Make a big impact for less than $500

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"We've looked everywhere.  Someone must have 'picked up' the wireless microphone."  Not the words I wanted to hear five minutes before the service.

Our church hosted the Judson University choir on Sunday.  The platform had been cleared, and everything was set up the night before, except our lone handheld wireless microphone.  That's the microphone that the choir director requested to allow him the freedom to speak from different places. I couldn't find it during set-up, so I texted a couple people, one of whom said that it was in the pastor's office, so I didn't sweat it.  But the next day, we still couldn't find it. 

Like many of you, I'm the volunteer media team leader at the church I attend.  We work with a fairly limited budget, and it appears that I need a new wireless transmitter. Ugh!

With limited budget money, our purchases have to be spot on. 

We get daily questions about how to best utilize specific amounts of money, and the answers to the "how to" questions are particularly critical at amounts under $500.  

Here are some specific ideas.

These are the types of ideas that I have to work into our $2000 annual budget at church.  

The best use of $100Radial ProDI.  These direct boxes will breathe new life into an acoustic guitar, bass guitar or other instrument that seems to be missing something that you can't quite put your finger on.  A close second is the Heil PR22UT vocal microphone at $117.  If you need a wired vocal microphone for soloists, or a new snare drum microphone, this is a great choice.  There's almost nothing in the realm of video equipment that anyone would ever classify as inexpensive, but the Kramer VP-200K with Kramer's new Krisp circuitry at $112 will allow you to get rid of that cheap computer distribution amplifier that messes up color, resolution and general image quality.  

Best use of $200-300 Audix D6 bass drum microphone - if you just can't get a good sound (assuming that you have a good drum to work with), the D6 makes it easy.  Countryman E6 earset microphone - more predictable, consistent, natural intimate sound for your pastor - as much as 10dB more gain before feedback than a lapel microphone.  

Best use of $500Driverack PA2 at $399.95 ($100 price drop) - system processor with automatic system equalization, several custom speaker profiles, automatic feedback control, and more; Line 6 XD-V75 series wireless microphone - your choice of handheld, dual ear headworn or lapel - with 2.4GHz digital, included rack kit, extra heavy-duty construction; a new original equipment projector lamp to freshen your old video projector (call for more info and prices for your specific projector); and a pair of Heil PR30 microphones - a versatile all-around performer for choir, brass, drums, podcasting, guitar amps, and more.  If I had to pick just one microphone for use on everything, it might be the Heil PR30.  And at $252 each, there's nothing else that even comes close.  

In a nutshell, buy the best equipment.  Quality over quantity at your price point - every, single, time.