Recording a Sunday Message on a Budget

A great outreach and “inreach” for churches is to make their Sunday morning messages available to their congregation. It is super handy to have to give to those who cannot physically come to church, or have to miss a Sunday for a variety of reasons.

A quality Sunday message audio recording does not have to break the bank, but how do you do it?

I have come up with a simple method to help record a message with decent quality audio and with equipment you probably already have.

A quality Sunday message recording does not have to break the bank. @stphnevansmedia Click To Tweet

Equipment needed:
– Laptop/recording device
– A designated AUX (MON) send from your sound board A computer audio interface (recommended)
– A cable to connect

To get your computer connected to your sound board, you will need the cable to connect the two together. Your AUX send output (XLR or 1/4in) will either need to be converted to 1/8in mini OR you will need an additional device to take your audio send to digitize it for the computer.

To send audio to the assigned AUX send make sure the MASTER for that AUX send is turned up and then send the channel you want to record to the AUX channel.

**I only recommend this method if you are recording a single vocal. Anything more and you will not be able to easily verify if the mix you’re recording is blending properly**

Set your computer operating system audio input to “internal” and make sure that your computer is getting the direct signal from the sound board and not from the mic that picks up ambient audio. An easy way to achieve this is by muting the microphone and checking to see if you lose audio signal to the computer. If you do, you’re in good shape.

Now, unmute the mic and you are ready to move on.

Next, to setup your recording open your capture software. A free audio capture and edit software I have used is Audacity. You will need to verify that the inputs of the software are also pointing to the input your microphone is plugged in to. During sound check have your speaker project as loud as they normally would and also make sure that the recording level is not clipping in the red. I normally like to see the vocal in the “green” very slightly hitting the “yellow”. This will give you room to add effects later and not overdrive your recording.

Once you have your track recorded, you are free to share it any way you would like. Make CDs to deliver to church members, or put your content online to be streamed and downloaded. @stphnevansmedia Click To Tweet

Once you get your audio recorded you are ready to edit. Again, you can use Audacity for this, or your audio editing software of choice. Adobe Audition is also a good choice and may be available to you if you use Adobe CC. With it you can edit the parts that you do not want and also add compression and other effects to enhance what you have already recorded.

Once you have your track ready you are free to share it any way you would like. I know some churches prefer to put their tracks on CDs to deliver to church members who are shut-in and others put their content online to be streamed and downloaded.

I would recommend doing both.