (my church), we didn’t have the budget for Meyer Sound, d&b audiotechnik or L-Acoustics loudspeakers. If I had held out for those brands because they have more cachet, we would not have a new PA at all. The money is just not there.

But the church can afford Bose RoomMatch—and having heard it, and after some considerable evaluation, I’m convinced we haven’t sacrificed that much.

Is RoomMatch as good as some of the others? Maybe not. Will the average person notice a big difference between those two? Probably not. Will the average person notice the upgrade from what we had to RoomMatch? Absolutely. I’ll take that outcome over no change at all.

Be Open
Lighting folks can be snobs, too. Some will say, “If it’s not Varilite, it’s not in my rig.” Or Martin. Or High End. Or whatever.

In the past, we’ve rented about six VL2500s for Easter. They’re great fixtures, to be sure. But this year, we rented 18 Elation Platinum Spot 5R Pros. Are they as good of a fixture as the VL2500? Not really. The panning isn’t as smooth, the color mixing isn’t as nice and we had one go flaky on us. However, we made a bigger visual impact with 18 of them than we ever did with the six VLs for the same money.

And you know what? If I were buying moving head fixtures for Coast Hills, I would probably go with Elation. No, they’re not as rugged as a Varilite. But, we can afford more of them, and they would be fine for what we’d need them for.

Use What Fits
When I say “fits” I mean both budget and application. If you’re at a big church with big budgets and can afford the best gear, go for it. But if you’re at a smaller church with small budgets, don’t feel bad about going with brands with lower cool factor.


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About Mike

Mike Sessler
Mike Sessler

Project Lead at CCI Solutions
     
Mike has been involved with church sound and live production for more than 25 years, and is the author of the Church Tech Arts blog. Based in Nashville, he serves as project lead for CCI Solutions, which provides design-build production solutions for churches and other facilities.
http://churchtecharts.org

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