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Church Sound: Going With What You Know When The Pressure’s On

Stacking the odds in your favor from the outset

By Gary Zandstra April 26, 2012

Several years ago, I was invited to be a presenter at an audio industry trade show, and while there, I greatly enjoyed meeting some fellow presenters.

In fact, after the convention center hall closed, eight of us audio “geeks” went to enjoy dinner together, and it turned out to be a fun—and instructive—evening on many levels.

At one point, as we were seated around the table, someone in the group posed this hypothetical question: “If you got a call to do an event, had to be there in an hour, and weren’t told much of anything about the performers or performance, which microphones would you bring?”

This was quickly followed up with: “And oh, by the way, you’re limited to three models. Any manufacturer, but only three different models.”

I immediately jumped in with my take—a dozen dynamic vocal mics, a dozen dynamic instrument mics, and a dozen quality condenser mics. Everyone generally agreed.

Now, what models? This is where it got even more interesting, and more heated, as everyone weighed in with their views about which manufacturers and models were better—and why.

After about 20 minutes, someone suggested making a rule that we all, as a group, had to compromise and agree on the three models. (We also added a caveat that anyone who would not compromise would be on the hook for paying for dessert for the entire group.)

Now it got really interesting! I watched (and participated) as these audio professionals became amazing salesmen, trying their best to sell their particular microphone models.

Finally someone said, “Wait a minute—if we don’t really know what we’re going to be facing at the gig, and in our scenario here, we all must agree on this mics, then wouldn’t it make sense to pick ones we’re all familiar with?”

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About Gary

Gary Zandstra
Gary Zandstra

Consultant, Dan Vos Construction, Writer for Worship Facilities and ProSoundWeb
Gary Zandstra has worked in church production and as an AV systems integrator for more than 35 years. He’s also contributed numerous articles to ProSoundWeb over the past decade.


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