What Is The Best Spot For A Church Sound Mixer?
Due to the size of the audio mixer, many churches try to place their audio mixer off in the wings or up in a balcony. When you place it far from the center of the room, the person controlling the mixer does not hear the same sound as the rest of the church. The best spot is near the center of the main floor.
Sound Mixers Should Be Placed on the Main Floor
The best place to position the sound mixer is the main floor, centered near the back third of the room. The person manning the audio mixer needs to hear the sound from the same location as the parishioners.
The person in charge of the audio needs to make choices about the balance of instruments and vocals. They also need to check the volume and tweak various settings. These tasks are difficult to complete when you are not in the same location as the people hearing the audio.
For example, if the audio mixer is far away from the congregation, the person controlling the mixer may let the volume get too loud. Your church members may get annoyed at the louder volumes.
If the audio mixer is off to one side, the sound may come out unbalanced. It may be louder on one side of the room and quieter on the other.
Basically, the sound engineer needs a direct line of sight to the main speakers. If he or she is not centered, the sound that they hear is reflected off the floor, ceiling, and walls. It is not the same sound that everyone else hears.
It may also be important for the sound engineer to see the pulpit. They may need to make changes to the audio at specific points during the church service. For example, if they need to wait for a cue to switch to a pre-recorded audio track, they need to be located where they can see the cue.
Wireless Control a Sound Mixer from Any Location
While the main floor is the best spot for a sound mixer, there are a few exceptions. Some models of digital mixers include wireless control through mobile apps on smartphones or tablets.
The sound engineer can stand on the main floor and hear the same sounds as everyone else while remotely controlling the soundboard. This provides additional options for positioning the sound equipment.
Instead of placing the sound mixer in a noticeable area, you can position almost anywhere. However, the mobile application may not provide access to all the features found on the digital mixer. If you need complete control over the sound, you may still need to physically access the soundboard.
The wireless control is best suited for smaller churches that do not have the space to set up a sound booth on the main floor. You can place the sound mixer off to the side or in a discreet spot.
You may also need to spend a little more time getting the sound right, from traveling back and forth from the mixer location to the center of the floor.
Headphones are occasionally used when the audio mixer is not located in an optimal spot. Unfortunately, headphones cannot reproduce the exact sound that you hear from the middle of the room. Subtle differences in balance and reverberation may not be noticeable through the headphones.
Build a Booth to Help Conceal the Equipment
Some churches try to hide the audio mixer in the wings or the balcony, which are not ideal spots for the mixer. With a sound booth, you can still place the sound mixer on the main floor without creating a mess of sound equipment in the center of the room.
A basic sound booth can be constructed about two-thirds of the way from the front of the pulpit or stage area. Unfortunately, you may not be able to build it in the center, as it may block the aisle.
It is also difficult to position equipment in one of the rows, as the pews may not provide a lot of room. The best option may be to build it in the back of the room, close to the center.
To help the person manning the sound mixer hear the sound accurately, consider installing a loudspeaker just above the sound booth. It should be set with a slight delay and lower volume.
Another solution for helping the sound engineer hear the sound properly is to raise the height of the sound booth. Positioning the booth to the same height as the stage should also provide a better line of sight to the pulpit.
The rest of your equipment may not need to be placed in the open. Many churches hide their wiring and cables under the floorboards and through the walls or ceiling. Sound boxes can also be used to help keep cables from cluttering the stage.
Finding the right spot for your sound mixer is not always easy. You need to consider the size of the equipment and the size of your church.
In a smaller church, you can place the audio mixer almost anywhere and get a good reading on the sound levels. You may even use a wireless app to listen to the audio from the center of the room.
In a large room, the person controlling the audio mixer may not hear the sound properly if they are positioned off the side or up in a balcony. While there are wireless controls for some mixers, the wireless apps may not provide access to all the audio controls.
In the end, the best spot for the audio mixer is toward the back of the room. It should also be centered. Unfortunately, the ideal spot is not an option for most churches. The cumbersome equipment may not fit between the pews. In this case, place it toward the back and use a loudspeaker to help the sound engineer hear what everyone else is hearing.