What's in this session?

  • The reason for bad sound in churches (11:05)
  • Universal benchmarks for quality sound design (13:05)
  • The first 3 things you should do when setting up sound at church (15:05)
  • The relationship dynamics between the sound tech and the worship leader(s) (18:50)
  • How to achieve a simple mix that sounds great (25:59)
  • Why you should never adjust the gain to control output volume (28:05)
  • Preferred microphones for live vocals (35:16)
  • The best digital mixer for the price (36:57)

Show notes and resources

3 Instant Takeaways

    1. What are the core tenets of good sound design? Kade says the most important thing is to understand what’s going on. If you’re not techie enough to understand your sound equipment, don’t mess with the defaults. Know the basics of EQ filters before you arbitrarily play with the settings. Hear some basic advice — including how to set your gain levels properly on every channel — in the podcast. Read more about EQ and gain settings on Kade’s site here here and here.
    2. Own your position as a sound tech. Sound techs should feel free to mix autonomously. It’s a craft of its own. But you should also be willing to accept input from the worship leader, who might understand nuances of the music in a different way. Sometimes sound issues aren’t even problems at your end -– it’s an instrument or mic problem from stage.
    3. What gear does Kade recommend? For mics he suggests the Shure SM58, the Sennheiser e835, or the Electro-Voice ND767A. For soundboards, he’s a big fan of the Behringer X32 Digital Mixer. He recommends this even if it’s more expensive than an analog board because you get way more features, compression and built-in effects. Today’s digital technology is vastly improved over a few years ago and you won’t lose any sound quality.

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