A/V Advice for Church Video Recording


Novice Member
Hey All,

I have been tasked to introduce technology into my church, yes I know... We are small and taking baby steps. :)

We are a small church in a small community with limited budget. About 100 people.

Current Situation:

We have audio, mics, projector, laptops and thats about it


We would like to be able to record our whole sermon audio and video and the ability to post it online for anyone to re-watch or if they have missed it.

Below are pictures of the equipment we have and want to know what additional equipment we will need to purchase in order to record basic video and audio. We are not looking for anything fancy, just want to take baby steps and introduce something different. As do most churches, we have a limited budget <$3000. What will I need to procure to get the bare minimum for the ability to record video and audio? Doesn't have to be HD 1080p, just something to start.

What are the options for software (freeware or purchased) to record, or youtube or other recommend sites for viewing videos and hardware, camcorder, equipmetn etc.

Here are some pictures that will show the size of the church and the equipment we have.







I appreciate in advance for any assistance,

Thank you so much! :)


Distinguished Member
I would suggest a decent camcorder with XLR inputs, plus a good tripod as a starting point. A Panasonic AGA-AC90 would fit within your budget.

This has a 12X zoom lens, so could be located at the technical position at the back of the church. You then feed a signal from the audio desk to one audio channel and from an ambient mic located somewhere near the front of the church.

To edit, you can cut out any pauses within the service or sermon and then mix the 2 audio channels together to give you a natural sounding Mono mix. Save the file and upload to a video site like YouTube and embed the video on your church web page.

There are plenty of other churches already doing this and lots of trade support. As you progress, you could add a 2nd camera, feed from the laptop etc. and feed them all into a video mixer & recorder or live streamer. Realistically, you are not going to manage all of this for $3K, so I suggest you buy a smaller amount of better quality kit and add to it later.

If you do want to dive straight down the streaming / mixing route, have a look at the Roland kit. It is simple to use, bomb proof and not overly expensive.


Novice Member
Thanks so much for your reply.

From what I understand, I would have the XLR from my AGA-AC90 output into the input of the mixer (one channel of audio and full video), and how I have all the mics and audio setup currently, that would be the audio input to the mixer (another channel of audio), and then output of the mixer which would be the audio and video will go to our laptop. The video and audio from the mixer would live record to the laptop during the sermon. Then edit, like you stated above all the pauses and mix the 2 channels of audio together.

Does the mixer board I have the in pictures will do for video and audio, or do I need to purchase cards for the laptop or different mixers? We can also spend an additional $2000 if it makes sense to do it right the first time, we would hold fundraisers etc. We don't want to go overboard as our congregation is small compared to other churches.

Just confused on the video /audio input output mixer portion. If there are diagrams online that I can refer to, that would be great as well

Thanks again!

Really appreciate your help.


Distinguished Member
OK, not really!
My suggestion is that you record on the camcorder, taking an audio feed from the sound mixer. You then take the SD card out and edit this for upload after the service

You might need more than $3000 for a reasonable video mixer - VR-3 :: Products :: Roland This is a baseline mixer that will take video from a camera and also a feed from a laptop - for song words and sermon notes, giving you an output for recording and streaming. It also has lots of inputs for mics etc. so you could create a separate mix from the main desk, which might add complexity, but would improve the end result. These turn up on ebay from time to time for about $1600, new price being about $2000. The older model is currently on run out, so you might get a good price on this just now.

This does not leave a lot for a good camera and tripod, but a Panasonic V750 and Libec tripod could be had for less than $1000.

This would not be my chosen route, as my preference would be to buy better quality kit from the outset, but this will give you a perfectly usable solution for live streaming. You would take a feed from your sound mixer for all your mics, plus I would still recommend an ambient mic - so your viewers can hear the congregation singing!

I hope this makes it clearer. The Roland website has lots of useful info and some connection diagrams as well.


Novice Member
OK, I believe I understand now, the recording of the video goes to the SD Card and from the sound mixer I currently have, I can take audio and input it into the AGA-AC90 via XLR. After editing it (video from SD and separate audio file?) and mixing it via software, I can upload to YouTube and paste a link on my website. If we want to get more professional, as in recording PPT presentations, lyrics etc. from a laptop, I would procure a video mixer like the Roland you mentioned and do further editing and mixing of various video inputs. To sum it all up, the hardware I would need for a basic setup would be:
-XLR Cables
-SDXC Card (not sure what size ??) 3 hour recordings 720p)

and use my existing sound mixer, mics and laptop.

As for software, are their open source software I can use to edit my recordings before publishing to YouTube that doesn't require a steep learning curve? If not could you recommend a solid licensed software we can use that is inexpensive?

Thank you.


Distinguished Member
Correct. This would be the camera, connection to your mixing desk - check what outputs it has, you may need Jack - XLR cables, tripod and recording medium. This would also be great to record weddings, baptisms and outdoor events as well.

There is plenty of sub $300 software out there that will do the job. The free stuff tends to be quite slow and not brilliant in terms of quality. Vegas, Premiere Elements, Avid / Pinnacle are all within this range and work well. There are plenty to choose from. Download some free trials and find one you like using.

A 32Gb card will easily record 3 hours at full HD. At lower quality levels, you will get 4 - 6 hours - in case the preacher gets carried away :)


Novice Member
Perfect, Thank you so much! for your help. I really do appreciate your time given to me!

BTW, preachers never get carried away HAHA :)


Novice Member
Actually one question, if plugging in the XLR cables into the video camera, do you need to mix the audio or does the audio and video record to one single file?

Thank you

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