Church Acoustics & Sound Systems

Why is Church Sound and Acoustics so Confusing?

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    Churches are the most complicated spaces to tame. There are no short cuts to church sound. The information presented here just scratches the surface of how large rooms have layers of sound that creates either constructive or destructive reflections and energy management. Most of the information here is based on years of experience and thousands of hours studying, research and testing. Every church can have great acoustics and worship experience. Knowledge has taught us that whenever aesthetics is chosen over performance, the congregation loses out. Whenever worship space performance outweighs the aesthetics, everyone benefits.

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Posts Tagged ‘Toothbrush’

Stop Sharing your Toothbrush/Microphone

Posted by jdbsound on March 17, 2020

Back in 2006, I wrote this original article about how sharing microphones can pass on colds, flues and other illnesses. In 2009, the manufacturer, Point Source Audio asked to update the article to promote good microphone etiquette after the SARS in 2008. Now with Covid-19, this is another opportunity to educate people about how to better protect themselves from communicable infections.  Since Jan 12, 2020, thousands of people have read or downloaded the article.  I thought it was time to dust off the original post from 2006.

Here is a link to the original article. Personal Microphones as toothbrushes 2006
The footnotes are interesting. Here is an example. I can’t authenticate this clip, but it is a great story.

There was a story about Elvis when recording – all morning they did take after take, none sounded right. During lunch, someone pulled the windscreen off his special mic, rinsed it in the sink – to find a bunch of black junk coming out of it. Did that a few times, put it on a low-heat hair dryer, put it back on the mic. After lunch, Elvis “hit it” with just one take.
From Blake Engel, All Church Sound

*** UPDATE ***

I’ve mentioned on other posts about using plastic food wrap or balloons over microphone capsules and windscreens.  This idea only works great if the plastic is removed between the uses of a microphone.   Passing microphones around is not a good idea either.  If you can get a second mic, the better.

 

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Protecting your worship team, pastor and congregation from Covid-19. Update on sharing Microphones

Posted by jdbsound on March 8, 2020

Covid 19 is a new version of the Coronavirus that has gone from animals to humans.  It is so new that scientists are still scrambling to figure out how it spreads.  The speed of how fast it is spreading and the fatality rate is still changing. How do you protect yourself from such an awful series of events?

When people who were isolated on a cruise ship were getting the virus, did they already have it, or was it being spread around by the ships’ ventilation system?  It makes you wonder.  The reason for raising the alarm is because, in churches, we share microphones, and microphones are a way to spread around harmful bacteria, common cold, and the flu.  Since Covid-19 can remain active for hours or days, depending on the type of surface it lands on, sharing a microphone can be as bad as sharing a toothbrush.

I’ve written in the past that worship leaders and pastors if they can afford it, they should own their own microphones and take personal responsibility for the cleaning and care of their microphones.  The reality, most churches can’t afford to buy microphones for every person who uses one.  With a virus that is spreading around so fast, it would be easy for a person to spray moisture onto a microphone, pass it on to another person and if that person inhales without moving the mic away, could they get the virus?  While the possibility seems remote, until we know everything about Covid-19, until there is a vaccine for it, we can still take precautions to prevent or slow down the spread.

Here is what we do know.  If you have gotten the annual flu shot, it may not protect you from Covid-19, but if you don’t have the flu or cold, if you get Covid-19, your chances of living through it is 100% unless you have other illnesses at the time you get it.  Getting the flu shot, even now, will most like you allow you to live through getting Covid-19 if you were to get it.  Cleaning hands often and not touching your face is always good advice.  Sprays or hand sanitizers with 70% alcohol will kill the virus.  Wearing a mask without goggles won’t help because the virus can enter through your eyes.

Cleaning a microphone can be an issue. How do you clean them?  One option is to do what hospitals do.  Hospitals use high levels of UV light to disinfect germs, bacteria, and viruses.  The UV light is used to kill everything contagious, including superbugs—specifically, ultraviolet light called UV-C.  There are several products available to use.  Ultraviolet can be harmful to humans if you are exposed to it too long.

The suggestion here is to make a wooden box large enough for all of the microphones and cables used during a worship service.  Line the inside of the box with tin foil, mirrors or reflective metal.  Install a UV-C light inside the box.  Generally, a 25 to 35watt lamp should do. You should also have a timer for the light.   At the end of the service, have the performers and pastor place all of their microphones and cables in the box.  Add the wireless microphones after removing the batteries as well.  If you have to handle them, wear gloves. If the pile is more than 3 cables deep, have more boxes, make a larger box or clean in batches.  Put the cables on the bottom and microphones on top. You can also put in any hearing-impaired headsets and earbuds in the box too. Anything that people share should be cleaned this way.

According to what hospitals do, they sterilize this way for 30 minutes.  The cost of making a clean box with the right type of UV lamp (UV-C) and a timer should be less than $150.00.  That is a small price to pay to keep people safe. Even if Covid-19 doesn’t come to your church, this is still a good practice to prevent colds, flues, and bacteria from giving other church members an unwanted present.

Here is a link to my original article about sharing toothbrushes in worship service in 2012. https://churchacousticsandsoundsystems.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/microphones-are-hazardous-to-your-health.pdf

*** UPDATE ***
I’ve mentioned on other posts about using plastic food wrap or balloons over microphone capsules and windscreens. This idea only works great if the plastic is removed between the uses of a microphone. Passing microphones around is not a good idea either. If you can get a second mic, the better.

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