Maybe this never happens at your church, but at ours, we regularly have people on stage being interviewed.
Sometimes they are telling their story, sometimes they are talking about or announcing a new ministry, other times they are reporting on an event or outreach we had.
The one thing all these people have in common is that they are not used to being in front of people, nor do they really know how to properly use a mic.
Added to that, they are rarely in the room early enough to get a good sound check on their mic.
This has been the case at almost every church I’ve been a part of, and as such, I’ve developed some ways to handle those times and make it work.
Now, in an ideal world, these guest speakers would arrive plenty early, we’d show them how to properly hold a mic, they’d talk at actual level and we could dial them right in.
Maybe you can get that to happen in your church (and if you do, would you mind writing a guest post explaining how you did, so we can enjoy that too?).
But chances are, your church is like mine and the first time you hear these folks on the mic is the first time the rest of the congregation does, too.
Check the Mic Anyway
We always line check our wireless, and when we have non-professional talent speaking into those mics, we make sure to hold the mic further away than we should.
That serves two purposes: First, you get the gain set correctly.
If you set it up when the mic is held right up to the chin, when the guest holds it mid-chest, you’ll be way too quiet. Second, it tells you if you’re going to deal with feedback.
If you do, ring it out. Give yourself as much gain before feedback as you can get. Make sure whoever is checking the mic tries speaking at loud and soft volumes so you know how it sounds. And you’ll know where to set the compressor threshold.
Chose Your Mic Carefully
We normally use Beta 87s for these interviews. Now some may disagree, but I find the Beta 87 a great announcement mic.
The pattern is pretty wide and as a condenser, it picks up well. The mic is very tolerant of bad mic technique, which these guests often have.
Because of our room and where the PA is located, I don’t have major issues with feedback.