The need to “reinforce” the spoken word for any religious service initially appears to a fairly simple problem. Just put a gooseneck mic on the podium/lectern/talker location hook it into the sound system and send them a bill. If you think this approach answers the question and solves the problem, you would be wrong.
There are a number of major and minor factors that must be considered and evaluated before installing any hardware so you can make sure what gets installed will be the right equipment and, more importantly, will actually work.
Here is a short list of crucial factors to evaluate:
• Budget — this will determine what type of microphone(s) you can put on your short list (dynamic or electret/condenser).
• Required feature set — do you need a lighted “on” ring on the mic? Do you need built-in high-pass filtering to remove unwanted low-frequency noise and rumble? How is the microphone to be installed? Where will the pre-amp be located? Is architectural style important? Is color important?
• Location relative to the sound system’s speakers (feedback suppression and type of pattern for the capsule).
• Do you plan on using a single mic or a pair of mics for talkers who tend to move around?
• Shock and vibration isolation options to prevent physical noise from affecting the mics performance.
• Reach — that is, how far away can the talker be and still have the mic pick up his or her words cleanly and without to much “room” or other unwanted noise.
Literally hundreds of different worship service structures and worship leader speaking styles exist, and they range from the soft, comforting sermon to thunderous exhortations. Finding the right podium/lectern microphone to match both the people who will use it and meet the criteria noted above will take some research and perhaps some experimentation.
One often overlooked consideration is the choice of the pick-up pattern. Most gooseneck-type mic suppliers offer a variety of options within any particular family of products. Remember, a tighter pattern such as those found in hyper-cardiod or super-cardiod capsules, will reject