In the livestreaming era, church sound booths are upping their game.
According to the Prophet Isaiah, grass withers, flowers fade, but God’s word endures.
In the age of social media, so do the mistakes of church musicians.
Play the wrong chord, forget the words to a song or sing an off note, and a worship leader or singer may find themselves featured in Facebook videos or Instagram accounts like “Worship Fails” for years.
As a result, said Marc Jolicoeur, worship and creative pastor at Moncton Wesleyan Church in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, churches like his have paid more attention to how their music sounds online. That includes using Auto-Tune or other pitch-correcting software.
Widely used in the recording industry to smooth out the rough edges of vocalists, pitch correction has become fairly common in congregations.
The pitch correction process feeds the sounds sung into a microphone into a processor that aligns the singer’s pitches with pure versions of the note.
In worship contexts, pitch correction makes it easier for less talented or less rehearsed singers to still help lead congregational singing, said Jolicoeur. If they make small mistakes, they can be corrected easily.
Churches are also more aware of hitting the right notes because their services are going out on livestreams. People attending a service in person, said Jolicoeur, often have a better experience—the congregation’s singing resounds in the actual church building; those at home only hear what’s going into microphones and coming out of their computer speakers.
A 2023 study of online worship from Pew Research found that while remote worshippers rate online sermons and sermons they hear in person about the same, there’s a drop-off when it comes to music. Sixty-nine percent of those …