Audio Mixing Consoles: Focus On Budget, Functionality, End User

Functionality is a huge part of what you will spend your time looking at as you decide to upgrade. Just make sure to do your research and plan for the future, not the present.

Audio Mixing Consoles: Focus On Budget, Functionality, End User
Granger Community Church Production Director Tony Staires works on the Lawo mc²56 console during a recent worship service at the church in Granger, Indiana.

Today, the market for audio mixing consoles is ever growing and ever changing.

An audio console upgrade is a really exciting time, so look to embrace it.

Audio consoles seem to be practically getting cheaper by the week, while also improving their functionality and stability. When looking to upgrade your console, there are a few things to keep in mind as you sort through them. We will look at a few of these things, and I’ll give you some examples from the recent console upgrade at Granger Community Church along the way.


As the primary factor, this should follow the vision your leadership has put in place. I say budget should be first, because it can quickly narrow down what you are able to afford. That being said, if your budget is not an overriding issue, you shouldn’t just get the most expensive console on the market. Sometimes the best console for you can be the less expensive one.

Hopefully, as you are searching for consoles, you understand that this is money people have voluntarily given and that spending any amount of money should be taken seriously.


This factor is a big one, as it will either enable or hinder what you are capable of doing for as long as you have this console in place. When it comes to functionality, I tend to think about a few different things. Most importantly, are inputs and outputs (IO). Many consoles now have a stage box of some sort, with a varying number of inputs and outputs. The more inputs and outputs that you need, the more expensive it tends to become.

When we were looking at upgrading our console at Granger, it was extremely important for us to be able to handle whatever our leadership threw at us. That meant for us if we were going to do a large Christmas program with a full orchestra, then we needed to be able to handle this and then some. Next in line for importance are audio protocols. As you begin looking for a console, you need to keep in mind what kind of audio protocols you may need to integrate with. Dante? Waves? Ravenna? MADI? These are just a few of the different protocols that are available.

As you are trying to decide try to think of the long term vision for your team, realize that oftentimes, these are card-based systems that need to be installed on the console, so the more you have, again it typically adds up to a more expensive console.

More About Sebashtian Warrick
Sebashtian Warrick currently works at Granger Community Church in Granger, Ind., as a production assistant. He helps to coordinate, plan, and execute all things related to audio, video and lighting for the church's weekend experience. He has been doing production work for 10 years, and has had the pleasure of working with multiple artists, including and Grammy and Dove award winners. Sebashtian has been married for a year-and-a-half to his beautiful wife, Ashley.
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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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