Guide to the Best Soundboard

Editor’s Choice

  • The user interface has an easy-to-use display
  • The layout is not hard to understand and is intuitive
  • There are six mute groups that you can easily assign

Best Overall

  • It has six multi-channel effects sound engines
  • It includes a sturdy case with a protective inside layer 
  • It has eight microphone or line inputs

Budget-Friendly

  • It is an entry-level soundboard or console but with excellent quality
  • It has a user-friendly interface
  • It has a one-knob feature that works great for audio mixing beginners

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best soundboard is, then I’d recommend the Midas PRO2-CC-TP 64-Channel Digital Console as the best one.

Whenever we go to concerts or live events, we want the sound to be rich and match the mood of the occasion, right? It’s the same with church events, especially Sunday worship services; we want the overall sound to enhance our worship experience. The best soundboard for the church could help create just the right mix to match the ambiance and help you focus on worshiping and praising the Lord and listening to the preaching of His Word. 

Here are the Best Soundboards we will be reviewing:

What is the Best Soundboard?

A church soundboard or a soundboard is also known as a mixer or mixing board. This gear or equipment can take in signals from multiple sources such as guitars, keyboards, and microphones. It can merge these inputs and send them as one signal to the speakers. 

Why is a Soundboard Essential?

Is it vital for a church to have a church soundboard? Worship services aim to provide an experience where nothing distracts the congregation from worshipping the Lord and listening to the preaching of His Word. When the sounds from the musical instruments or microphone don’t sound good, they can be a distraction. A church soundboard or mixer can help create and blend sounds that will match the ambiance of the worship service. Here, in turn, allows the congregation to listen to the preaching and have a wonderful worship service experience. 

Where Should a Church Soundboard be Located?

The best spot for a church soundboard should be where the sound technician or engineer could hear what everyone or the congregation hears. It is imperative so that he or they can make the necessary adjustments to make the overall sound balanced. There is the risk of sounding louder on one side of the room if you put the soundboard in a corner spot or location.

The sound engineer or technician should also be able to see the stage. He can see the signal or cue if the worship leader or the pastor needs the sound adjusted. 

Who Should Run the Church Soundboard?

The person behind the church soundboard should be the church sound technician or sound engineer. They have a good understanding of their role in producing an excellent sound for the worship service. It would include but is not limited to creating the best mix or setting that matches the mood of the preaching and supports the music or audio needs of the worship team. 

Some church sound technicians are not audio engineers by profession, but they have enough experience in proper audio mixing, especially in a live setting. Most importantly, they have the heart to serve the Lord and the church. It means that even though it’s not their profession, they are willing to be trained and improve their skills to be excellent in what they do. 

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Soundboard

If you are planning to buy a mixer or a soundboard, here are some of the things you would need to consider before purchasing:

Budget

Knowing your church’s budget will help you decide your possible options and which ones are pretty stretching it out. You should also do your research to know the best quality ones that would fit your budget. Expensive doesn’t always mean they’re the best, and the cheaper ones don’t always mean low quality.  The best soundboard should be within the budget of the congregation.

Ease of use

We’ve mentioned that some church sound technicians aren’t audio engineers by profession. Some are just volunteers, which means they might find it challenging to use soundboards that are complicated. It would be good to choose the best soundboard that is easy to operate and, if possible, has training or tutorial videos that go with it. 

Analog or Digital

Again, this takes us back to the sound technicians or the lead or primary user of the church soundboard. It is an important thing to consider to know what they are comfortable in using. They might be someone who is more at ease in mixing using many knobs and small displays of analog-like mixers. They might find it challenging to mix sounds or audio on a tablet. 

On the other hand, they might be leaning towards upgrading to a digital church soundboard. They might find it easier to use remote-controlled soundboards or larger displays and fewer knobs. 

How many channels are needed (Inputs and outputs)

Another thing to consider would be how many inputs and outputs you would need for your church soundboard. Aside from thinking about your present needs, you should also consider adding more channels in the future, especially if your church is planning on expanding and adding more sound equipment. 

Settings of effects and equalizer 

The built-in and additional effects features might also be something to consider when choosing the best soundboard. These selections provide options to fine-tune your church music’s audio or sound. For example, some mixers help improve the sound of woodwind instruments or thicken the background vocals. It might help in producing a richer sound or better match the mood of the preaching. 

Consider remote mixing controls

Most manufacturers of the best soundboards now offer an app (or up to three) where you can control the mixer using a tablet and a smartphone. Some features allow mixing by WiFi from a smartphone or tablet or musicians to control and monitor their mix through their smartphones. Explore and try out the features of the remote control of the mixer to see if it will meet your church’s needs. You might find that a soundboard can do more than add some cool new effects. The best soundboard can even transform your audio tech team’s approach to audio or sound. 

Check the pre-programmed settings’ recall options

The best soundboard includes external USB or internal memory storage. This capability can allow you to save configurations, layouts, and settings. It will be an advantage if there are different types of services in the mornings and the afternoons or evenings (e.g., traditional vs. contemporary). It can save time by instantly recalling the settings for each service instead of taking longer by adjusting the sound.

How to Run the Church Soundboard

How should a sound technician or audio engineer man the booth and run the church soundboard? 

It’s what you do with the gear that matters

You may have the most expensive or the latest gear, but it’s pointless if you don’t know how to use it. You should familiarize yourself with the soundboard to maximize its features. 

Learn how to blend the sound of the instruments and vocals into the mix 

It might mean playing around with the volume of the vocals and instruments. You might need to lower the sound of the background vocals so the lead would stand out. You might also need to soften the sound of some of the instruments, like the drums and bass. The goal is for the overall sound should blend well and support each other to create excellent audio. 

Think about how you could maximize the use of a mic

It would mean setting up the mic and familiarizing yourself with its features, such as frequency response. You might want to see how you can best modify its sound to serve its purpose best, whether it’s for vocals or an instrument. 

Consider the speaker’s quality

The quality of the speakers makes a difference when choosing the best soundboard. What type of speakers do you have in your church, and how old they are. Check for any sound problems and observe any differences in sounds from the left and right speakers. Familiarize yourself with their features as well, such as their frequency range and the limit of their loudness. The bottom line here is to make sure that your church’s speakers still work well and produce good sound quality. It ensures that it won’t defeat your purpose of creating an excellent audio mix for the worship services.  

Make the Lead Vocal Channel a Priority

Praise and worship are one of the main parts of a worship service. It is why it’s a must to ensure that the lead singer is heard and understood. It may require tweaking with the volume, effects, reverb, equalizer, whatever you need to do to make them sound clear. 

Note that while you want the lead vocal to stay on top, it still needs to blend well with the sound of the instruments and the backup. 

How to Care for Your Church Soundboard

To be a good steward of the equipment and tool entrusted to you, you need to know how to keep the church soundboard in good running condition. 

Put a scheduling system in place 

You can create a system where rehearsals and church events are scheduled. It will also help the sound technicians to know when they are needed to assist. Also, it will help ensure that only the people who know how to handle the soundboard and sound system will touch the gear. 

Place a cover over the board and use the lock feature of the console

Covering the church soundboard indicates to the church members that it is not something they can play around with. It also helps avoid gathering dust. On the other hand, the lock feature is beneficial if people still tinker around the console despite being covered. This only works, though, on digital soundboards. The lock prevents adjustments or changes in the settings. 

Communicate well with church members/team

Advise the congregation members on the importance of the church soundboard or the sound system in general. Communicate and explain the process that everyone in the church needs to follow, to keep and maintain your audio mixer and sound system in good condition. 

Here are the five best soundboards that you might want to consider:

Midas PRO2-CC-TP 64-Channel Digital Console

The Midas PRO2-CC-TP 64-Channel Digital Console soundboard provides excellent live audio with a sleek and fast workflow. The PRO2 is keen on keeping it simple with its mechanical interface. It is centered on groups and colors to make it easier to use. 

Rather than the confusing paging and layering concepts many digital boards employ, this PRO2’s intuitive interface is centered around colors and groups. It mirrors the setup used by mix engineers. Only the associated feedback and required controls or knobs are displayed. It allows the users to follow streamlined workflows and not be overwhelmed by too many knobs and controls. 

This console is designed explicitly for live settings and is now setting the bar high for portability and performance in compact digital mixers. 

It also includes a road case that is customized. It has casters, recessed handles, twist-hasp latches, and rugged steel corners. They made the casing from solid marine-grade plywood and sturdy aluminum extrusions. The inside of the case has composite density foams that support and protect the console during transit. 

This mixer has 64 synchronous input channels. It can actively assign up to 164 outputs and 156 inputs. Because of its top-level connectivity feature works excellently in clubs and theaters, just as it does in music fests and outdoor broadcasts. 

Pros:

  • It has six multi-channel effects sound engines
  • It includes a sturdy case with a protective inside layer 
  • It has eight microphone or line inputs
  • It has 64 synchronous processing channels for input
  • It works excellently inside theaters and churches or houses of worship 
  • User-friendly 
  • It has a display with high resolution 

Cons:

  • Quite pricey and would stretch out your budget

PreSonus StudioLive 64S 64-Channel Mixer

The PreSonus StudioLive 64S 64-Channel Mixer offers both the ease of use of the analog mixer and the power of a digital one. Its interface displays all the essential controls and makes them accessible. You won’t have to search and find them inside layers or menus. 

It may be easy to use as an analog, but again, it features the power of an up-to-date digital console. Some of its capabilities are multitrack recording, the wireless remote control, and modern digital sound mixing. 

This product also boasts superior sound quality where you can easily hear clarity and details of sound. Its top-of-the-line Burr-Brown converters on each output and input give a high level 118 DB of dynamic and lively range. You will be able to capture each high and low with excellent accuracy and no noticeable distortion. 

This product also has a StudioLive 16.0.2 USB firmly integrated with a complete suite of highly advanced software. It gives you the ability to mix audio over a wired network or wirelessly from anywhere using the UC Surface software that it touch control. This software is compatible with Mac, Android, iPad, and Windows. 

Pros:

  • It’s easy to set up
  • It works great for live settings as well as for studio recordings
  • You won’t have to worry about running out of processors for signal
  • The buttons for functions are color-coded and clearly labeled
  • You can mix audio over a wired network or wirelessly from anywhere using the UC Surface software touch control

Cons:

  • This sound mixer tends to overheat or would quickly heat up 

Behringer Digital Snake and Mixer Package

In this Behringer Digital Snake and Mixer Package, Behringer introduces a new version 2.0 firmware, the X32. It enhances the workflow dramatically and also adds all-new features and capabilities. These features include control of In-Ear Monitor or IEM systems and speakers and acoustic integration for connectivity. 

The best soundboard from Behringer also has more than fifty onboard effects plug-ins. It also has added flexibility for connectivity. It has expansion cards that are swappable for connecting to other multi-channel audio networking. These connections can be via ADAT, Dante, MADI, and USB protocols. These are in addition to the AES50 and ULTRANET that are already in place. 

This soundboard also has an automated control display or surface that will help you see controls when you need them. You can create color assignments and make visual groups to recognize inputs easily. You can also add icons to identify the output and input tags at a glance. 

Its seven-inch main display is viewable even during the day and outdoors. It makes it ideal for open-air music festivals and concert events. This kind of display allows you to see the parameters of the settings that you need when you need them. Even the critical controls for effects, routing, and metering are just one to two button presses away. 

Pros:

  • The user interface has an easy-to-use display
  • The layout is not hard to understand and is intuitive
  • There are six mute groups that you can easily assign 
  • There are eight slots for FX that you can use 
  • Its USB thumb drive that is built-in is convenient and has a nice touch
  • There is a Mac and Windows program that you can use to connect your soundboard over the network for mixing, editing, and control 

Cons:

  • It can only record and play from .wav files 
  • It cannot record or playback to .mp3 or .mp4 format 
  • You need to convert afterward if you want .mp3’s to reduce the size 

Yamaha TF5 32 Channel Digital Mixer

The Yamaha TF5 32 Channel soundboard depicts years of steady development for this brand. For the TF project, the Yamaha engineers started from square one. They had to find different thinking about the way people treat mixing audio. They were cautious not to get tangled up in any conventional methods or practices without a thorough evaluation. 

This Yamaha TF5 console is the 32-channel variant of the TF mixer series. This mixer is perfect for events that require large numbers of synchronous inputs. It may be the best thing for your studio or event stage. 

Making adjustments and getting around this console is quick and straightforward based on a direct multi-touch screen. You can do it with just a turn of a knob or a simple touch. It allows pinch-and-pull gestures, a quick swipe, and double touches for the user to make changes and adjustments. The always and ever available Touch and Turn control of this mixer makes accurate adjustments super easy. 

It can be connected via USB and has some onboard features such as compression, delay, reverb, and chorus/flange. 

Pros:

  • It is an entry-level soundboard or console but with excellent quality
  • It has a user-friendly interface
  • It has a one-knob feature that works great for audio mixing beginners
  • It allows pinch-and-pull gestures, a quick swipe, and double touches for the user to make changes and adjustments
  • This mixer is perfect for events that require large numbers of synchronous inputs

Cons:

  • It has minimal features, and you can’t use it for holding enormous events

Allen & Heath SQ-7 48-Channel Digital Mixer

The SQ-7 48-Channel Digital Mixer is the flagship soundboard of Allen & Heath’s SQ Series. They designed this console to perform well in medium to big scenarios such as live productions, corporate events, AV, and worship services. 

This best soundboard from Allen & Heath is an easy choice for IEM or in-ear monitor setup, and it provides twelve stereo mixes that can also be configured as auxiliaries or as groups. The Automatic Mic Mixing feature makes it perfect for panel talks, conferences, and other similar events. 

The SQ-7 is filled with the most number of onboard mic preamps and output sockets that are built-in. There are thirty-two new line or mic inputs and three stereo lines that can serve as mono inputs. This console also has a flexible multi-track recording feature and can easily be stored directly to a drive or USB key. 

You can also download for free the SQ MixPad app on Android and iOS platforms. This app allows you to control the main mixing functions wirelessly. It enables you or the sound engineer to do audio mixing from different listening spots, add extra local control, and set up or adjust monitor mixes from the stage. You need to have an Android phone or tablet or an iPad and a wireless router. 

Pros:

  • It is packed with choices that allow the user to design and create their flows 
  • Features drag and drop on the mixes and channels individually 
  • Features color-coding and custom-naming on display 
  • The SQ MixPad app allows you to control the main mixing functions wirelessly 
  • It is designed to perform well in medium to big scenarios 

Cons:

  • This console is also pricey and would require you to stretch your budget a bit 

Conclusion

Of all these beautiful options for a church soundboard, the best soundboard that tops our list would be the Midas PRO2-CC-TP 64-Channel Digital Console. For one, it has a sturdy case that, even if you use it frequently in travel or transit, is well protected inside and out. Also, there are so many functions and features that won’t limit its use. 

Aside from using it in Sunday worship services, your church can also use it for significant events like worship concerts and conferences. This best soundboard from Midas is also easy to set up and easy to use, even if it’s a digital console. The overall appeal, ease of use, quality, and versatility make it the perfect option to invest in for the best soundboard. 

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Alex Shute
EDITOR
Alex Shute
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.

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