Sound quality can be drastically improved by incorporating one thing: compromise.
No, it’s not a dirty word. Without it marriages fall apart, friendships fade, churches split and wars are waged.
Of course some things are not open to compromise, but in most cases we can’t live without it.
One of the biggest challenges to getting quality sound in a church is getting the sound department and music staff to compromise.
Some sound people are unwilling to change and feel they have nothing new to learn. You may hear them say, “I’ve done it this way for 20 years and never had a problem until ‘so and so’ showed up.”
Too often, musicians and singers have similar feelings: “I’ve held the microphone this way since I was 5 years old and I’m not about to change now.”
There is one factor that will not compromise: the laws of physics. The laws of physics are inflexible and do not respond to flattery. They don’t care. The laws of physics just are.
Unfortunately, we will never have perfect acoustics, perfect sound systems, perfect worship teams or sound departments. So compromise must come from somewhere else, and whether we like it or not – it’s up to us.
Respecting the laws of physics, we – sound team, worship team, musicians – all must compromise to produce the results we desire.
Singers might have to do with a little less monitor from time to time, and they might – gasp – even have to re-learn how to hold a microphone.
The keyboardist might need to use a different sound that fits better with the rest of the instruments.
The choir director might need to arrange the choir’s positioning behind the microphones differently to get additional (and necessary) volume in the sound system.
And the sound operator might need to compromise with all of these individuals and elements and more, in addition to also compromising on things like volume levels in consideration of the congregation.
Let’s remember our purpose. When we diminish our own preferences and keep our focus on God, good things happen!
Keep that in mind and it’s a lot easier to compromise, making it far more possible to dramatically improve the sound quality in our churches.
Without spending a dime.
Jeff Lange has assisted many churches internationally in designing audio/visual systems that are tailored to the needs a church worship service. A consultant and trainer for Sonic Art, LLC, he is frequently called upon to assist in identifying and resolving audio/visual problems due to system and/or acoustic challenges, and he also serves as a consultant liaison and training manager for Aviom.