Have you ever worshiped in a facility where they had absolutely awesome equipment, but the sound system just didn’t sound like it should? It’s not always an issue of LOUDNESS; sometimes the speakers are tuned very well, but the way they interact with the surfaces in the room degrades the sound. Sure, they sound great up close because they’re not reflecting off of anything yet, but move around in the room and you’ll discover that they just don’t sound right in other places.
Perhaps the mix just wasn’t good, or maybe the loudspeaker system wasn’t tuned very well, but more than likely, it just wasn’t an acoustically pleasing room. Sometimes there’s a combination of all three of the above, but more often than not, acoustics are the last thing considered in a worship space. It’s a popular belief that good gear and good ears will overcome a bad room. Although quality equipment and an experienced mixing engineer can make a huge difference, if the room sounds bad inherently, then you’ll never overcome it without addressing acoustic issues.
Depending on the size and shape of your room, your worship style, floor, wall, and ceiling finishes, there are actually quite affordable ways to rid your congregation of nasty acoustic demons. Great professional solutions can be attained by engaging our partner Jeff Hedback, Principal of Hedback Designed Acoustics. Jeff has designed hundreds of spaces with tremendous results. Off-the-shelf acoustic treatment products from Auralex, Primacoustic, Perdue and others can be quite effective when used properly. Even if you can’t afford professionally manufactured products, that doesn’t mean you won’t have great success with cost-effective D.I.Y. solutions.
We started this conversation with the scenario of being in an acoustically bad space. But if you’ve ever been in a place that was designed from the ground up to sound good, or if the room shape and size was less than desirable but the problems were overcome with good acoustic treatment, then you know how much more pleasing that can be. Wherever you may be in your journey toward better sound, we encourage you to thoughtfully consider the importance of acoustics in your decision making.
Photos courtesy of Primacoustic.