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Audio Solutions Question of the Week: How Should I Mike an Altar?

Question: How Should I Mike an Altar?

Answer: The altar is often seen as a centerpiece in houses of worship where certain stages of worship take place. It is important to have the area of an altar miked so the spoken word of the pastor and activity around the altar can be heard throughout the entire congregation. To begin, you must decide what options you have available in your house of worship as far as placing and mounting your mics around the altar. For this application, it is ideal to use either a hanging mic, like the U853PM, or a boundary mic, such as the ATW-T1006 or U851R.

If you decide to go with hanging mics to mike the altar, the U853PM would be an excellent choice. This cardioid condenser hanging microphone features UniGuard® RFI-shielding technology, which protects the microphone from radio frequency interference. It also comes with a wall/ceiling plate power module (AT8534) that is compatible with standard metal U.S. single-gang electrical boxes. This makes it easy to install, and provides you with a sleek, finished touch. The U853PM accepts interchangeable elements with choices of hypercardioid, omnidirectional, and UniLine® polar patterns. The UniSteep® filter provided on the power module enables steep low-frequency attenuation, which helps reduce unwanted noise such as HVAC rumble and outside traffic noise.

How to mike an altarA far as placement goes, these mics will need to be hung (you guessed it) above the altar! It is also important to keep in mind the 3:1 rule: The distance between mics should be at least three times the distance between the mic and the closest person speaking. The included steel hanger allows you to position the mic towards the altar with confidence and accuracy. Also, note that Audio-Technica does offer this microphone in white (U853PMW).

The boundary mic method may be a desirable choice for a house of worship that is unable to install hanging mics into the ceiling. This method is also useful for amplifying the sounds of any items on the altar, such as turning pages in a book, breaking bread, pouring wine, and so on. Detail in the audio quality makes it an enjoyable listening experience for the congregation. A few prime examples of microphones you may want to use would be the U851R and, if you decide to go wireless, the System 10 Pro ATW-T1006 transmitter.

The U851R includes some of the same features as the U853PM that we talked about previously, such as UniGuard, UniSteep and interchangeable elements, and has a PivotPoint® rotating output connector. Its heavy die-cast casing makes it incredibly durable as well. This microphone is also available in white (U851RW).

Need to be wire-free? The System 10 Pro ATW-T1006 transmitter offers the ease of going wireless without having to worry about any TV channel interference, as the system operates in the 2.4 GHz range. This microphone/transmitter utilizes 24-bit/48 kHz digital wireless operation, providing the listener with ultimate audio quality. It also has a gain control switch, allowing the selection of three input gain levels, as well as a switchable low-cut filter. Placing these mics on an altar makes installation and setup a breeze!

If you would like further assistance in selecting the right mics for your house of worship, please contact us in the Audio Solutions Department and we will be happy to assist you!