Five Tips to Improve Your Sermon Audio

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At Faithlife, we understand all of the pieces that go into getting it right because many of our employees are pastors, worship volunteers, or part of a church presentation team. We’ve developed some great tips that are surprisingly easy to ensure that your sermons sound great when published. Read our help article on improving audio quality here.

Tip #1: Test Audio

Do a short test recording before the service starts EVERY week and then don’t change out the pastor’s microphone or audio board settings. (Some audio boards require you to drop the sound versus a mute input option. In that case, a small piece of tape marking the correct setting to return to is a great visual cue.)

Tip #2: Microphone Distance

The closer the mic is to the speaker’s mouth, the more likely you are to avoid a tinny or hollow sound on playback. Just watch out for those hard syllables like p’s and s’s. Having the mic adjusted so it’s not directly in front of your mouth makes a big difference.

Tip #3: Lapel Placement

Pay attention to lapel placement. The microphone will pick up a jacket, collar or other piece of clothing rubbing against it and overpower the speaker’s voice. This is particularly true if you wear any accessories, like watches or jewelry, that move when you do.

Tip #4: Volume Variation

Keep your audio fluctuations to a minimum. Variation in tone is a great way to keep your audience engaged but becoming too soft or too loud will impact the quality of your recording.

Tip #5: Back-up Plans

Remember things happen. Be prepared with a back-up plan.

  • Consider having a back-up recording. Adding a small, inexpensive second lapel mic hard-wired to a smartphone (on airplane mode so the preacher isn’t distracted) is an easy form of insurance in the event the worst happens.
  • If you end up with audio that isn’t great but is still salvageable to post, using a tool like Audacity to adjust the volume or clean up the audio is free with a little know how. Learn more about making audio adjustments.
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