3 Tips to Getting The Most From A Volunteer Sound Engineer

Get More Than What You Pay For From Your Volunteer Sound Engineer

Getting great sound out of your church or non-profit group’s PA system is critical to keeping your listeners happy- and to getting your message across loud and clear!

But it’s important to remember that your sound engineer  is often a volunteer or a part-time professional.

Here are 3 tips to getting top performance out of your volunteer sound engineer – and make listening a pleasure for everyone!

1. Pick A Volunteer Sound Engineer With a Good Ear

Even the most straightforward sound system requires a sound engineer who is dependable, cooperative and has a “good ear”.

Ideally he or she should be knowledgeable about overall sound operation, and familiar with your particular sound system’s technical strengths and limitations.

Ultimately the person who operates your sound board can – quite literally – make or break or your system.

2. Don’t Skip the Sound Check!

Rehearsals are great opportunities to chart settings for use during the live performance.

Your volunteer sound engineer should plan to be present during rehearsals of the choir, instrumentalists, orchestra or drama group.

If it’s not possible for your sound engineer to attend rehearsals, even a cursory check of the PA system can help to avoid unpleasant surprises later.

Your sound engineer should perform a  sound check by doing a walk through with a colleague and/or by using a decibel meter. Remember, sound-checks should be made before an event actually begins – especially when your engineer is new to the venue.

In addition, as part of the process of rehearsal, all equipment should be tested at least once!

Your engineer should also be prepared to readjust settings during a live performance.

A sound engineer should already know that the number of congregants in attendance at a church service, and where they are sitting, will directly affect loudness. Spotters in the audience can help fine tune the system.

3. Prepare For Your Limitations

At all times remember that your sound board operator should be familiar with a sound system’s limitations.

Even a sound system that’s not state-of-the-art can perform well if it’s not pushed beyond its limits.

An underpowered PA system, for example,  will still sound fine as long as the engineer knows to rein in the volume before clipping starts.

Finally, in spite of the venue being a house of worship, both the congregation and the religious leaders should understand that the engineer – even a professional – cannot always perform miracles.

Need Help Choosing a Sound System That’s Right for You?

Call 1-800-263-0112 or email us if you have any questions about which sound systems are the best choice for your house of worship.