Study Hall

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Going Cellular: Call-In Connectivity For The Entire Church Congregation

Looking at two products offering congregations the ability to create a call-in radio ministry with live phone calls during worship services.

There are plenty of routing options. The pastor is free to wander around the platform, with the cellphone sitting on the podium (lectern), plugged into the interface box. It’s a really simple configuration.

The Daptor Two also includes 1/4-inch input and output jacks; however, using them disconnects the XLR jacks. As always, I would typically use XLR connections to hook up to a stage box – balanced is always better. But the 1/4-inch phone jacks are there if needed in a pinch.

But what about going wireless with a Bluetooth connection? And how about adding a blend control and headphone monitoring for live webcast streaming and/or recording audio for a YouTube channel?

Hello BlueKeeper, a wireless audio gateway that’s basically a compact Bluetooth cellphone mixer that includes a Pair/Call button, a Drop button to hang up, direct inputs from an XLR, and a Blend control to adjust local and remote levels sent to an XLR output. Additionally, it has a stereo 1/8-inch feed that can be used to keep the two audio paths separate during recording. This allows you to process the local and remote audio separately in post-production, adjusting levels and correcting noise problems as need be.

Note that BlueKeeper is an active box that needs 9 volts of DC power, and there are knobs to adjust, so this isn’t something to be handed to an untrained user and expecting it to go perfectly. However, with just a few adjustments, I was able to do live webinar call-ins from my desk and produce several YouTube videos with call-in audio as good as any national radio show. It really sounds great with my vintage Shure SM7 vocal microphone.

Front and back panel views of the BlueKeeper active box.

Making The Choice

Which of these devices is best for your particular worship services? If the goal is to put a live remote cellphone interface on the lecturn that’s easy to use (i.e., no knobs or switches that could be misadjusted during a live worship service), then the Daptor Two is the way to go. There are no batteries or power supply to deal with and the technician at the console has complete control of the incoming and outgoing audio.

However, if the objective is desktop production of worship services for the internet done with the convenience of Bluetooth in a remote box with headphone level and balance controls, then the BlueKeeper is the choice.

Either way, consider the possibilities of adding live phone calls for your worship services, online streams, and/or productions. It’s a great way to enhance community and connectivity.

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