Your Worship Audio
“Today, Bose is broadening our product portfolio to accommodate more worship scenarios,” said Kyle Sullivan, Manager, Global Marketing Communications for Bose. “It’s more than just great products. It’s really about stepping along this journey that you, as worship pastors, are going through and talking with you and working with you on your audio situation, your problems and your opportunities to improve your worship through audio.”
On the latest episode of the Bose Church Podcast, President of The Newfound Group Don Allensworth and Sullivan joined host Tyler Kern to demystify audio for houses of worship, providing key insights and solutions for making the final worship product as impactful as possible.
Frame of Mind
The largest foundational piece of perfecting worship audio is simple. Instead of taking “someone else’s best option,” Allensworth said, and applying it to a house of worship’s unique situation, take the time to ensure a solution is crafted that best fits individual needs, challenges and goals.
“Always ask, ‘Why is this best for us?’ We’ve got to be need-based,” Allensworth said. “We need to ask the right questions, start with the right mindset, and start with the right outcome in mind.”
It’s also important, Allensworth said, to focus on the “why” of your church’s need, not the “how.” Though audio solutions are critical to delivering your message, technology shouldn’t get in the way—it should enhance your congregation’s shared experience.
“Quite honestly, the ultimate goal for churches is to connect people in worship and to compel them with spoken word, right? … If we’re not careful, technology can get in the way,” Allensworth said. “The goal is to get it as right as we can with the resources we have available. You can’t afford to get it right the third time.”
Assessing Your Situation
In this quest to get your worship audio right the first time, there are a variety of considerations that can help guide that journey.
Your Physical Facility
It’s clear that, to understand your unique needs, you have to understand the physical space in which your worship will take place.
That means asking key questions about the makeup of that space, including how you’d best describe it, any problem areas you’ve, any complaints you’ve received (both “too loud” and “too quiet”) and how the surfaces in the space, such as hard flooring, could affect acoustic performance.
“We need to understand our physical facility, the things we can address, and the things we have to work through,” Allensworth said. “We need to identify [problem areas] up front. That’s important.”
Dovetailing off of defining your physical space, you’ll also need to account for the size of the room compared to how full it typically is during service. The amount of people in a space can drastically affect how an audio experience is perceived.
Once your space has been thoroughly studied, it’s time to develop a plan that matches the type or style of worship your congregation will engage in. Is it high-energy, or simpler in execution? What instrumentation will be used, and how will all those instruments blend and coexist to produce a quality final product?
Different solutions best support different forms of worship. It’s helpful to break it down into three distinct types: modern, traditional and blended. Often, your church might participate in several types at different moments—that can be planned for, as well.
Each comes with its own set of requirements and challenges, though they can be addressed with understanding and careful planning.
Portable vs. Fixed
Are you currently portable? Do you plan to stay that way? If not, can the tech you currently have support a move to a fixed location when you’re ready to take that leap?
These are all key questions that need clear answers. Your worship audio solutions should provide the right amount of flexibility and durability for your unique needs.
“If it’s portable, you’ve got to think about setup and teardown and storage and longevity,” Allensworth said. “How much abuse can this gear take? How is it wired? That durability factor is very important.”
“There are a lot of tools out there to help pastors and church leadership get started,” Allensworth said. “It can be daunting. One of the things I would say is that Bose has been really good this last year [at designing and modeling spaces. …
“I’m really impressed with the tools that the Bose team has, and I really encourage pastors to start there.”
In addition to thorough modeling and prediction services that help churches plan effectively—and sometimes even hear a forecasted result—prior to making a significant audio investment, Bose offers a variety of solutions aimed at producing the perfect worship audio.
To learn more about how innovation can help support inspiration and allow you to produce shared worship experiences that capture the heart, visit our places of worship page.