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Mikers of the Ark of Salvation

South Carolina’s Ark of Salvation Church now sports multiple choir mic systems and more.

Inman, SC (January 22, 2019)—Audio updates for houses of worship tend to focus on loudspeakers or consoles, but every link in the audio signal chain is crucial and shouldn’t be overlooked—like choir miking, for instance. And in fact, miking the choir was a priority for The Ark of Salvation, a Slavic Pentecostal church in South Carolina, when it recently overhauled its audio.

Paul Korchak of Digital Pro Sound (Portland, OR) was faced with miking a core group of 120 singers inside the 1,500-seat church. “The church records every service and makes them available on the internet, so audio quality is critical,” he explained. However, there was a catch—church officials asked him to use as few microphones as possible.

60 Seconds: Gene Houck, Audix

Ultimately, he opted to hang a dozen Audix Micros Series M1280Bs cardioid mics overhead, configured in two rows of six. “I used the M1280s for their sound quality and their ability to capture just about every detail in the choir without picking up peripheral noise,” said Korchak. “They were very impressed with M1280s, both the sound and the look: they thought they looked ‘cool’.”

As a result, other Audix mics now pepper the church. A MicroBoom MB5050 choir miking system is used to accommodate the occasional children’s choir, walkup acoustic instrument, small orchestra, drama performance and other special musical performances. Meanwhile, over at the podium, Korchak used two Audix Micropod 18HC gooseneck miniaturized condenser microphones with the hypercardioid pattern for tighter pickup. “When both mics are active, one mic can be flipped out of phase with the other,” he explained. “Together with the hypercardioid pattern, and a Rupert Neve 5045 enhancer, which allows an increase in gain before feedback, feedback and other distortions are eliminated.”

Still more Audix mics were used in conjunction with the project. An Audix TM1 test and measurement microphone was used to measure the room; the resulting data led to the fabrication and installation of 180 custom acoustic panels. Next to the choir sits a baby grand piano, and that now sports a SCX25APS piano miking kit, mounted with a Mirizio piano microphone mount. “Everyone loves the SCX25As,” said Korchak. “They capture the full tonal range of the piano with no drop outs. People from other churches have come to hear them.”

Audix •