We have been making a number of improvements to the sound and lighting infrastructure at our church lately. And, sooner or later, I will have to tackle the biggest problem: acoustics.
The soundfield in our church is very poor. The building is a typical warehouse design: concrete block, concrete floor and steel roof. How poor is very poor? Try speaking into a tin can. The acoustic properties would be very similar. I would not want to listen to high fidelity music in a tin can. And yet that is exactly what we have been doing at our church for years.
The sound system is capable enough to deliver high quality sound. The room is large enough to allow reasonable sound pressure levels to develop. The issues with the soundfield? Slapback echoes, low frequency rumble, indirect sound overwhelms direct sound for much of the listening area and a high noise floor due to exposed heating and ventilation systems.
In short, we need to begin the process of addressing some of these acoustic issues. Ideally, we should hire an acoustic consultant to assess the space and make recommendations. The cost for a consultant is prohibitive. So we will need to follow a DIY path.
The room itself needs to be tightened and slapback echoes reduced. The walls and ceiling need to be treated. The first step will be to apply some treatment to the walls.
The picture below shows an example of what we might need.