Starting a new church can be pretty stressful. There are a lot of decisions to be made, including the equipment that your worship and tech team will be using. Everyone has their personal preferences on brands, but we went and asked the local experts at The Music Store in Tulsa, OK. We asked them some questions about basic things, like cables and mics, and then moved on to drum set-up and keyboard recommendations. Here are their thoughts…
Cables are the one item that we need but don’t want to think about or, hopefully, see much about on stage. To get the best bang for your buck, The Music Store recommends the Pig Hog brand of cables. They come with a lifetime warranty and are made to last through long days of being on the road. So whether your volunteers coil them up perfectly or not, these cords will outlast the twistiest cable wrapper.
When it came to mics, the people at The Music Store recommended the classic Shure SM58 for vocals and the SM57 for instruments. If you can afford a little bit more money for Sennheiser, do so, but Shure is a great option.
Stands aren’t really talked about, except when they’re failing… or literally falling, along with your mic, keyboard or guitar. To make sure you can buy a stand and then be done thinking about the stand, go with Hercules stands. They, like Pig Hog cables, come with a lifetime warranty, so if anything goes wrong, they’ll replace the stand. They cost a bit more, but will last you much longer than your $20 stand.
We had the chance to ask The Music Store about what they recommend for drums for a church that is just starting out. Their recommendation for a starter kit is to go the way of electric drums. You’ll save money on figuring out how to make sure the drums aren’t too loud, as the volume is much more easily controllable. For a good starter electronic drum kit, they said the Roland V-Drums TD-17KVX is a good affordable option.
For keyboards, especially if you’re wanting the pad option that has become popular in worship music today, the cheapest option is the Yamaha MX88. If you can spend more, go for the Yamaha MODX8 or the Yamaha Montage 8. When it comes to keyboards, it is important to find out what’s important. Are you needing weighted keys, the full 88 key options or do you need more sound patches? Figure out your priorities and go from there.
The PA is the one thing you really shouldn’t go cheap on. Invest in a PA and you’ll save yourself headaches down the road,
For the situation where your congregation is small enough that a couple of speakers on a stand will do the job, The Music Store recommends a Yamaha or QSC PA.
For the situation where you need a line array, they still recommend QSC, but instead of Yamaha, they recommended JBL.
Their recommendations are based on what they believe to be good warranties and customer service.
For a good starter mixer, the experts at The Music Store said the Behringer X32 will fulfill your needs. It has the capabilities to save pre-sets, but is easy to use for whoever is working in the sound booth on Sunday. If you want to go a bit more complicated, take a look at the Yamaha TF series or the Pre-Sonus Studio Live Mixer. With the Pre-Sonus Studio Live Mixer, it’s built for live audio mixing or for in-studio mixing, if your church is leaning in that direction.
I hope this has been helpful in giving you some guidance on what to purchase, what you might want to invest in more, and what you might be able to save some money on. Investing now can save you time and money years later.
At the end of the day, there are a lot of different options and manufacturers and The Music Store is a trusted local business that deals with many different brands. These are the ones they recommend. You may find that another brand works better for you and what you specifically need. We just wanted to help you get the decision-making process on the right track.