Ask the expert – using battery powered amps for outdoor ministry – 10 tips

Ask the expert – using battery powered amps for outdoor ministry – 10 tips

Marc asks:

My wife (keys) and I (guitar) have been called to a worship-centred ministry here in Taiwan, where we are often outside – for example, in parks and other places (hospital foyers etc.) where mobile  amps and equipment are needed. I think your new MultiTrack product would be ideal for us. Although we do mostly worship in Chinese, just having the capability to introduce other instruments and voices into the mix would be great.

However, I do have a technical question I would like to ask: if we downloaded your player onto a laptop, could we then plug that into, and play songs through, a battery-powered amp we are considering buying. If so, how could this best be achieved?

For information: We are currently looking at buying either the the Roland Cube (Street) or the Roland BA-330? Prefer the latter.

Hi Marc

Yes, so long as you are singing the same songs with the same melody and pentameter (in terms of fitting the Chinese words into the line of the original English) I don’t see why the player shouldn’t work for you. It is easy to download to a laptop (and takes up very little space) and you won’t need an internet connection once the player and songs have downloaded to your laptop. You can mute the vocals, guitar and keys as you will be playing these yourself. As for your question about battery powered amps, we asked our technical expert Geoff Boswell to answer this one for you:

It all depends on needs, budget and safety with anything portable and especially battery operated. Don’t use an inverter [voltage convertor that turns DC battery volts into AC mains volts] as cheap ones may not be good with audio equipment but also can be dangerous if you are electrically inexperienced.

Two good makes of purpose made battery amps which I know of in the UK are Anchor [most probably the best and longest established and a US brand] and MiPro which are a very good manufacturer who have come to prominence in the west in the past 20 years or so [MADE IN TAIWAN] so that would suit you perfectly.

I have done many outdoor gigs with my church over the years and still do for various community events. Safety should always be your first thought. Therefore  I would urge you to be careful and cautious. This will give you peace of mind as well as preventing the lawsuits should anything happen !

Here are ten essentials if you don’t have the onsite advise of a suitably qualified electrician:

  1. Raise speaker/s to at least head height [slightly higher if you can safely]
  2. You will need more audio power than you may think when out of doors [over spec rather than under spec]
  3. Safety is paramount.
  4. Use battery powered gear and don’t be tempted to use invertors or very long mains leads
  5. Make sure any speaker stands are roped off from public
  6. Speaker stand legs should be spread as wide as they will safely go [to give stability]
  7. Don’t use mains
  8. Don’t use mains
  9. JUST DON’T !
  10. Safety is paramount.

Geoff Boswell