What is GOOD SOUND – Oct 12

By Sound Team


Audio systems for house of worship applications have evolved from simple speech reinforcement to full concert quality multi-media systems. However, no matter how complex the overall audio system, an understanding of the basic principles of sound is required.


Sound is produced by vibrating objects and most often found in worship facility applications which are the speaking voice, the singing voice, and musical instruments.


The acoustics of the room are often as important as the sound source itself. Room acoustics are a function of the size and shape of the room, the materials covering the interior surfaces, and even the number of audience.


A basic sound reinforcement system consists of an input device (microphone), a control device (mixer), an amplification device (power amplifier), and an output device (loudspeaker). The primary goal of the sound system in house of worship sound applications is to deliver clear, intelligible speech, and, high-quality musical sound, to the entire congregation.


What is “good” sound?

Although this is purely a subjective call, there are three primary measures of sound quality. The fidelity of sound is the similarity between the original signal (human/instrument voice) and the reproduced signal from loudspeaker. It must produce realistic and accurate speech and music. The intelligibility of sound is how clear, wellarticulated, and understandable the sound is. In a house of worship, the primary “sound” is the spoken word.


Finally, the loudness of the speech or music must be sufficient to achieve the comfortable levels for speech, perhaps more powerful levels for certain types of music. These levels should be attainable without distortion or feedback.


Reference: Vear, Tim. 2009. Audio Systems Guide for Houses of Worship – Shure

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