Do You Have a Case of Big Church Envy?

Prepare to be uncomfortable.  You have fallen prey to Big Church Envy.  You know who you are and what I’m talking about and you’re starting to squirm in your seat.

Just because a church the size of Willow Creek or Saddleback has a fantastic mondo sound, video, and lighting system doesn’t justify YOU spending that kind of money on equipment. These Big Churches are a different breed and can set the bar for the rest of us. That doesn’t mean we should copy them.

The Symptoms

It’s fun to drool over a Big Church’s latest $50,000 digital mixer or $100,000 lighting setup.   [click to continue »]

You Made Behind the Mixer Number 7 – Thank You

Every year, the fine folks at ChurchMag compile a list of the 30 Top Church Tech Blogs.  They look at factors from Google Page Rank to social media and a few others.  But to even be considered for the list, a site first must be nominated.

The result is a list of the top 30 sites covering areas of tech including;

  • Audio / Video / Lighting Production
  • Podcasting
  • Social Media
  • Stage Design
  • Web Site Design
  • and Even Marketing (technology is everywhere!)

You Made Behind the Mixer #7!

Through nominations, commenting on posts, subscribing to the newsletter, and JUST BEING REALLY COOL TECHIES, you put this site in the TOP TEN.  [click to continue »]

How to Mix Two Electric Guitars

Guitars can energize a mix or absolutely destroy it.  I’ve watched rookies look dumb-struck at the mixing console because they didn’t know how to handle mixing two guitars.  Mixing two guitars is a simple process in which you do the same thing to each guitar channel EXCEPT with one added step.

First of all, you MUST identify the role of each guitar in the song.  A guitar is either going to play rhythm or lead.  Take the two guitars in the song and identify the role of each.

Let’s say, in this example, there is a rhythm guitar and another guitar that will play rhythm with the occasional lead elements in the song. [click to continue »]

Which Four Wireless Microphone Mistakes are You Making?

There are four wireless microphone mistakes that get a sound tech in trouble.  The first mistake is one I’m often asked about.  I will be upfront and say that I’ve made two of these mistakes. Two, maybe three.  No, two.  Forgive and forget, right?  [sigh]

1. Allow signal seepage (that sounds… disgusting!)

It goes like this;

  1. Channel gain (trim) knob is at zero.
  2. Fader is at unity or below.
  3. The wireless signal still seeps (bleeds) through into the channel and out the main speakers.

Why does this happen when the gain is turned to zero?  The answer is simple and the solution even simpler.  [click to continue »]

The Next Microphone You Buy Could Be Counterfeit – Spotting Fakes

The Shure SM58 is the most popular counterfeit microphone on the market.  You might own one.  Sennheiser’s have been faked.  Even rack components are being faked now.  Here’s the kicker, in some cases, the fakes are being sold at the same price or higher than the authentic products!  And the fakes are getting harder to spot.  Consider these ways of spotting a fake microphone.

I’m focusing on the Shure SM58 but the concepts apply to all microphones.

Six Ways of Spotting Fake SM58′s

1. The price is too good to be true.

Shure has a “Minimum Advertised Price” policy.  That’s why SM58′s should NOT be advertised for less than $98.  [click to continue »]

Is Your Small Church Audio Team Under-Equipped? Here’s Your Gear Checklist

Are you running sound at a small church or a new start-up church?  If so, chances are you’re struggling with the sound reinforcement system. I’ve seen a lot of “inventive” systems cobbled together by well-meaning folks and believe it’s time to toss out a life-line.

I’ve put together a list of the essential pieces of sound reinforcement equipment for a small church. Because most small churches don’t have much of a tech budget, I’m not going to be specifying high-end equipment. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have pro-quality and tour-grade gear.  I want you to have good gear – I’m NOT here to say it’s ok to buy bargain-basement gear. [click to continue »]

Pick the Right Headworn Microphone

shuremx153

Pick the wrong headworn microphone and the pastor will want their old lapel mic back.  Transition successfully, from lapel mic to headworn mic, by picking the right microphone for the job.  They aren’t all the same in fit, functionality, frequency response or even wireless pack compatibility.

The Story

The audio tech grew tired of begging the pastor to, “PLEASE put the lapel mic in the right spot.”  Every weekend sermon had the tech pushing the mic gain to the limit so the congregation could hear the pastor while not hearing feedback.  After hearing the 87th complaint of, “I couldn’t hear the sermon,” he decided it was time for a change. [click to continue »]

Technically Transparent Worship: Implementation (Part 6)

vision3
Part 6 of 6 in the series Technically Transparent Worship

EEK! I never published the Implementation phase of Technically Transparent Worship! Thanks, Stephen, for reminding me.

Implementation

Here’s where it gets tough. If senior leadership has had battles with the tech team over the “vision” then the first thing to do is ask for forgiveness and an opportunity to start over.  That means swallowing your pride and leaving the ego at the door.  Listen to their problems and let them vent.  Take notes.  This is not the time to argue but to gather facts and perceptions from their point of view. Prepare for a tough listen.

If senior leadership has a good relationship with your team then move onto confirming their vision of the service experience.  [click to continue »]

Technically Transparent Worship: Troubleshooting (Part 5)

Part 5 of 6 in the series Technically Transparent Worship

After working over 15 years in the technical field, I am a firm believer that Satan inhabits electronics. If anything can go wrong with electronics, it usually happens at the worst possible time! Stuff happens and how we deal with it, both during the event and after, define our ministry walk. No one likes sullen or mean people, and as this is a ministry, there’s no room for such behavior.

Here are my rules for working and surviving as a tech lead;

1. Have a sense of humor. Take the work seriously but don’t take yourself seriously.

2. Complaints from anyone outside of the tech team, is handled by the complaint department (ME). [click to continue »]

Technically Transparent Worship: Practice (Part 4)

Part 4 of 6 in the series Technically Transparent Worship

“Practice Makes Perfect.” “How do you get to Broadway? Practice, practice, practice!” I’m sure you’ve heard those before. If you don’t practice you won’t get better. Period. There are few people who don’t need to practice their craft. Chances are good you aren’t one of them.

Good practice begets good worship. Bad practice begets bad worship. Just because the worship team and a few tech folks get together for an hour a week doesn’t mean they are ready for Sunday.

As the father of a rather exuberant teenager, the husband of a wife with leukemia, and one trying to run a full-time ministry, I know how hard it is to carve time out for a proper practice. [click to continue »]