Whole Hearted Productions

Call us Toll Free at:  855-WHProAV (855-947-7628)

Whole Hearted Productions is a DBA of Whole Hearted Pro AV LLC

Serving Southern Arizona from Casa Grande to Sierra Vista

including the  Tucson Metropolitan Area

Image description

What is the Right Digital Console for My Church?

9 Things to Consider When Looking for a New Digital Soundboard

By Trent Perkins, Whole Hearted Productions

February 1, 2018

Image description

Most churches we work with have limited resources.  Unfortunately, not every church has the problem Moses did when he was building the tabernacle in Exodus 36:1-8 where he had to tell the people to stop giving because they had made too many offerings!  At the same time, just as God set standards of excellence in the building of the tabernacle and later the temple, churches must also strive for excellence with the resources they DO have available.

The process of choosing how to wisely spend your congregants hard earned money can be a challenging one.  As you will see in a moment, it may be beneficial to invest some of that money into a trusted consultant that understands the ins and outs (literally) of the many choices available. 

So, of all of the consoles out there, which is the right one for your church?  It depends!  Here are a few topics to consider:

  1. Price.  How much board can we afford? Do NOT forget about all of the periphery hardware necessary to complete your system (stage boxes, etc.).

  2. Channel Count.  How many channels do you realistically need on a regular basis?  How many channels do you anticipate needing in a few years?  Channel counts now have two categories:  How many can I actually mix at one time? And how many channels can I connect to and have available for mixing with some digital repatching?  Those two numbers are not necessarily the same anymore.

  3. Output requirements.  It is a given that you will need a main output (usually left and right although most churches tend to be set up in a mono configuration).  But will your board be providing additional sends to delay speakers, subwoofers, fill speakers, foyer and nursery speakers, recordings and/or video, etc.?  And that is before Monitors!

  4. Mixing surface and processing capabilities. How many channels do you need to control at one time?  Does the console have the ability to use DCAs (a method of controlling multiple channels at a time)?  How flexible is the fader layout? Does the board provide flexible surface controls to quickly control internal effects, mute groups, etc.?

  5. Monitoring.  Does your church use In-Ear Monitors (IEMs?).  If so, how many?  Will your individual band members adjust them on dedicated hardware or are you OK using an iPad to mix the sends on the board?  Do you need stereo IEMs or are you OK with mono?

  6. Audio Ecosystem. Do you require a separate monitor mixer near the stage?  How about a separate board to mix for your video livestream?  Do you already own hardware related to digital consoles?

  7. Ease of use.   How tech savvy is your AV crew?  Moving up from an analog board to a digital board can be a big jump.  Will you be able to keep people trained on the board?   

  8. Quality.  Are you OK with what you can afford or do you need pristine studio quality sound?  Do you have a good enough speaker system that it will even matter?

  9. An eye on the future.  Where do you see your church going in 3-5 years?  Do you think you will be ready to move to a larger console by then?  Do you want your current board to be able to be part of that infrastructure if possible?

That list of questions is one reason to consider a consultant like Whole Hearted Productions to help you think through the issues.  And on the subject of consultants, some consoles are MUCH more effective if they have been set up by a professional that can also provide some quality training.  While some boards (i.e. analog) are a bit easier to use out of the box, many have the ability to be extremely flexible… which can also mean they are almost useless out of the box.

Click here for a comparison of some common digital boards often used by small to medium sized churches.


What do YOU think? We would love to hear your thoughts!

Sorry no comments to display
* indicates required field
(this will not be published on the website)
(must start with http:// or www.)
maximum characters 2500, 2500 remaining