Church Acoustics Issues (Part 1)
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Modern church acoustics issues have been prevalent in recent ages as they have multiple functions to serve making it difficult task to design acoustically if not consulted early.
Common church acoustics related complaints
When entering the church, we are often awed by the nature of the church. Its bespoke architecture, the fancy lights, comfortable chairs and the instruments lined up on stage. Close our eyes, raise our hands and prepare our hearts for worship and we hear some members saying
- “I had difficulty making out what the pastor was saying”
- “The music is too loud/music sounds dull and lifeless”
- Musicians have trouble hearing each other on stage
- “People in the front row are going deaf from the sound system but those in the back row can barely hear anything… what’s going on?”
- Noise Complaints From Neighbours
As churches have multiple functions to serve, sophisticated thought processes and design should be decided prior to the construction stage as acoustic consultants or designers can advise on the design of the room optimising its acoustics and its potential to sound magnificent.
Where does the idea of sound and architecture come into place? Click here to read more
What Usually Happens?
The involvement of acoustic consultants is only employed at a later stage upon completion or the retrofit of an existing building or space. At this stage, the problems become surreal and the congregation lack the best experience to worship.
In order to make issues clearer, some ideas we can ponder upon are such as
- Does the client want to prioritise spoken lectures or music? Or both?
- What type of instruments does the worship band use?
- What about if the church already has a PA system installed?
As part of the first of the church acoustics series, we will continue to
- Examine key issues in spaces
- Identify suitable acoustic solutions
We should take note that while this is an example of a contemporary Christian church, these are also applicable to any large multi-purpose spaces or large concert spaces as perfect acoustics can be achieved through a variety of ways
Food for thought! What would it cost to NOT fix anything? One common trend we face is that clients are often afraid of steep price tags. Where is the long-term value we crave for?