Church Audio: Confessions and Revelations

Church Audio: Confessions and Revelations

Church Audio: Confessions and Revelations

Sound Graph

A couple days ago I read Psalms 150. I love that chapter and how it talks about praising God with the clash of cymbals and resounding cymbals – that must be loud.

3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.

To be honest, whenever I read that I feel like I have divine exhortation to push those faders up just a wee bit more. Just a decibel or two more, the Bible told me so. That chapter just seems to resonate with me (pardon the pun). To me, it speaks very directly about being brave when worshiping the King – don’t hold anything back, praise Him.

I’m really a techno gear junkie. I love talking about amps, boards, speakers, specifications and the best way to use a compressor to get a punchier sound. I really like knobs, dials, faders, meters… all that stuff. I seriously love talking about microphone characteristics. So you may think I need professional help, but if I can use Psalms 150 to justify my geekyness, all the better. After all, those crashing cymbals need amplification, right?

A funny thing happened on the way to work last week. I was in Moscow, Russia. When in Moscow, any first time tourist would head to Red Square, which is exactly what I did. As I’m walking around Red Square, I see a cathedral. Kazan Cathedral to be exact. As I enter the front door, I hear music. It’s nice music, kind of a hymn/Gregorian chant. My first impression is that they’re playing music through a sound system. I mean it sounds good, they must be really nice speakers and the acoustician who set up the system was spot on so I’m thinking this is all pretty sweet — very full and perfect to my ears.

As I walked into the cathedral further, I was genuinely shocked…no sound system.

Three women and two men singing. That’s it. My jaw was on the floor. Such incredibly wonderful music was totally unassisted by anything electric. How could that be? I was frankly awestruck and wanted nothing more than to just sit there and listen. It was a relatively small room and I looked up and saw a tall, beautifully domed ceiling and these five choir members’ voices filled the room in a very dynamic, delightful and excellent way. My usual, preferred choice of worshiping is, shall we say, much louder and with many electric instruments and even though I’m not so much of a “hymn-guy”, I could have stayed and listened all day.

One thing that impressed me was the purity of purpose of the singers.

Certainly, the five vocalists weren’t going to be rock stars anytime soon. There were only about 50 people in the cathedral. I really believe they were only singing to Him. It was obvious to me that they had practiced together quite a bit.

I stayed there for quite some time. Enjoying the beautiful sounds and feeling very blessed by this excellent music, it touched my heart. I reflected our church’s Sunday services. I hope that our King is blessed by our praise. I hope we are excellent in however we lead worship on Sunday morning. I know that I enjoy praising the Lord in any way possible. I aspire to be excellent in my praise and pure in my purpose.


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