Recording at church can be challenging. When I’m filming a service we have some warm bodies to soak up some of the natural reverb but we also have the heating system running. Between the hot air blowers and the ceiling mounted fans (driving heat back into the room) that generates an unhelpfully high noise floor. I’d thought some of the audibility issues in the musicians area were due to instruments being too loud in what is, in effect, a fairly small, open-fronted box but, with a lot more recording experience in the space under my belt, I think this is at least exacerbated by that background noise.
Of course, we’re keeping congregations out of the church at the moment; the need to limit potential virus transmission and the rules imposed at the start of the year mean we can’t congregate so we’re back to an online only set up. Not everyone can easily record at home though so I was back in the church this morning to capture the service leader and the preacher. No heating and no fans so it was wonderfully quiet and I think I can live with the reverb.
It is hard to be satisfied though. With the noise floor now pretty low, it means that external noises, like traffic outside and – at the end of the prayers – a passing plane make it far from an ideal studio. I also determined that, since the fans were off, they aren’t the cause of the interference we get on the MP3 recorder hooked into the sound desk. Ah, well. At least it was a half-way decent result and I’m gradually learning more about the acoustics and electronics in the room.