When dealing with the acoustics of worship spaces, it important that the space is suitable for both speech and music. The sanctuary is the most important space in churches because music attempts to enhance the worship experience emotionally. The minister also communicates with the congregation by preaching, leading prayers, and announcing church activities in the sanctuary. Therefore, acoustics of the worship space have important considerations on speech and music. It is also important to understand church history, service styles, congregations’ tastes, and budget.
Contemporary churches would have sound system. However, if the acoustical environment in the worship space is problem, the worship sound will not be good as much as expected with sound system. The sanctuaries would have large volumes with tall ceilings and problems from excess echoes and reverberation from large windows and hard surface walls. Excessive echoes and reverberation will reduce musical clarity and speech intelligibility. However, excessive echoes can be controlled by adding absorption material to the hard surfaces – typically the rear wall – which directly face the front of the stage. The right balance of reverberation can make the worship space vivid. In addition, reverberation contributes to a sense of depth and spaciousness, adding a dimensionality and enfoldment. Properly treated worship spaces will provide good acoustical environment to the minister and the congregation.
The treatment for music is a little bit different than the treatment for speech. The selection of absorptive, reflective, and diffuse surfaces in the worship space is important to provide good acoustical environment to the congregation. For existing spaces, using the correct amount and distribution of absorption and diffusion panels can help to bring the room back into balance.
We can contribute substantially to the goal of obtaining excellent acoustics in a worship space. If you want further advice about church acoustics, or have already decided to take action and need sound tested and analysed, contact Noise Monitoring Services today on (323) 546-9902. As a company of engineers with advanced degrees in architectural acoustics, we can offer sound measurement and monitoring and consulting for any event.