Sound & Communications:
Meeting the Changing Technology Needs of the Local Church
Tell us first how this business started? And how do you learn to do what you do? It seems like it mixes some tech savvy with some engineering know-how.
Sound & Communications is an engineering firm at heart. In fact, to our knowledge, it is still the only engineering firm in our state with the primary focus of audio, video, and acoustics. The company traces its roots back to a small building on North State Street in Jackson. It was founded in 1955 by a pair of electrical engineers (Nick Lymberis and Algie Broome, later to be joined by Dave Edmonds). The founders of our company felt it was important enough to know these principles in order to provide the best and safest solutions for their customers.
Our work follows basic engineering principles and your outcome will always be better if based on the laws of physics rather than the alternative. We replace a tremendous amount of sound systems that were not “engineered” and were just “thrown together.” It is important that whomever you choose to design your system has your best interest in mind. We still design our systems today with these same principles. We possess a deep understanding of just how important these actions are to make sure your system is something you can take pride in.
Since church auditoriums and sanctuaries have adapted to the age of technology with screens, projectors, praise bands, and lighting effects, is a company like yours able to come in and design an entire sound and video system tailored to a specific setting?
Absolutely. In fact, most of our customers in this area are what we classify as Design & Build. If it is a new structure, we start with them from the ground up, covering not only sound and video, but designing acoustical panels as well. We view the sanctuary as a tool and we view the church as the people. It is our job to make this tool as efficient as possible for conveying the spoken word, songs, and video support. It is a ministry tool and it must be given the respect and attention it deserves to be the best it can be per dollar allocated by the church.
If the church already has an existing structure, the approach isn’t all that different. We still have the same goals and work hard to practice the best stewardship possible regarding reallocation of existing components and integrating them with new ones to get the best possible outcome.
Do you include some hands-on training with the church members who are tasked with operating the system?
Definitely. We handle everything from the drawing board to the final training of the operator. A church must be able to adequately operate their system once we have installed it. When it comes right down to it, the system operator is a position of ministry all in itself. They are the conduits from the pastor to the congregation. We want to make sure they can operate the system properly to deliver these messages to the congregation as seamlessly as possible.
One of our favorite compliments is, “We heard and understood everything beautifully, but did not hear the sound equipment.” This is our ultimate goal. We do not want the system to sound “artificial,” but as natural as possible. The true definition of a sound system for these applications is actually a sound reinforcement system. We want the amplified sound to blend with the unamplified original source so that the outcome is as natural sounding as possible.
Security is now a big concern for churches as well. What options exist in that realm?
We are receiving more and more requests for high-definition closed-circuit television systems (CCTV) with digital recorders that we currently provide for churches in the metro area. Not only do we provide cameras for security but to also monitor the church nurseries, meeting rooms, and others. As for security, most law enforcement officers you talk to about CCTV for security will tell you to get the highest video resolution your budget will allow. They have too frequently investigated recorded footage of events and the video quality wasn’t good enough other than to establish the time of the event. Clear pictures of gender, facial features, body markings, etc. are very important to law enforcement when identifying someone.
Our attitude is the proper tools to implement a quality system take essentially the same amount of labor to install as wrong ones, so we ask our customers to keep this in mind. As for using the high-definition cameras versus a less expensive alternative, our clients have been very pleased with the outcome. With all this being said, we gladly make the best recommendations we can to serve these needs and provide an extra measure of security with our video security systems.