1. Does your contractor specialize in church sound, or is this a sideline?
There are many audio professionals who are experts in TV Broadcast, cable, recording industry, Rock ‘n’ Roll bands, and musical instruments like pianos and organs. Most of these professions deal with the playback of music. Sound reinforcement in a church is totally different. The audio industry has many experts, but to ask a recording engineer to design a church sound system is like asking a foot doctor perform open-heart surgery. Both are Medical doctors, however, their knowledge and experiences are light years apart.
2. Have they design or installed a church sound system similar to your church?
Have they supplied references of other similar churches?
Have you investigated any of them, and if, is the church satisfied?
3. Do they have a clear understanding of your churches worship style and future requirements?
4. Does the contractor speak about intelligibility, clarity and performance, or are they more interested in cutting corners and offering deals with inexpensive unreliable equipment?
5. Has the contractor tested the church with an acoustical testing system?
The contractor must have a system like SIA Smaart Pro, Mlissa, or TEF in order to properly design a sound system. Without proper testing equipment the contractor can only guess as to how the acoustics of your church is behaving, or how well the sound system will perform. Is this a risk your church is willing to take? Sound is not invisible anymore. With acoustical testing systems we can see into the acoustical world, and know if we have achieved proper coverage over the seating area, balance of the sound system, high intelligibility, or high gain before feedback. Church audio specialists will test your church’s reverberation times, energy time curves, and background noise. All of these issues are critical in order to properly design a church sound system. Proper testing eliminates the guesswork, and provides solid scientific data concerning your investment.
6. Does your contractor offer acoustic modeling?
For complex acoustical environments, today we have acoustical computer modeling systems. By building a virtual three dimensional model of your church, together we can see exactly how well the sound system and acoustic treatment will perform, before we even start the installation.
If you have answered “NO”, to any of the above questions, then your church needs to review the company that will be servicing your audio and acoustical needs.