Let’s start with the easiest type of church recording. The recording of the service for archival purposes … or for those who missed the service some week.
With this type of recording, we don’t really have to worry too much about recording fidelity. The key thing is going to be that the voice of the speaker is heard clearly and without a lot of background noise. Sometimes in this situation, there may be a desire to also capture the music of the service. In this lesson, we are not going to be using techniques that will capture this type of sound well. You would be able to hear it, but it will sound “tinny” and will not be in balance (meaning you will not hear a good overall representation of the music). You WILL get complaints about the quality of the music. So, if good sound quality for the music is desired, do not use these techniques.
First, you need a relatively inexpensive recording device of some kind. With the technology that is available today, I would recommend some of the new digital recorders that are available on e-Bay for about $20 or $30. I recently purchased one of these recorders for a different purpose, but it would work great for this. Then run an input from one of the “Aux” feeds on your mixer to this recorder. You will need the appropriate adapters to make this happen. The little record I show here has 1/8″ inputs and most Aux outs will be 1/4″.
Let’s say you are using Aux 4 for this purpose. So, on the Aux 4 channel, turn all of the inputs off except for the speakers mic input. Make sure that you are not getting any distortion on the aux channel output by doing some test recordings. Adjust the output level for the aux channel so that it is giving a good, undistorted signal to the recorder while the Aux 4 channel output is set to unity 0. Make a note of the settings somewhere that won’t get lost so that you can set them up correctly again after the next guys messes it up (they always do!). The key factors to note is the position of the Gain/Trim control, the Aux 4 Input Control for the channel we are using for the mic and the Aux 4 Output levels.
The great thing about using a digital device like this is that you now can store the recording digitally. Most little recorders like this will plug into a computer and the storage will look just like a USB drive, so you can copy the recording straight to the computer and archive it like any other file. If you want to create a CD, just burn an audio CD. Meanwhile, you can store lots of these sermons on a single CD … even more on a DVD. And, it is already in a digital form, ready to copy to your web site for downloading.