Scenario: You’re the Worship Pastor of a large, rapidly growing contemporary church.
Your church has outgrown your current worship facilities and the board has chosen to move to a larger, pre-existing building.
This new worship space was not designed with acoustics in mind. This building has all the acoustical charm of a large metal box.
Question: Is it possible to achieve “good acoustics” without spending a fortune on renovations and equipment?
Answer: Yes, absolutely. It is possible to achieve “good acoustics” without spending a fortune. There are certain things that you need to consider:
• What will the space be used for? Acoustic standards vary greatly depending on the intended purpose of the space.
• How will the building will be finished? Room acoustics are primarily affected by room size & shape, ceiling height, parallel surfaces, furnishings and the number of people occupying the space.
Other things to consider are carpeting, wall hangings, ceiling tiles, etc.
• Will you be performing an acoustical analysis? An acoustical analysis performed by a competent audio consultant can help you to determine the acoustical state of your space and help you decide on the proper method of treatment.
• Will you be using acoustic treatment? You cannot eliminate the reverberations in a space, you can only control them.
Many people attempt to eliminate a poor acoustics by purchasing expensive gear and increasing volume. This always compounds the problem. The best, simplest and often cheapest fix is to use acoustic treatment.
Rule of Thumb: Generally, to achieve a 1.2 – 1.6 second reverberation decay, which is acceptable for spoken word and music generally found in the contemporary church, you must cover 25 – 30% of your vertical wall space with acoustic treatment.
Casey Watson is a Project Manager and Certified Church Consultant for Church Audio Video.
Church Audio Video specializes in the design, installation and support of high-quality and affordable custom audio, video, lighting, broadcast and control systems for worship facilities. For more information, visit their website.