Recording Church


I’m looking for a better way to record our worship experiences.

We used to record to CD, till it broke. The positives about that were that 60% of the time it worked every time and it was kind of a no-brainer. The negatives were that you could only record about 75 minutes and unfortunately we always run over that. Plus then you’ve got to rip it off the CD, which isn’t that bad, but an extra step for us.

When the CD recorder broke, I reworked our system to send to dual RCA’s out into a computer to record with Audacity. This works great except that we don’t have an extra computer so we’re using my MBP, which is a pain, cuz I’ve got to bring it in and set it up and then it’s in use all Sunday. The cool thing about using the computer is we can immediately put our bumpers on the message, burn a CD, make copies and have them ready by the end of service.

So my dilemma is, what shall I do?

  1. Fix the CD recorder? Who knows how much that will be, probably a lot.
  2. Keep using my computer?
  3. Find another computer?
  4. Use some type of MP3 recorder, then just take it down to my office and dump it onto my desktop to edit and burn the CD?

I personally like option 5. Does anyone use any inexpensive MP3 recorders to record their worship services? If so, what make & model and how is it working? Everyone else, how do you accomplish this each week?

Feedback appreciated!

7 thoughts on “Recording Church

  1. Travis

    We use the standard CD burner for messages. We record the message only in our first service and use that one for podcasts and CD duplication. We record everything in the second service. We can pull the message off if we need to but either way it gives us a documentation of the service. (Board mixes of music are rarely worth distributing but they are good for our engineers and worship team to hear.) Now that we are in the new building, we also multi-track our services on two Alesis 24 track HD recorders for remixing later.

    If I were in your shoes I would look for a computer to live in the sound booth to record services. You talk about fixing the CD burner but it would probably be cheaper to buy a new one. However, if you can’t get a whole service on a CD, what is the benefit of that?

    A refurbished iMac with Garageband will work your magic. Obviously, it would have built in podcasting things too.

  2. Steve Eller

    We use a minidisc recorder for all of our stuff. Unless you are really wanting to multi-track, I would look at getting a two-track digital recorder. Check out the M-Audio MicroTrack II. I haven’t used it, but it looks like it may meet your needs. It is portable, and can be had for a couple hundred bucks. Obviously you would still need a burner for your CDs.

  3. eric

    I used to use the M-Audio Fast Track on that Dell that John is now using. Maybe you could get him to give that thing up for a few hours on Sunday. Then he could listen to his own messages at home. It worked pretty well. I would go with that.

    Or you might look into this little genius of an invention. The MUVO V100. I recorded some songs on it… “Devoted”, “Life for a life” & “Come Alive”. I’m not sure if it has a line in, but it does have a microphone so there’s probably a way to make it work. The beauty of it is that it doubles as a Jump Drive with it’s USB insert. The bummer is that it’s only 1GB. But I think they’re coming out with a 4GB. Still not huge, but big enough.

    Lastly, I’ve been seriously considering plugging into our Macbook Pro and using Garageband. My only concern is that it’s designated for ProPresenter and I hate to mess with it during the service. However, it would be sweet if it worked since we’re portable and simplicity is like Gold at our Church.

  4. alex

    Travis – yes I agree that an iMAC is the solution, now to fund it…

    Steve – yup the M-Audio is a perfect solution, looking into it. And we’d burn a disc off my office desktop & we have a 7 disc burner for multiple copies.

    Eric – you want me to what? huh? We need a permanent solution ha ha! And the M-Audio is looking like it…

  5. jordan

    We use a cd recorder (tascam) and finalize them in the deck so we can immediately run them out to a duplicator and have a 5 minute turnaround for instant availability by the time people walk out of service. Then we edit it down and fly it up on the webpage. Never had a failure yet with the Tascam unless we got a bad disk. Since we record both service and are going to tape we got some kind of way to get it to the computer as it is highly doubtful all four recording attempts could fail.

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