The Most Valuable Tool for Church Production
In live audio, time is not on your side. If there is a problem you need to fix it and do it quickly. Doors are about to open and members of the church are about to fill the room. We had a conference not too long ago where we were receiving both audio and video through a web stream. The computer that was going to be accessing the page was in our rear studio. Video was fairly simple to route to the screens: out of the computer, into the video switcher, onto the screens. Audio on the other hand was a bear.
Audio had to come out of the computer by headphone jack, converted to stereo TRS cable, into a patch bay that connected to a FOH patch bay, out of that patch bay into the input patch bay of the console, and then into the house system. Suffice it to say there were a lot of things that could go wrong. And they did. One of the audio lines was coming into the console with a constant buzz. Now, there are six or seven (or more!) places that the buzz could have come from, but how was I supposed to check each line?
The Answer: The Whirlwind Qbox. The Qbox is the all-in-one audio line tester ideal for applications such as live sound, maintenance, installation work – anywhere audio runs down a cable. Its most useful feature is a built in speaker, so I started off at the computer, plugged the outs into the Qbox, and was able to tell I had a clean signal. I then moved to the next cables, the next patch bay, and so on. This tool helped me find a bad patch cable in less than 5 minutes when it would have taken me close to an hour of troubleshooting without it. It is an investment, but I can tell you the time it has saved me is worth more than its price tag. I will never work an event without having one close by.
Jordan Tracy is an Audio Engineer at the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS. He’ll take Sandals over shoes any day of the week. Follow Jordan on Twitter.