By Chris Huff • April 6, 2011 Photo by Watson Lu. This article is provided by Behind The Mixer. In a grand hall, a huge coliseum, and even a huge sanctuary, the more likely our mentality is “let’s do this the right way.” Running sound in large venues drives us towards excellence. Now what is your mentality in a very small room? If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself slipping into five pitfalls. Learn those pitfalls and how you can avoid them. 1. We don’t need no stinkin’ microphones The biggest pitfall in a small room is the lack of microphones. I’ve fallen into this thinking a few times myself. Each time, it revolved around one instrument; the piano. A small room, a grand piano…maybe a baby grand…lift the lid and let the music waft out…um, no. The problem with thinking that the piano doesn’t need a microphone is while it might sound pretty good during a practice, when the room fills with people, it can get lost. Use microphones on instruments no matter how small the room. You’ll be able to bring up the volume when it’s needed…and of course you can’t put an instrument into a monitor if it doesn’t have a mic! 2. Amp’s rule, boys drool Ok, I’ve been hanging around my 11-year old daughter a lot and her lingo is starting to wear off on me. In a small sanctuary, it’s easy to think that a guitar amp can fill the room with enough sound. While that can be true, there are two critical issues with this thinking; volume and direction. First off, if you allow an amp total control over the volume of the room, then you lose the ability to control the volume. As soon as the guitarist switches from pedal A to pedal B with 2x the volume, you’ll be suffering. The other issue is direction. Whoever is sitting in the sanctuary and is inline with the amp, is getting an earful of that instrument. There are a few things you can do; mic the amp while making sure the amp’s volume is low, use a line-out option on the amp, and point the amp up at the guitarist so that’s not directed at people in the congregation. The only exception to this is a bass amp. If the room is small, you might not need to mic it as long as you’ve got a good steady volume. But that’s another story. Read the rest of this post 1 2 About Chris Chris Huff Writer/Teacher/Author, BehindTheMixer.com Chris Huff is a long-time practitioner of church sound and writes at Behind The Mixer, covering topics ranging from audio fundamentals to dealing with musicians – and everything in between. Comments Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Tagged with: Audio Church Sound Live Microphones Mixers Poll Sound Reinforcement Technician Worship Audio · all topics Subscribe to Live Sound International Live Sound International brings you information on a wide range of pro audio topics. Stay up-to-date, get expert tips, industry news, new products and technologies delivered. Discover how to make smart use of today’s sound technology, Subscribe Today!