Architectural Acoustics & Sound Systems for Churches

Teaching the Bible's way for Church Sound excellence, every time.

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Archive for the ‘Church Acoustics’ Category

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Churches are not concert halls.

Posted by jdbsound on October 23, 2022


They are Supposed to be better!

What! Are Churches supposed to be better than concert halls?
That’s a joke, isn’t it? No, this is not a joke.

The world is at war with the church and followers of Christ. Like the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9, where the people scattered when they were given different languages, the same thing happens when attending a church where the acoustics and sound get in the way of hearing clear and unaltered speech and music. In studying an abundance of existing churches, it becomes clear that there is a direct correlation between acoustics, sound quality, congregational health, and attendance. It would be fair to say that this correlation is throughout church history.

Just as the serpent deceived Eve, the serpent has been using houses of worship as a battlefield in waging that war ever since. Throughout the Bible, there are hundreds of warnings of deception, liars, false teachers, gods, Baal, and other worship idols. Satan, the great deceiver, will do anything to keep people out of heaven and build up his own kingdom. Any person tricked or deceived out of choosing Jesus and the salvation message is being added to Satan’s domain. With Satan and all his forces against us, we need every tool possible to properly preach the full Gospel message.

Throughout the New Testament, there are many warnings and declarations of the importance of everyone understanding the full Gospel message. Here are some examples.
1 Corinthians 1:10-11, Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brothers and sisters, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.
1 Corinthians 11:17-19, Now in giving this next instruction I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better, but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. For there also have to be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.
2 Peter 2:1-2, But false prophets also appeared among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their indecent behavior, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;

In the past, churches have split because of issues such as the color of the pew Bibles, Hymnals, and whether to have wine or grape juice for communion. Likewise, a misunderstood word or phrase caused by sub-quality sound, regardless of being acoustical or amplified, can set people off as well, which has led to church splits. Just as words can bring people together, they can also set people against each other.
To that end, a church building is supposed to be a tool that doesn’t get in the way of hearing clear and unaltered speech. It is meant to be a safe place for the followers of Christ. It must have the right characteristics for the engagement of His people, to be participants in the whole worship, and for the preaching of the Gospel. For this reason, a church must outperform any secular concert and recital hall and all entertainment facilities at every level, period. However, it is not in the way most church people think.

The following is a walk-through explaining the differences between concert halls and entertainment facilities and how worship spaces are supposed to be unique in how they are to perform. It also includes a church sound standard lifted directly from the Bible. A standard about church acoustics, building design, and function, with a splash of the science that supports the scriptures. In studying and working with hundreds of churches over the last 40 years, the impact of upgrading a church Biblically has been a consistent result of increasing church attendance. These attendance increases have been consistent at every upgraded church from 5 to 25%, years later. Who knew that the Bible has so much to say about science, acoustics, human anatomy, and how it all works together.

Link to Full PDF Article https://www.jdbsound.com/art/churches%20are%20not%20concert%20halls%20final.pdf

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Generation of liers

Posted by jdbsound on May 16, 2022


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Another Successful Project following the Bible’s Method of managing Sound.

Posted by jdbsound on May 2, 2022


Excellent Acoustics on the first day of worship and every day after that!

Most acoustics treatments applied to churches fail to improve congregational singing.  Yes, adding enough of any acoustical product to a worship space will change how the room sounds, but in most cases, the change is exchanging one set of acoustics problems for another set of problems.  As a result, there is no real improvement in the overall quality of worship. 

When using the Biblical method of treating the acoustics of a worship space, not only is there an improvement, congregational singing is significantly enhanced.  In most churches that upgraded their sound the Biblical way, the audience participation often goes from less than 30% of the congregation signing to over 70% of the congregation singing within a few weeks after the worship space is upgraded.  This realizes a church attendance from 5 to 25% within the first year and higher attendance for years to come.  This improvement in attendance comes from making the room friendlier to anyone with hearing issues, which affects 8 to 25% of any population group.

Shantz Mennonite Church

Having any worship space enhanced with Biblical acoustics makes the room more accessible for everyone rather than just for younger people.  Here is an example of a brand new church where the song leader asked everyone to sing acapella during their first worship service.  Few churches begin with good sound on the first day and every following worship service.  Whether a new or existing church, bringing the sound performance level up to Biblical standards makes the performance of the worship space a room where people will want to worship in, rather than a place where people wonder if they can understand the whole message without playing it back later electronically. 

If you want to experience a great-sounding worship space, visit Shantz Mennonite Church in Baden, Ontario, Canada.  This is just the latest of the hundreds of churches that have managed their sound according to what the Bible teaches.  Sound in a worship space managed any other way comes up short of meeting the needs of any congregation. 

Here are more images of the church.

shantz mennonite church baden 1a copy

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Can Science Explain Everything?

Posted by jdbsound on April 28, 2022


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A Bible Story Parody

Posted by jdbsound on January 24, 2022


This is an updated version of this parody story originally published in 1990.

Enjoy.

A Bible Story Parody

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Flow Chart of the House of Worship God Designed for the best Sound and Acoustics

Posted by jdbsound on November 4, 2021


The path to the best sound and acoustics for a church can be found in the Bible. Who knew! Here is a printable version of the House of Worship flowchart. There are a number of updates, improvements, and, a bonus, the secret sauce recipe for church acoustics. All of it is based on the scriptures.

The flow chart is in two parts. The first part details the temple in terms of how every part of the building points to Jesus and Christians and how the Holy Place was a template for the modern church. This section can also be used as a Bible study or study guide for anyone interested in Solomon’s Temple.

The second part does a deep dive into the sound and acoustics side of the temple and how that translates into meeting the needs of modern churches.

The house of Worship that God designed solves the one problem most churches have – poor congregational singing. Studying this method of sound management for churches solves the congregational singing issue, and it removes most of the limiting factors that affect all sound systems. It seems that there is a symbiotic relationship between good congregational singing and amplified sound that was unknown until a Biblical solution to church sound management was applied.

There are many churches that have very high quality, and expensive sound systems that are performing well below their full potential, and most church owners don’t have a clue of either how much better their sound system should be performing or are unaware of how much unmanaged acoustic or the wrong kind of acoustical treatment is limiting what their sound systems could really do.

The other thing that must be made clear, no sound system or electronic technology can affect congregational singing. The only effective method of bringing good congregational signing into existing churches is by using the method found in the Bible. This method of managing church sound can be universally applied to all existing building shapes and designs, denominations, and all worship styles. Many pastors and church apologists often say that the scripture is sufficient in all things. Applying the Bible’s method to managing the acoustic of a church once again proves that such thinking is also applicable to the modern churches Christians around the worship own and use to worship God.

The file is large and can be printed into a 23-page document to be shared with others.

Flow Chart of Solomon’s Temple

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Passive verses Active Worship. Is there a difference?

Posted by jdbsound on October 8, 2021


Many people ask how the panels will look before hearing how they perform when it comes to managing the acoustic of a sanctuary for worship. Here is a short video comparing two acoustic treatments. One system comes from a non-Biblical solution that partially works and is very expensive. The other system comes from the Bible. It provides the proper acoustical conditions for worship every time and at a fraction of the cost. Our experience shows that most church members change their opinions on aesthetics when the acoustical fix does a great job of fixing the room.

Congregation members of most churches do agree with one idea. It seems that if the acoustic system fails at improving congregational singing, the panels on the wall have to look good as wall furniture. If the acoustic treatment improves all parts of worship, especially congregational singing, concerns about how the panels look melt away. The aesthetic issues disappear.

The half-round diffuser systems are also passive noise cancellers. If you have a noisy HVAC system, they can reduce noise up to 20dB at no extra cost without over-dampening or compromising the worship space acoustics.

If you have any questions or comments or want other subjects discussed, please post them below.

Phase Gradient Diffusers vs. Tube Radiators. Which gets better results. Church Acoustics

Passive worship is when people feel alone during congregational singing. Feeling alone prepares people for hearing a feel-good message, whether it is prosperity or a self-help gospel.

Active worship is when more than 60% of the congregation is actively singing all the time, and for some, sing the harmonies in the hymns. When there is active singing, it helps to unite people to hear the full Gospel message regardless of how strong that message is preached. Active worship often leads to a stronger church and people making long-term relationships.

The acoustical condition of a worship space is a very accurate measuring tool to determine the type of worship any church practices. A good-sounding worship space supports congregational singing and does a better job at supporting amplified speech with less sound equipment.

An under-performing worship space not only makes a room full of people feel like they are all alone, but it takes 3 to 4 times the audio equipment to get decent speech quality, and since less than 60 to 75% of the congregation is not singing, the excessive sound system is also used to entertain the congregation with worship teams and performance singers. What better way to end a long session of feel-good music to cap it off with a feel-good message. Here is an article that explains this more.

By Joseph De Buglio

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Church Acoustics is really simple.

Posted by jdbsound on September 24, 2021


At least according to the Bible.

Church sound is in a mess.  Many Christians are being denied true Biblical worship and they don’t even know it. There is an easy way to fix it, and the solution comes from the Bible. The following article covers many details on how the Church community has gotten itself into this mess and a proven solution from the Bible that works 100% of the time is shared in detail.

The article is 15 pages and is about a 30 minute read. If you want to just get to the recipe for the Bible’s solutions to ideal church acoustics, where you can upgrade any existing worship space, go to page 11. However, if you want to know what direction your church is going, and to understand how acoustics is changing church worship into church entertainment, there is an opportunity to reverse the decline, and to restore the kind of worship the bible describes from cover to cover.

PDF Article Link – Church Acoustics is really simple

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Bible Questions the Church Community is not answering.

Posted by jdbsound on July 31, 2021


Here are 27 questions for Biblical scholars, pastors, and experts to answer about Solomon’s Temple. Please ask your pastor and church leaders and see if they understand the purpose of these questions.

  1. There are carvings of palm trees on all the walls and doors in the temple.  Were these decorative, spiritual symbols, or was there a practical purpose for them?  1 Kings 6:29
  2. Why were there also carvings of Cherubs and open flowers?
  3. What was the purpose of these carvings on the doors to the Sanctuary and Holy of Holies?
  4. Was there any other purpose for the veil on the Sanctuary wall, in front of the entrance to the Holy of Holies?
  5. Is the height of the Holy Place or Sanctuary the ideal height for congregational singing?
  6. Are the floor dimensions of 60L x 30W feet or 2 to 1 ratio ideal for teaching and hearing?
  7. Do these dimensions offer the best conditions for hearing clear speech?
  8. Are the upper windows part of a method of controlling temperatures in the temple?
  9. What was the purpose of the gold on the floors of both the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place?
  10. What was the purpose of the gold on the side walls?
  11. Why were the walls and floor covered in gold, considering that no one other than the Levite priests was ever allowed to see the gold or to enter the temple?
  12. Why was cedar used under the gold on the walls?
  13. Why was Fir or Juniper wood used under the gold on the floors?
  14. Did the wood offer any thermal stability in the main building, considering that people cooked and slept in the chambers around the temple?
  15. Why was pure olive oil used for the oil lamps in the Holy Place / Sanctuary?
  16. Are the olive oil lamps a statement or example of being environmentally responsible?
  17. How much illumination did the 10 lampstands with 7 oil lamps provide?
  18. Would that be enough illumination to read scriptures before and after sunset?
  19. Would the design of the building using the outer rooms where each floor and roof sat on a ledge for each of the 3 levels, create an earthquake-resistant building?
  20. The total floor space of the temple is 9,156 sq feet.  The Sanctuary is 1800 sq feet.  That creates a space of 7,356 sq feet for a prayer room and storage rooms, which is about a 5 to 1 ratio for supportive space to the Sanctuary.  Why are modern churches always complaining of not having enough space?  Would following the Bible in this matter solve that problem?
  21. In Numbers 7:89, “Now when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim, so He spoke to him.”  Did this account of what happened to Moses set a precedence for how God would communicate to the Israelites after Moses was gone?
  22. If it does, consider this: The Holy of Holies was a cube, 30 x 30 x 30.  Such a room covered in gold would sound awful.  Conversation beyond 3 feet would be impossible if there was no acoustical treatment.  Would there have been the need for acoustical treatment in the Holy of Holies as the priest could not get any closer than about 12 feet from the Ark of the Covenant?
  23. Would the design of the temple be soundproof enough to be neighborhood-friendly by keeping worship noise in and city and traffic noise out?
  24. If John 1:3 is true, “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”, and King David said in 1 Chronicles 28:19, to Solomon that the hand of God was upon him in the designing of these patterns, then who is the true designer of Solomon’s Temple?
  25. When Jesus said about the laws and the prophets in Matthew 5:17 “I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.”  Does that include anything that Jesus designed in the Old Testament? Does this make Jesus Lord of the Worship Space? (how do you fulfill Solomon’s Temple in the New Testament?)
  26. Why don’t modern churches follow the Bible’s example of what seems to be the perfect worship space?
  27. Does acoustics affect how modern churches worship today?

Bible experts on Solomon’s Temple or Biblical Historians seem mute on answering these questions.  Why?  These are questions some Christians think about but never bother asking Biblical academia as they know they will not get any objective answers.  Also, some experts have a way of making you feel like you just asked a dumb or foolish question.  It is time for Christians to ask their pastors and church leaders to do the research for answers to these questions.  These are not spiritual questions, but knowing the answer could be a big help with solving many of the problems modern congregations have with their church buildings today.

Interestingly enough, there have been many times where from the pulpit, many ministers and clergy will say that everything we need as Christians come from God or something similar.  Why is it then that when it comes to church design, which includes sound and acoustics, we look elsewhere for the answers rather than use the example of what the Bible teaches?  Isn’t what Jesus designed good enough for us today?

If you know the answers to any of these questions, post your comments below.

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