San Jose, CA – April 2014… … Engaging the congregation in order to make services relevant in this age of shortened attention spans and instant gratification is a challenge all houses of worship encounter. Of particular importance, if the audience can’t understand what’s being said, the message is lost. Hence, the ability to provide good sound reinforcement is essential—and the audio chain starts at the input stage. Recognizing this, Cathedral of Faith relies on its assortment of H6 Headset and E6 Earset microphones from Menlo Park, CA-based Countryman Associates to get started on the right footing.
Roberta Starr is the Director of Audio at Cathedral of Faith. Her many responsibilities with the church include serving as the lead audio engineer, training the volunteer audio personnel, maintaining the church’s audio arsenal, and overseeing new equipment purchases. During the past ten-plus years, the church’s wireless microphone inventory has grown to encompass three Countryman H6 Headset mics and twenty E6 Earset models. She discussed her preference for Countryman products.
“Cathedral of Faith is a multi-generational, multi-ethnic, contemporary Christian church,” she explained. “Our services are contemporary and multi-sensory. We utilize a variety of media, including a live band, worship vocalists and choir, special effect lighting, live drama, dance, engaging props and illustrations, multimedia, and video. It is essential that all dialog and vocal performances reach the congregation with a high level of speech intelligibility and, for singing, a natural, musical sound quality. To achieve this, we depend on our Countryman microphones.”
“We use our Countryman H6 microphones for our weekly services and also utilize them for any dramas that are performed throughout the year,” Starr continued. “I love the fact that, with their dual ear loops and adjustable headframe, they provide a really comfortable, secure fit that enables one to focus on the message, or in the case of a theatrical presentation, their lines, as opposed to being distracted by an uncomfortable fit. These mics are also extremely low profile, so they’re practically invisible. Most importantly, they sound very natural.”
“I’m also very fond of the E6 Earset mic,” says Starr. “Our Countryman E6 microphones are used for our large dramas. Each year, we perform an elaborate Easter Drama that frequently involves as many as 300-plus cast members, live music, special effects, dancers, live animals, and multimedia. For these productions, we typically use all three of our H6 microphones plus all twenty of our E6’s—and sometimes more. With their detachable cables, it becomes very easy to outfit the microphones with the proper connectors for our Sennheiser, Shure, and Audio-Technica wireless systems.”
On the subject of audio quality, Starr was emphatic about her preference for Countryman microphones. “We first started using the E6 for its sound quality and for its small size,” she said. “It’s very easy to achieve a high level of gain without feedback and the audio quality is very impressive. When the H6 was introduced to us by an engineer at Countryman, I was not only impressed with its sound quality, but the size and fit added another level of versatility in terms of options for our services and theatrical projects. By having both microphone models, we are well positioned to address most any audio situation that may arise.”
In addition to her preference for Countryman microphones, Starr is also very pleased with their Countryman Type 85 Direct Boxes, “We have eight Type 85 DI’s that we use for our various instrumentalists. They’re a great tool for interfacing various instruments with the house mixer because they provide a strong, clean signal to the board without adding any noise or distortion. Further, these versatile little boxes are really rugged—built like a tank!”
When queried about Countryman’s customer and technical support services, Starr was very complimentary, “Countryman customer and technical support has been outstanding! We’ve experienced nothing but friendly, helpful, and responsive service. I very much appreciate how they have reached out and asked for our feedback on their products to better improve their service. I commend their Engineering team for taking the time to conduct on-site visits.”
In summarizing her experience with Countryman Associates, Starr offered the following, “I view Countryman products and services as first class. We have been very happy about our relationship with the company and their products and we look forward to working with them for many more years to come.”
For additional information about Cathedral of Faith, visit them online at www.cathedraloffaith.org.
About Countryman Associates
For more than 30 years, Countryman has focused on developing microphones and accessories that deliver maximum gain before feedback, with the highest possible rejection of wind, vibration, interference, and other unwanted sounds. The result is warm, clear vocals in speaking and singing applications, delivering natural audio reinforcement that requires almost no attention from the sound engineer or the performer. For additional information about Countryman Associates, visit the company online at www.countryman.com.
Photo Information: Roberta Starr