I recently conducted a workshop at a nearby church that had quite a sophisticated audio system. Line arrays that covered the sanctuary with front fills, under balcony speakers, personal monitor mixers for the vast array of musicians and a 48 input digital mixer. As I was observing their rehearsal, I noticed the sound operator was sound mixing with all of the console’s inputs. Yes, he was sound mixing with forty-eight faders. Some of you may be asking: “Is there another way to mix?” Yes, there is an easier method and it will save you hours of frustration if you will take some time to learn how to do this. It won’t take long.
I just finished a conference call with a church tech director and creative arts pastor. They are having issues with the sound in their church and the two of them, together, want to make a difference. They are looking for suggestions as to how to take it to the next level. There was no shifting of blame or finger pointing one to the other, in fact, the worship leader was very adamant in his support for the tech team and how dedicated they have been in their quest to make things better. Refreshing!
In the last post (Audio Recording Essentials – Part 1), we asked some important questions, such as: “What are you recording?” and “Why are you recording?” We discussed that the tools required for one application may be completely different for another. We also looked at some various audio recording devices and formats that would work well for basic recording applications. We determined that SD/SDHC/SDXC cards are a very popular format to record to and used in many other devices, as well: cameras, computers, displays, etc. Now let’s talk about digital mixers for audio recording as well as some audio editing tips and tricks!
It seems that almost every church I visit or hear from wants to record their services or some aspect of it. For some, it may be just the sermon and for others it may be a stream of the entire Sunday meeting. The tools required for one application may be completely different for another. Once you have a clear picture of what it is you’re trying to accomplish, your choices for choosing the proper equipment should be much easier.
I just got back from the NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA. It is the biggest and baddest toy store for musicians and techs in the country. Hundreds of distributors and manufacturers of musical instruments, analog/digital hardware and software, loudspeakers, earphones, DJ and lighting products all demonstrating their newest products to tens of thousands of attendees.
Whether it’s a candlelight Christmas service or a living nativity with real camels and kings, you need to know what you can and can’t do. If it’s a major mega-production, the plans should’ve been revealed long ago. If your Christmas service is more like your normal meetings, you may not need as much preparation. Preparation is the key. Have a plan. Plan the work and work the plan. However monumental or sublime the challenge, approach the celebration of the birth of Christ with the right attitude and reflect the source of our celebration.
Whether you are a pastor, worship leader, on the worship team or a volunteer, we all can suffer from church ministry burnout. If we are not careful, we can easily overwhelm ourselves to the point of exhaustion. Church ministry burnout not only affects us physically and emotionally, but spiritually as well. When we let ourselves get to this point, we can lose sight of why we are serving in the first place. Here are some helpful tips on how you and your team can avoid church ministry burnout.
In my last article, I solicited the opinions of worship leaders of large and small congregations to find out the ways they thought time and money were being wasted. In this post, I was asked to write about what we, as sound techs do when the PA system fails in part or in whole. So guess what? I asked a group of my favorite techs to hear their sound tech best practices. Perhaps you’re doing some of these things already (aren’t you so smart?) and maybe you’re not (there’s always something we can learn). In any case, here are some very practical and helpful sound tech best practices we all can learn from. (more…)
I know it’s hard to admit, but you know and I know we could be spending our time and money in much better ways than we do. When asked to write on this subject I didn’t want to confess the ways in which I waste time and resources. No way! I would rather observe how others waste their time and report my findings to you. So I contacted a few of my closest worship leader friends to hear what they thought of the subject. Some of them you may know like Bob Kauflin (Author of Worship Matters), Benji Cowart (Award-winning Songwriter, Worship Pastor and Teacher), Ben Gowell (Producer, Songwriter, Guitarist for Paul Baloche and Worship Pastor), and Jonathan Lee (Award-winning songwriter and Worship Pastor). Others may be less familiar to you but they are dedicated guys whom I admire and respect and who serve in their local churches: Matt Kees, Jeff Harrison, JD Farina, Michael Sainz, Joe Mikey Papa and Randy McCoy. I thought I would share their insights to see if it strikes a chord in you. I know they did with me and have encouraged me to make changes in the way I utilize my time and resources not only in ministry, but also in life. (more…)
I have been a musician my whole life and worked in the audio industry for almost forty years. Having been a worship leader and a tech I know what each side needs make it work well… co-operation. I am going to run down a short list of tips for Worship Teams and Audio Tech Teams might consider to fine tune their connection. (more…)