I have an ongoing dilemma at my church that I'd appreciate advice/suggestions.
First, we do not have a paid / full time sound ministry staff.
Second, I've been trying to decide what the best means of recording the services is. CD or Computer? If I do CD, we've had several failures over the years using our Tascam CD recorder, so it's not 100% reliable. If I do computer, that requires relying on others to edit out the sermon and then manually create a CD, etc... I know it doesn't sound like a big deal, but if you aren't overly technical, it can seem intimidating to do this process.
What are your thoughts?
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Record using Reaper on the computer. Reaper is cheap, it is fast and lightweight, and it is easy to AUTOMATE the hard stuff.
We run a template called "Sermon Recorder". It has a basic compressor, noise gate and some little EQ changes already activated and ready to go. Open it, press record, press stop when done. Program asks you to save the file. Yes. Exit, do not save project.
The file for editing is automatically exported into a folder of our choosing.
I can give you our exact setup if you want/decide to go this route.
EDIT: Even better, I could send you the template file.
The computer is really the way to go. If you have a machine available for it, you can put it together at no cost. We use Audacity, which has a slight learning curve, but is pretty easy to teach. We only record the message - the (volunteer) sound tech just clicks record at the beginning and stop at the end. We export as a WAV, and then pass that file through another free program called the Levelator. It cleans the audio up tremendously and is fully automated - just drag and drop. We don't actually burn CDs unless they're requested - just put them online, but obviously you could go straight to a CD from that point. It would only take your volunteer 5 minutes after the service ended to have a CD in hand.
To me, one of the biggest advantages of the computer is the ability to do a little post processing - either running through a program like we do or setting up some processing in your recording software like hitchface. It cleans up that spoken audio a LOT and really isn't much harder than straight to disc.