Eatontown, NJ â€“ July 2010â€¦ In an effort to reach greater numbers of people and provide a more relevant worship experience, sophisticated audiovisual (AV) systems are becoming ever-more present in todayâ€™s House of Worship market. The impact of these AV systems has been profound, but training is essential in order for â€œnewcomersâ€? to make informed decisions about the equipment they invest in and how to properly use itâ€”and thatâ€™s where the HOW-TO Sound Workshops enters the picture. Armed with equipment from professional audioâ€™s leading manufacturers, the uninitiated learn the skills theyâ€™ll need to find success in their own worship facilities. Microphones are a key element in the sound reinforcement equation and, for this, seminar attendees gain first hand exposure to models from Earthworks, Inc.
Hector La Torre, Managing Partner of Fits & Starts Productions, is the organizer and founder of the HOW-TO Sound Workshops. He discussed the nature of the seminars and how Earthworks became involved. â€œThe HOW-TO Sound Workshops are dedicated to training church sound volunteers and technicians in the art and operation of sound system equipment,â€? explained La Torre. â€œThe Workshops also present technology seminars at private recording schools and universities across the USA. Being responsible for tour logistics, interfacing with tour sponsors, and helping to create curriculum, I wanted our workshop attendees to gain exposure to the best equipment, and this led me to Earthworksâ€”whose microphones are highly regarded in our industry.â€?
Presently, the HOW-TO Sound Workshops are using microphones from the Earthworks PianoMicâ„¢, FlexMicâ„¢, and ChoirMicâ„¢ models. The PianoMic is an innovative solution that features two random incidence, omnidirectional, 40 kHz High Definition Microphonesâ„¢ and utilizes a unique, easy-to-place support mechanism that straddles the pianoâ€™s harp with the lid in either open or closed position, thus facilitating a variety of piano miking options. The Earthworks FlexMic microphones are optimized for use on podiumsâ€”thus making them ideal for sermons and other public speaking applications. The Earthworks ChoirMic is a hanging microphone that incorporates a short, flexible gooseneck from the microphoneâ€™s body that provides the ability to aim the capsule at the precise point desired. Collectively, these three models address the most common church miking applications: piano, public speaking, and reinforcement for choirs.
â€œThe Earthworks microphones are used in a hands-on fashion where workshop attendees get to touch and listen to the mics in action,â€? notes La Torre. â€œThis enables our students to learn how to use the equipment properly when they get back to their respective churches. They are a great teaching tool and are an essential part of our training program.â€?
La Torre explained why the inclusion of Earthworks microphones was considered so crucial to the HOW-TO Sound Workshops. â€œBecause of their excellent polar response and high SPL input capability,â€? he said, â€œthe Earthworks microphones make an ideal choice for churches. In the case of the PianoMic, it makes the job of miking the piano easier while delivering excellent results. The fact that the system can provide pristine audio quality with the piano lid up or down is a huge benefit, as many churches suffer from sight-line considerations when the piano lid is in the up position. Additionally, the choir mics are more forgiving than many competing models if they happen to be improperly positioned, which is often the case in church setups that are dependent upon volunteer help.â€?
Summarizing his experience with both the company and its products, La Torre offered this closing thought about Earthworks. â€œThe Earthworks mics have made it easier for us to teach proper miking techniques because attendees can really hear the difference in sound quality with a superior mic and proper positioning,â€? La Torre reports. â€œChurch folks are drawn to Earthworksâ€™ sound quality when they hear it and weâ€™ve received numerous calls from attendees saying they feel Earthworks is the solution to their miking challenges. Thatâ€™s a good feeling knowing youâ€™ve helped solve so many churchesâ€™ audio concerns.â€?
About the HOW-TO Sound Workshops
The HOW-TO Church Sound Workshops are conducted on-site at churches and specific audio retailers in 36 cities across the country each year, and are led by chief instructor and respected industry veteran Mike Sokol. The workshops focus on hands-on training so that attendees learn how to integrate AV components and operate a sound systemâ€”from microphone to speakerâ€”effectively and efficiently with special attention paid to the challenges many House of Worship face. For additional information, visit them online at www.howtosound.com.
About Earthworks, Inc.
Earthworks is a New Hampshire, U.S.A. based manufacturer of High Definition Microphones that is dedicated to quality and sonic excellence. Each Earthworks product is handmade with great care, meticulous attention to detail, and a strong emphasis on quality. Earthworks prides itself in making only the very best in professional audio equipment intended for mission critical sound applications. For additional information, visit the company online at www.earthworksaudio.com.
Photo info: Image of HOW-TO Sound Workshopsâ€™ Mike Sokol with the Earthworks PianoMic system.