Welcome to our series…Church Launch Must-Haves! We are breaking down our previous blog post “7 Things Your Church Location Must Have If You Want A Successful Launch” to bring you further insight into the possibilities of a portable church.
In today’s post, we will be discussing the need for great audio and video technology during your church launch.
It doesn’t have to be hard
If you aren’t a ‘tech’ person, the thought of technology needed to run a church service on Sunday morning can be very daunting. The good news is…it doesn’t have to be! True, you will need a custom combination of speakers with the right coverage patterns and dispersion, projectors sized right based on screen size and lighting control, correct size screens to be viewed well anywhere in the room, wireless microphones that won’t encounter drop-outs due to competing frequencies in your region, and wires to connect everything. You may wonder how you can easily transport and set up all of this technology each week if you are in a portable church environment.
At Portable Church Industries, we make even the most complex of systems simple for volunteers to use. We design cases to house all of your equipment to ensure quick and safe storage. We also create systems that allow the fastest setup and teardown times possible.
There are many things to process when choosing a facility that works well for AVL and an AVL system that works well for your church. Here is a short list of things to be thinking about…
Have a tech person
Having a ‘tech’ person on staff or as a dedicated volunteer can help relieve the stress that sometimes inevitably comes with technology. If you’re just launching a church and planning for what equipment you want they can help you understand what you really need. It is also nice to have someone who understands all of your equipment so that they can troubleshoot during setup and teardown times. Finally, you want the individual who is running the soundboard to truly know what they are doing. In inexperienced hands, your technology could accidentally be damaged (and the message of the Gospel could get lost in layers of feedback).
Don’t have a great tech person in your church? No problem! Our Portable Church consultants have worked with numerous churches who didn’t have a ‘tech’ person on staff or working as a volunteer. We work with your entire team to design the best system with the right equipment for your church, and then we educate and train your team on the proper ways to run the systems.
Do it well
If you’re going to use audio and video technology, then use it well! Some people will argue that the church experience isn’t about ‘entertaining’ attendees. Others will argue that what you present is a reflection of how you value them. You don’t want to distract from the sermon because the slides do not match what the speaker is saying, or the wrong lyrics appear during the worship experience. If you are going to employ any tech, it needs to work well. And, everyone should be able to see and hear clearly from any seat in the sanctuary space.
Digital consoles are GREAT. However, it is important to be sure you have someone who is experienced in audio using it. If you are starting with someone completely new to audio technology, you may want to consider an analog board as they are easier to train on. When choosing digital, we strongly suggest using a console with a physical control surface. Having only wireless control (iPad, iPhone, etc) depends purely on wireless connectivity. If you had a signal interruption, you could lose control of your audio at any point in the service. The mixing “work-surface” on a tablet, with its limited size, can be difficult to navigate through multiple layers—Especially for a novice! iPad/Tablet control is great, but pairing it with a physical surface is best. Another great audio tip is remembering your system is only as good as your weakest component. An audio system that works and sounds right, helps keep your people focused on your message!
Be sure you have a bright crisp image. If you don’t have good control over the ambient light where your screen will be, you will have to increase the projector brightness which can quickly add to your costs. In portable environments, rear projection works best if you have the space behind the screen, as long-throw lenses are pricey and projectors sitting in the middle of the room are a hazard and look messy. Also, be sure to consider the size of the room to determine the correct screen size for good viewing and readability. People have screens around them at all times these days…which means that the expectations have changed. Choosing the right video components will limit distractions!
We are incredibly thankful for the development of LED lights. Lighting has always been one of the biggest power consumers, however with the advent of LED lighting and the progress made in the color spectrum, power is less of an issue. If you are about to begin a video venue, lighting at the Video Capture location normally has to be looked at differently in order to capture a great usable image in your broadcast location. Lighting isn’t always necessary, but it can certainly enhance your environments!
Want more tips and statistics on how to choose and use your church facility to its full potential? Download our FREE eBook, Choosing The Right Facility For Your Portable Church. Learn to avoid the mistakes that others have made and make your launch an enjoyable experience for everyone involved!