Different Types of Soundboards
There are different types of soundboards available on the market for purchasing. All of them have pretty much the same function of mixing sound, but many of them operate in different ways. The three main types of mixers are; powered mixers, analog mixers and digital mixers. The right type of mixer must be considered before upgrading or purchasing your church’s soundboard.
The most common type of soundboard used in live applications, like in church worship, is the analog mixer. Analog mixers are typically un-powered boards, mainly just used to mix signals. They do not have a self-powered amp system; there for amplifiers and of course speakers, must be considered for your system. Either active or passive speakers can be used. Analog mixers are great because if the need to upgrade larger speakers or more powerful amplifiers approaches; it can be obtained through a few simple changes of hardware. When, if having a powered mixer and the need of new speakers is needed, the mixer and its amperage must be calculated. The best suggestion of the type of soundboard used for church sound is by far the analog type.
Powered mixers are great for on-the-go, little shows that are requiring simple set ups at an affordable price. Generally when purchasing a powered soundboard, an entire package is usually offered for both the mixer and the speakers. Passive speakers will need to be used for powered soundboards. It is best to know what type and power of speakers to purchase with your powered board. Mixing the wrong output amperage from the mixer, to the incorrect speaker impendence and amps; can result in blown speakers or a poor functionally built in amplifier.
Digital mixing consoles are starting to become more popular in the studio, and the live environments. Digital mixers aren’t easily accepted due to their complex learning curve. For engineers who are still learning to mix, the digital mixer can look overwhelming, and fairly complicated at first. Some churches have made the switch to digital mixing consoles, but they have also had to invest in training their personnel to operate the equipment properly.
Cost of Soundboards
The cost of these different mixers actually varies a lot. For the case of analog mixers, the mixers most likely used by the majority of churches, the price depends on the functions, amount of channels, amount of auxiliaries and many other variables. The price of an analog mixer with the adequate functions of mixing church sound will be around $2000-$8000.
It is best to look into your churches musical needs to see what should be in place. Also make sure your audio snake has enough channels to provide for your soundboard.
It is best to know exactly what your need of sound is at your church. Most, if not all, churches have analog mixers. These are great for being the easiest to learn how to operate, and they are generally more accepted in church type settings.
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