A Brief Guide to Microphone Selection and Use for Places of Worship
The examples used in this guide are drawn largely from the worship situations most commonly encountered in the United States. We hope and trust that those of other religions and traditions will see the applicability of the described audio solutions to their particular situations and needs.
The ideal sound system in a place of worship should make speech and music clearly and comfortably audible, yet never draw attention to itself or its operation. Meeting these objectives can be a challenge, given the diverse requirements such systems are often asked to fulfill and the added frustration of dealing with difficult acoustic conditions. For although many worship spaces are visually impressive and excellent for music, their reverberation times may be long enough to "muddy" the sound, seriously reducing speech intelligibility. And reverberant environments tend to accentuate interference from distracting noises such as coughs, baby cries, rustling of pages and dropped hymn books.
Regardless of acoustic constraints, careful selection and application of both loudspeakers and microphones can go a long way toward achieving maximum clarity and overcoming auditory distractions with natural, easy-to-listen-to sound. Assistance in the art and science of loudspeaker selection and placement is available in many books and other resources. This guide is dedicated to helping you develop an ideal system through thoughtful selection and application of microphones and system accessories.
Some Basic Concepts
The Basic Sound System, Why Condenser Microphones, Why Unidirectional Microphones [ more ]
What to use for the following applications: Pulpit/Lectern, Choir, Clip-on, Handheld Vocal, Table or Altar, Group or Area, Baptistry or Baptismal Font [ more ]
Miking Musical Instruments
How to mic a Grand Piano, Upright Piano and Acoustic Guitars [ more ]
Some Useful Accessories
[ more ]