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My church sits about 2500, normally we had drapes on stage and behind stage to help absorb the sound but then the ceilings were not in place, I gave specifications to my boss to use perforated boards with acoustic materials in them but the building engineer did otherwise. My hall I'd filled with reverbs. I need to pad the walls. What method of padding would you advice?

  • My church sits 600+ and we have big thick curtains that really make the verb unnoticeable. I think it'd help to recognise places that actually need noise cancellation instead of just placing it in inefficient areas. – jazzboy Jan 15 '17 at 20:49
  • @Reuben " ...make the verb unnoticeable..." You accidentally the word there :-) – Carl Witthoft Jan 16 '17 at 12:34
  • @CarlWitthoft what do you mean? – jazzboy Jan 16 '17 at 21:10
  • @Reuben: 'verb' vs. 'reverb' and a standard internet meme. – Carl Witthoft Jan 17 '17 at 0:19
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You can introduce as many bass traps etc. as possible. Simple wall surface treatment doesn't do much.

You probably won't be allowed to do this, as the visual aspect of the room will be considerably affected. So maybe what you really need is an amplification strategy. More speakers, closer to the audience, run quieter.

Maybe the PA system is already installed. In that case all you can do is keep levels as low as possible. Forget about 'rock band PA' just settle for 'audibility and clarity'.

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  • Ok. That's another good option. Though I'm not used to using speakers in positions order than front of house positions. I would give it a try. Thanks a lot – MayorJay Jan 15 '17 at 21:53
  • If it's about intelligibility of speech, all the congregation want to hear clearly. If it's about 'praise' music, may of them will probaby be grateful to be able to choose a seat further from the speakers! – Laurence Payne Jan 15 '17 at 22:14
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An alternative approach would be to use line array speakers, which allow you to aim the sound at the congregation instead of at the walls. We always used to have reverb problems in our church, leading to lousy intelligibility. Then we swapped our old system (with speakers distributed through the room to get enough coverage) for a line array, and the difference has been enormous.

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If at all possible get professional help. Randomly adding drapes and perforated boards may actually make the sound experience worse.

A common mistake is to forget to dampen low frequencies as it often is much easier to dampen highs. The result can be that speak gets less intelligable.

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