What you will learn...

This comprehensive program includes all of the Church Sound 101 courses along with streaming and audio networking bonus materials.  

Church Sound 101 offers more than 8 hours of training along with interactive reviews to ensure comprehension of key audio concepts.   

Church Sound 101: Introduction To Audio

This course covers the absolute essentials that anyone working with sound in their church must know in order to excel. 

Instructors Mike Sokol and Samantha Potter team up to deliver this important groundwork that covers topics key to a flawless worship experience: 

  • Defining “sound” and how it relates to what we hear – what our ears (and brains) process and interpret.
  • The frequency spectrum and how it relates to voices and instruments.
  • Eliminating the sounds we don’t want as much as highlighting the sounds we do want.
  • Intelligibility (and how to attain it), eliminating sibilance, and the value (and downside) of compression.
  • The importance of training our ears, and suggestions for doing just that. It starts with understanding what actually sounds good. What does a quality mix sound like? This then transfers to your own mixes. (The instructors provide suggested tracks to get you started.)
  • General guidelines about volume – sound pressure levels (SPL) – and how to avoid things like “loudness creep.”
  • Ways of accurately measuring SPL, and recommendations on a couple of apps that do this pretty well.
  • The importance of protecting our hearing, and danger signs (too loud) to look for.
  • Evaluating the sound of your room/sanctuary. What to look for that might be creating problems – acoustics, HVAC systems, etc., along with finding the “sweet spot” in that sonic environment.
  • An overview of the key components in the signal chain of virtually all sound reinforcement systems. 
  • Assessment: Time for a review of what’s been covered with a quiz. Do you understand the essentials? If so, great, keep going! And if not, no worries, you’ll be fine after a refresher of the course.

Church Sound 101: Microphones & Loudspeakers

This course provides the fundamental knowledge regarding microphones and loudspeakers, necessary and vital in every sound reinforcement system. Instructor Mike Sokol covers:

  • The Essentials: Operating principles of both devices and then an overview of the two primary types of microphones: condensers and dynamics, as well as how they work and the advantages (and downsides) of each. There’s also an explanation of frequency response and polar pattern – what they mean and why they matter, followed by general guidelines of matching mics with sources (vocals and instruments) along with simple demonstrations to further the discussion.
  • Micing Instruments: General guidelines for usage – matching mics to their applications on instruments such as drums, drum kits, piano, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitars and more – best practices and useful tips/techniques. The discussion also covers direct (DI) boxes, both passive and active models – how they work and advantageous times to use them. 
  • Praise Team & Choir Mics: The options, advantages, and downsides to specific types and models of mics, plus guidelines on placements and configurations. A range of options are presented with the bottom line being to help musicians attain better results.
  • Micing The Pastor: Four popular methods for this all-important channel as well as a few tricks to help in attaining the best sound from each of them.
  • Loudspeaker Theory: Key operating principles of loudspeakers as well as the various types and what they do, including line arrays, columns, point source loudspeakers and more. Applications of loudspeakers are also covered, in addition to acoustic issues, with a focus on the lower frequencies.
  • Loudspeaker Placement: Vital things to know when positioning loudspeakers in a room, with simple steps to attain quality coverage of a space along with things to avoid. Stage monitors are also covered, as are ways to make sure they don’t interact with the microphones on stage so that “bad things,” i.e., feedback, are avoided. 
  • Assessment: Time for a review of what’s been covered with a quiz. Do you understand the essentials? If so, great, keep going! And if not, no worries, you’ll be fine after a refresher of the course.

Church Sound 101: Mixing Basics

  • This course provides the fundamental knowledge to confidently work with any audio mixing console.  Mixing is both science and art – get the insight necessary to achieve a seamless blend of the two. Instructor Samantha Potter covers:
  • Gain & High-Pass Filtering (HPF): Gain is arguably the most important facet to understand. Get it right, and understand proper use of HPF, and you’ll be well on you way to providing pleasing, well-balanced mixes. 
  • Equalization (EQ): So many numbers and buttons! But there’s a simple logic behind it all. Learn that logic and you’ll be able to address any input’s EQ to make the right “tweaks” and also find those troublesome frequencies!
  • Panning: Giving vocals and instruments their own space clarifies and cleans up the mix. Panning helps eliminate “masking” of wanted sounds while moving other sounds out of the way for clear definition.
  • Dynamics: A balance of loud and soft sounds in the mix can heighten both interest and emotion. Get the basics of how and when to use dynamics – and when not to because they can be overdone and sound sloppy.
  • Aux Sends & Groups: They can be a great tool for the main mix as well as an effective way to generate a separate monitor mix from the same console. Find out what different groupings mean, how to gain more control of them, alternative mixes and more.  
  • Effects (FX): So many effects (and more created on a daily basis), yet so little time. Properly applied, effects can emphasize certain aspects of the mix and/or make it overall more polished. Learn the two most common effects in live mixes and you’ll be on your way!  
  • Checklist: A handy list of the necessary steps to success every time you step up to the console. Start off right and it all flows well from there. 
  • Assessment: OK, it’s time for a review of what’s been covered so far with a quiz. Do you understand the essentials? If so, great, keep going! And if not, no worries, you’ll be fine after a refresher of the course.

Church Sound 101: RF & Wireless Systems

This course covers the essentials of wireless microphone and in-ear monitoring systems, as well as key facets of radio frequency (RF), in order to obtain flawless performance every time. Don’t worry – wireless is not “magic” or “voodoo” and it’s not that complicated. Find out the essentials for success in this straightforward course. Instructor Karl Winkler covers:

  • Band Planning: The air around us is filled with radio waves operating in many different frequency bands. Some of the sources include broadcasters (TV and radio stations), public safety (police and fire departments), cell phones and many others. They can present interference problems for wireless systems, which also operate (transmit and receive signal) within specific radio frequency bands. Therefore, it’s vital to understand what’s happening with the frequency bands in any area/building where wireless systems are operating. This course will show you how to do just that. 
  • Antenna Types & Placement: There are several types of antennas, so it’s important to understand each type and then make the best choice(s) for your situation. And even with the right antennas, it’s also important to understand a host of best practices that if followed go a long way in helping to ensure consistently solid wireless system performance. These topics are particularly vital because wireless systems operate at relatively low output power, so we need to do everything possible (especially optimum antenna placement) to make sure that transmitters and receivers are linked as optimally as possible. 
  • Frequency Coordination: In addition to band planning, frequency coordination is absolutely essential to optimum wireless system operation and performance. It’s simply the process of calculating and choosing frequencies so that your transmitters and receivers will not be compromised by interference. There are several tools that can also be helpful in this process – find out what they are and how best to use them.
  • Checklist: A handy list of the necessary steps to success every time you employ wireless systems. Start off right and it all flows well from there. 
  • Assessment: OK, it’s time for a review of what’s been covered with a quiz. Do you understand the essentials? If so, great, keep going! And if not, no worries, you’ll be fine after a refresher of the course.

Church Sound 101: Audio Networking

What is networking and why do we want to utilize it in our systems? What are the advantages? Instructor Mike Sokol covers:

  • How networking actually works and key parameters to take into consideration. 
  • How audio networking is being used in houses of worship (hint: there are a lot of options and approaches). 
  • Explaining proprietary networks as well as more open platforms, the industry-leading Audinate Dante platform in particular. 
  • Sample audio networking examples. 
  • How these devices can all be linked within a network and create a seamless, interconnected sound system.

Church Sound 101: Stagecraft & Wrap Up

Perhaps these are more mundane aspects but they’re actually extremely important. Instructors Samantha Potter and Mike Sokol cover:

  • Electrical Power: A system won’t work if it’s not getting electrical power, and it can severely malfunction if it’s being fed “bad” power and/or it’s not connected correctly. 
  • Electrical Safety: This is absolutely crucial, and it’s not an overstatement to say that this subject is a matter of life and death. How to avoid shocks and worse, and also checking to make sure electrical outlets are working properly and don’t present hazards. Proper electrical grounding (it’s crucial!).
  • Stagecraft: Stage (platform) directions – What’s house left? What’s upstage? Cable management on the stage – best practices, options on the stage. Overall cable and interconnection.
  • Cable Wrapping: and other helpful skills. Learn the right ways to wrap cables as well as the definite “no-no’s” to avoid. Cables are essential to every system so it’s important to keep them in top working order. It can also save you valuable budget!
  • Reasons For Failure: The most common causes of problems in systems (and instruments) and how to avoid them – as well as the right ways to address them when they do happen.
  • System Maintenance: It must be a priority to be good stewards in taking care of equipment along with knowing things to avoid. For example, duct tape is great for a lot of things – but don’t use it with any aspect of your audio equipment, including cables. Get the most out of components and make sure you’re getting maximum performance, value and lifecycles from them.

Church Sound 101: Worship Streaming

The streaming course provides church AV teams with the knowledge they need to make decisions about streaming, technology, and the necessary gear.

Instructor Samantha Potter covers:

  • Platforms | Facebook Live, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Zoom & Church Website
  • Types | One-to-One, Multistream & Inter-streaming
  • Streaming Providers | OBS, VMix, Living As One (Resi), StreamMonkey, StreamYard, Restream.io
  • Equipment | Switcher, Codec & Computer
  • Video for Streaming | Video Formats, Camera Intro, Framing Basics, A Note On Lighting
  • Graphics | Getting graphics to the stream
  • Audio Essentials | Compression, Consistency, Room Compensation, Mouth Match & Sample Rates
  • Networking | Use Wired Internet
  • Recommendations | What Samantha uses and why.

Assessment quizzes are offered throughout all segments -- it's the perfect time to review what’s been covered so far. Do you understand the essentials? If so, great, keep going! And if not, no worries, you can review that segment again or the entire course as needed.

Improve your audio knowledge today!

Only $99 for 10+ hours of video instruction, notebook, review quizzes and certificate of completion -- plus unlimited access to review the materials as many times as you like!

Your Instructors

Lead Instructor

Karl Winkler

Karl Winkler started his career as a musician then joined the USAF band as an audio engineer in the 1990s. From there, he moved on to work for Sennheiser & Neumann. In 2004, He joined Lectrosonics and currently holds the position of VP of Sales & Marketing. He has been a long-time advocate of church audio training and education.

Lead Instructor

Mike Sokol

Mike is noted for his dynamic, effective worship tech education, most notably as the long-time instructor of the HOW-TO seminars held at hundreds of churches throughout the U.S.

Lead Instructor

Samantha Potter

An active worship tech educator noted for a highly relevant and practical curriculum, Samantha also serves as a sound design consultant and IT media supervisor for the houses of worship market.