Church Sound System Installation
Our senior sound engineer has over 30 years experience operating and installing church sound systems, and trains church members to operate their own churches sound systems.
Based in Droitwich Worcestershire, examples of how We have previously helped churches include:
- Choosing the correct microphones
- Training volunteers in using their churches sound system
- Problem diagnosis and resolution with existing sound systems
- Hearing Loop Installation and repair
- Sound system design and installation
- Church Audio Visual Systems
Read past reviews here
Church sound systems take many forms, from sound reinforcement systems to complete audio visual systems.
Church buildings also vary and include traditional church or chapel designs, modern buildings designed with amplification in mind, and school halls or converted industrial units.
Church Sound System Installation
MPB Sound and Light provide a complete sound system installation service.This includes
- A site visit and sound system proposal
- Sourcing and installation of equipment
- Provision of training for your operators or church wardens in how to use the sound system
In order to better understand your requirements we prefer to meet you on-site at the church to discuss the requirements for your church sound system.
We will discuss the options available and an overview of how we can meet your requirements, and any restrictions that might apply in listed buildings etc. If there are any options which we are aware of that might benefit your congregation then these will also be discussed with you.
Then the formal detailed proposal will be written by our engineers and provided to you for consideration.
Once you have accepted our installation proposal a target date for installation of your church sound system can be agreed.
We recognise that unexpected funerals and regular commitments can alter the actual days available for installation, and therefore we try to be as flexible as possible
At least one training session will be provided as part of our installation service, additional later training sessions for new operators can be arranged if required for an additional fee
How long will it take?
- Phase 1 is putting cables and speakers in place.
- Phase 2 is equipment installation and testing.
- Phase 3 is when fine tuning and training takes place.
The process of laying and routing sound cables in church buildings is very time consuming. It makes sense to lay cables for extra microphones, projectors and audio monitors at the same time as your church sound system installation. Even if they are not going to be used right now.
The sound system installation can take from a few days to a few weeks depending on the size of church.
We normally ask for a week to complete an installation. During this time it may be necessary to bring in scaffolding or other access equipment.
There will be times where access by the public will be limited for health and safety reasons.
All our installation work is backed by a 12 month guarantee. If equipment fails within 28 days then it will be replaced with a new item. Within 28 days we would carry out the replacement free of charge
If equipment fails within 12 months then it will be replaced under manufacturers warranty. A charge for labour or transport may be made.
If the manufacturer can prove that the damage was caused wilful neglect or improper use of the equipment, a repair/replacement charge may apply, particularly in the case of damaged speakers.
During the settling in period we will be available to answer your questions and give advice. We can also come back and meet you free of charge, subject to other commitments at the time.
Advice for church sound systems based on previous installations
Choosing the right kind of mixer for churches
If you do not have anyone to operate your system during services and it has to be switched on before and after use then a simple "in-line" mixer could be a good choice.
The picture to the left shows a simple mixer in a pre-existing church cupboard.
Where there is not always an operator for the sound system a smart mixer that automatically detects the volume levels from each microphone makes an even better choice .
The lower picture was taken on another of our installations.
The church wanted to be able to hold conferences and events, and therefore their sound desk has 24 microphone inputs, and inputs for video playback.
The wooden desk was built by a specialist Church AV manufacturer
Choosing the right kind of church microphone
The best microphones for use with lecterns are high quality condenser microphones on flexible stems (Gooseneck microphones) .
An example of a gooseneck microphone is shown in the picture to the left.
Condenser microphones require a power source, either from your mixer (known as phantom power and supplied via the mic cable), or an external supply.
Condenser microphones are much more sensitive than dynamic microphones which makes them better for use in Church.
We have had churches using older less sensitive dynamic mics who found they interfere with hearing loops, producing a high pitched whistle.
Choosing a wireless microphone system for church
Quality Hand Held wireless mics are less prone to feedback than lapel mics. They rely on being held correctly or a correctly positioned microphone stand.
Lapel microphones are very common and if the wearer has a suitable collar or tie they can be quite effective. The antenna and thin microphone cable require gentle usage. If the wearer turns their head away the sound quality will drop.
You can only use between 3 and 4 licence free analogue radio microphone systems at the same time.
A licensed system can have up to 12 microphones at the same time.
It is worth investing in Duracell Industrial AA batteries for your church sound system. With good quality equipment and antenna placement you can expect to get 8 services to a set of batteries.
hearing loop systems for churches
The purpose of a hearing loop system (or induction loop) is to provide a signal that can be picked up by any hearing aid equipped with a telephone pick-up.
Under the Equality Act of 2010 you are required to make "reasonable adjustments" so that your service is accessible to people with disabilities, and this includes hearing loss.
Hearing loops in churches can be run at ground level (which is easier to install) or around the wall plate (out of sight but takes longer).
Hearing loops must be fed from a sound system for the best quality sound.
A Church hearing loop system provides hearing aid users within your congregation with these benefits:
- Speech is sent directly to hearing aids reducing the background noise.
- Hearing aids enhance the sound using the individual settings prescribed by the wearers audiologist.
- This helps hearing aid wearers to feel fully included in church services.
The Equality Act of 2010 requires churches (and other public meetings) to make your service is accessible to people with hearing loss.
Please note: The fitting of a Telecoil pick-up is only optional, some hearing aids do not have that facility and will not work with a hearing loop
Even if your church is too small for a sound system it may benefit from a hearing loop. We have successfully installed such loops in a number of small churches.
The quality of a church hearing loop is very dependent on the following:
- The age of the sound system and hearing loop equipment
- The correct choice of hearing loop cable
- How the loop cable is installed.
- Signal Strength
- Microphone quality
- Electrical interference from lighting and thermostats
We recommend controlling the volume of speakers independently from the volume of your hearing loop
Exemption from VAT on Hearing loop systemsIf your church is a registered charity, they can complete a VAT exemption declaration.
- The equipment must be paid for out of charitable funds.
- This must be the first time you have had a hearing loop installed.
- VAT Relief only applies to the equipment required solely to provide the hearing loop.
- Any associated sound system or AV equipment is subject to VAT.
Hearing Loop Technology
Telephones used to have small speakers in the handset. This produced a tiny magnetic field that could be picked up by a hearing aid fitted with a telecoil.
On modern digital hearing aids the telecoil is optional, but must be included for use with induction loop systems.
An audio frequency induction loop amplifier uses a loop of wire to create a magnetic field. This magnetic field broadcasts a sound signal to each hearing aid. The signal is not affected by Wi-Fi or Mobile Phones.
The range of induction loops is set by the size of the loop, the bigger the loop required the more powerful the amplifier must be.
Loop efficiency can be increased by having a series of loops rather than a single large loop.
Hearing Loop Installation
The installation of hearing loop systems is covered by IEC 60118-4: 2006, which lays down the British standards.
We have installed induction loop systems in a large number of locations. You do not need to have a sound system with loudspeakers in order to install a hearing loop. A loop just needs a microphone and a hearing loop amplifier.
It is important to use the correct kind of loop cable to form the 'loop'. Every hearing loop system must be correctly installed and calibrated. The cable used must measure the correct resistance and have the correct current capacity.
Loop equipment can be damaged by badly installed loop cable
Calibration and Testing and repairA hearing loop should be regularly checked to make sure that it is working effectively. This could be as simple as using a portable loop listener to check your loop and keeping your own records.
If you would like your existing hearing loop system checked then please ask us to come and test your hearing loop. The process takes 30 to 45 minutes.
We will check that your loop system meets IEC 601118-4 and listen to the audio quality throughout the area to be covered by your system.
We will give you a report detailing our findings and any recommendations we may have for your hearing loop. If necessary we can arrange to repair your system.
Wireless hearing systemsIf it is not possible to install a hearing loop, there are wireless alternatives.
Wireless assisted hearing systems require personal receivers to be provided for each user.
The receivers either use Infra red or a wireless microphone channel to receive a signal and that can work with hearing aids or headphones.
These systems are more complex and expensive to install .
Church Audio Visual systems using Screens or projectors
Fully integrated AV systems include a PA System or Live Sound System, and a Video Presentation System.
Our Audio Visual projects include a full design and install service.
Our installation teams will provide your staff with training on how to use your new audio visual equipment.
An example of a previous audio visual installation can be seen in the photograph below.
Here we provided two main display screens and the facility to plug in two more above the balcony. The sound system would reproduce the audio from any video source sent to the screens.
The sound system sent the combined live and recorded sound to the churches hearing loop which we also provided.
Video content was distributed using cat 5 cables to overcome the length restrictions of normal HDMI cables.
The benefits of a fully integrated AV installation include:
- Video content and multi-media presentations can be enjoyed throughout the venue
- High quality audio from your sound system
- A high quality audio hearing loop
- Good access to connect laptops and other mobile devices
- Video stage monitors for presenters
The usual way to provide the visual content of audio visual media has been to use a data projector. Projection is a cost effective solution when large screen sizes are required. Our site visit will identify potential mounting points for your projector.
We have carried out audio visual installations using one or more display screens. Using display screens is often a good solution where the use of projection is not practical. Using display screens can be more cost effective than using a long throw projector. Display screens are ideal for meeting rooms.
LED Stage Lighting
Your Audio Visual Installation can include fully controllable LED Stage Lighting. Simple LED Lighting allows you to enhance the room ambience and highlight presenters. Installations could also include a full stage lighting system.