How To Use An Audio Compressor In Your Church System, Part 1

The pro audio world uses compression more than any other form of signal processing, because it makes the music or message you are trying to convey easier to listen to, more consistent and improves intelligibility.

How To Use An Audio Compressor In Your Church System, Part 1
Since we will only be using one channel for our purpose, we've zoomed in on channel 2 in the image above. There are two parts of the channel. Outlined in red is the expander/gate which can be used to reduce background noise in the channel when no one is talking.
How To Use An Audio Compressor In Your Church System, Part 1
Since we will only be using one channel for our purpose, we've zoomed in on channel 2 in the image above. There are two parts of the channel. Outlined in red is the expander/gate which can be used to reduce background noise in the channel when no one is talking.

Photos & Slideshow

How To Use An Audio Compressor In Your Church System, Part 1

Audio Compression News

How to Use an Audio Compressor In Your Church System, Part 2
How To Use An Audio Compressor In Your Church System, Part 1

Technology Resource

For Lighting Design, What Software Is The Right Match For Your Needs? (Part 3)
Dig into this final part of a three-part series that looks into choices for lighting design software, including Vectorworks and LightConverse, and how each can best serve the needs of your church.
·

An audio compressor can be a very powerful tool, yet compressors are often misunderstood and overlooked by volunteer church sound operators, who could really benefit from them.

Audio compressors can process one or multiple channels of audio depending on their design.

In this two-part article, with the second part to run on Friday, December 22, we will cover why you would want to use a compressor and how to use one. This piece will explain how to use a compressor on the pastor’s microphone signal.

The pro audio world uses compression more than any other form of signal processing, because it makes the music or message you are trying to convey easier to listen to, more consistent and improves intelligibility.

If you listen to a radio broadcast or television show, you will notice that the sound is very consistent and smooth. Listen closely and you will hear that most of the dialog fluctuates very little in volume, but it still sounds natural. You can always hear what is being said, even at a whisper, and a yell doesn’t shock your eardrums. A compressor can create this consistency in sound by reducing the dynamic range of the audio.

What is dynamic range? It is the variation in loudness from the quietest sound to the loudest sound in the audio you are listening to. An example of something with a wide or large dynamic range would be an orchestral piece of music.

There may be whispery quiet passages featuring flutes or strings, and moments later, thundering waves of sound as the entire orchestra dives into a new movement. It’s exciting, but not necessarily the kind of experience you want when listening to a sermon or teaching. You need the ability to control your pastor’s signal so you don’t have to be constantly adjusting his signal level if he gets quiet, or suddenly exclaims.

A compressor reduces (or compresses) the dynamic range by reducing the loudest sounds. Once you have reduced the dynamic range, you can raise the overall system volume a bit without fear of it suddenly getting too loud or damaging your speakers.

Bringing up the overall volume will also have the effect of bringing up the quietest portions of audio so it is more clearly understood in the midst of background sounds such as coughing, children and ventilation systems.

Compression can be used on individual sound sources (like the individual channels on your mixer) or on an entire mix of sounds (like the output of your mixer). Since we are talking about compression on the pastor’s mic, we will look at how to apply it to one channel of your mixer.


Latest Resource

For Lighting Design, What Software Is The Right Match For Your Needs? (Part 3)
Dig into this final part of a three-part series that looks into choices for lighting design software, including Vectorworks and LightConverse, and how each can best serve the needs of your church.


Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Team Management · Team Development · Audio Compression · Dynamic Range · Intelligibility · Microphone · Mixer · Pro Audio · All Topics

Support and Enhance the Worship Message

The latest strategies for sound, lighting and facilities can help you better attract and engage with your congregation. With Worship Facilities’ insights on leadership, communication and administrative tools, each issue shows you how to design and maintain your facility and how to adapt it to meet the changing needs of today’s members.
Explore the success stories of others, and find ways to enhance your weekly services. Get a free subscription to Worship Facilities magazine.

Comments


Editor's Picks
©2018 WFX Network · A division of Informa · 1166 Avenue of the Americas, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10036 · All Rights Reserved.