5 Tips for Optimal Mix Position in Churches

Because bad sound won't help attendance.

5 Tips for Optimal Mix Position in Churches

The mix position is critical in the house of worship setting, but all too often it’s overlooked.

I have seen many house of worship system installations and am shocked to see where some of these churches have decided to put their mix position.

Technology is not welcomed in many churches. Some congregations feel the need to keep technology completely out of sight, even if that means it’s in a side closet, behind a glass wall, in the basement, or even down the hall.

My church opted to have its mix position in a side room. Originally, a mirror was used through a tiny window to see what was going on during the service. The set-up was so bad the sound engineer eventually tried putting a camera outside to help him view the service.

Microphones were constantly turned on too late and sound levels were all over the place. Being off on the side of the stage posed several other problems that could not be remedied without moving the position.

There are a couple of things churches and integrators need to keep in mind for optimal audio:

Sound Engineers Must Have Clear Stage Views: It’s important to place the mix position in a location where the sound engineer will best hear the mix. A good position is 2/3s of the way back. It’s important the sound engineer has an unobstructed view of the stage/chancel area at all times. Anything in front of the mix location could distract the sound engineer and result in a missed cue.

Corners, Back Rooms Present Challenges: Placing a mix position in the back can help keep it out of sight, but this can cause headaches for the sound engineer. The scenario is especially true when the mix position is directly in front of a rear wall.

Integrators must always keep in mind how the acoustics of a room can affect the mix position. Bass will sound louder in the back of a room and standing waves may accord in corners.

Due to the acoustical problems with this location, I wouldn’t suggest this as a good mix position. It’s important to share these things with the pastor, board and any others who may be making the placement decision.

Refrain From Booth-type Rooms: Running sound within a room is a real no-no. The audio will be completely different, and it will be extremely hard to get the correct sound levels and equalization. Even with a sliding window, there are a number of acoustical problems that will occur and defeat having the mix position.

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Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.

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