Sound Reinforcement Systems: Research Key to Matching Needs to Space

For churches, a problem often can arise from the thought that in areas where there are dead spots, to "just put some speakers in this spot to fill in the lack of volume."

Sound Reinforcement Systems: Research Key to Matching Needs to Space
The placement of speakers is key to the overall design and the integrator should give you drawings that show placement and coverage.
Sound Reinforcement Systems: Research Key to Matching Needs to Space
The placement of speakers is key to the overall design and the integrator should give you drawings that show placement and coverage.

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Technology Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, November-December 2017
The November-December 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a review of the 49 New Product Award entries this year, as well as those entries up for Solomon Awards in 2017.
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In its simplest form, a sound reinforcement system is a just a series of components that amplifies sounds louder and may distribute that louder sound to a larger or more distant audience.

At a minimum, a design should include the type of speakers, the placement of those speakers, and coverage of those speakers in that space.

Within churches, I think this is where the problem exists, when they think about sound reinforcement systems. Many often come to think, ”Well, I can’t hear here, so let’s just put some speakers in this spot to fill in the lack of volume.” In truth, there is a lot more involved than just putting speakers in random locations.  This is where a trusted experienced integration company would come into play.

Integrators should be a church’s resource to help accomplish this task. A good integrator should have the correct assets to create documentation that show a design layout for that room. At a minimum, this design should include the type of speakers, the placement of those speakers, and coverage of those speakers in that space.

The type of speakers is important in several different aspects. First, this will impact cost, and this is something that usually weighs heavily on a budget. This will also affect the placement and coverage. It is usually true that the more expensive the speaker, the better it tends to be, even if it not always the case. This selection will also affect the sound quality of what will be heard throughout the space. What should also be considered when selecting speakers for your worship space, is knowing what they will be used for. Is this type of church really worship driven, and therefore needs to have a really musical system, or is this type of church that is more spoken word driven? This can really help decide the overall selection and design of the space.

The placement of speakers is key to the overall design and the integrator should give you drawings that show placement and coverage. They should be able to create your space in a 3D environment and show the correct placement of your selected speakers. This should include height, angle, number of speakers, and locations. This will affect the coverage of the room. The integrator should also show you vertical and horizontal coverage throughout the space. This coverage should include the number of decibels throughout the space. This means that they should be able to tell you, for example, that at this seating area it should be able to get this loud. You want to be able to see no higher than plus or minus 1 to 2 decibels, from both left and right to front to back. This documentation should show an even coverage throughout the space.


More About David Bonilla
David Bonilla was born in Bridgeport, Conn., and was raised in Orlando, Fla. He's been a pastor's kid all his life. David started doing sound at his father's church at the age of 12. In 2004, he began to pursue a degree in communications at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla., graduating in 2009 with a Bachelors in Communication-Broadcasting degree. During his time at the school, he became the university's audio director, where his passion for audio grew. Shortly thereafter, he began working for a production company called Mabe Production and Installation in Lakeland, where he was the production supervisor and toured all over the United States. In 2010, he moved to San Antonio, Texas, to follow God's call and became the Audio Director of Westover Hills Assembly of God. From there, he worked and lived in St. Louis for three years, serving as the technical director for Church on the Rock. There he was in charge of all production needs for services. Recently, he returned to Lakeland, Fla., to once again work at Mabe Production & Installation, this time as the production manager. He lives in Orlando, Fla., and has been married seven years to his wife, Melissa, and has a daughter named Zariah.
Get in Touch: david@mabepro.com    More by David Bonilla

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, November-December 2017
The November-December 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a review of the 49 New Product Award entries this year, as well as those entries up for Solomon Awards in 2017.


Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Team Management · Budgeting · 3D Environment · Budget · Components · Coverage · Designs · Drawings · All Topics

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