10 Things No One Tells You About Church Audio

Chris Huff explains that audio production is hard work and mixing is only part of it.

What They Don’t Tell You About Church Audio

1. Worst-case scenarios really do happen.

If it can break, blow up, catch fire, power down, or in any way outright fail at the worst time possible, it will.  I’ve had a mixer blow a fuse.  Just last week a wireless mic battery failed mid-service for no apparent reason.  Green light to DEAD – no red warning light in between.

Worst-case scenarios can force the tech to learn parts of the audio system normally left untouched.  Mix engine reboots, digital mixer configuration settings, under-stage cabling, whatever is normally taken for granted will eventually fail – usually during the church service.

2. Audio Production is hard work and mixing is only part of it.

For some, this is a big revelation.  Mixing is only a part of audio production.  Stage setup, battery replacement, and cable maintenance are all part of the job.  And if that’s not enough, see point #1. Oh, did I mention it requires working with people!?! (only sort of a joke for some of us)

Mixing isn’t always easy.  For example, the church has two guitarists and a singer.  That’s all they’ve had for years.  Next weekend, they will have their first full-size worship team.  Time for a new mixing strategy.  This isn’t impossible but it does require learning amp miking, drum miking, and a new way of mixing.

3. It requires your A-game AND there are distractions

Live audio is no place for slacking.  Once, from the pulpit, a pastor called my name TWICE before I snapped out of a daydream.  Talk about embarrassing.  Focus is crucial.

Continue reading.

Sign up to receive weekly WorshipIdeas every Tuesday morning in your email:


Essential reading for worship leaders since 2002.


Get the latest worship news, ideas and a list

of the top CCLI songs delivered every Tuesday... for FREE!