You’ve come to the right place to learn church audio production or, as I call it, church audio artistry. Have you ever asked questions like:
- How do I get vocalists to sound good?
- Why is feedback happening and how can I stop it?
- How do I work with the musicians so they listen and trust me?
- Why can’t I create a consistent mix week-after-week?
- What do I do when people complain about the volume level?
- How do I learn live audio production?
If you’ve asked any of these questions, or similar questions, you’re in the right place. Since 2006, Behind The Mixer has been helping church audio techs create the best audio experiences for their congregations. This comes from knowing more than just the technical aspects of production. To be a good audio tech, one must understand all facets of live audio production, and this site covers it all.
How Behind the Mixer Can Help You Become a Good Church Audio Tech
There’s an enormous knowledge gap between the “Sunday Service Sound Tech” and the paid professional and it comes as no surprise. The pros are mixing multiple times throughout the week, have attended technical seminars & training, and know they have to make the act sound great because if not, they’re out of a job. As they say in the trade, “you’re only as good as your last gig.” Compare that to most church techs who got the job because, “you’re good with computers” or “you look like you could do this.” No training, no experience required, but usually a host of expectations. I’ve been in that position. Over twenty years ago, I was suckered into, I mean “asked” to run audio on the church’s very first console, a Mackie SR24:4.
I’m here to bridge that gap so you learn how to work much like the pros work. And it’s predominately in three areas:
- Learn the fundamentals of mixing. Modern digital consoles can do a lot but if the operator doesn’t understand the basics of building a mix or setting the gain structure, they can’t create a good mix.
- Work outside the sound booth. The last step in audio production is mixing. A ton of important steps happen before, such as microphone selection and setup and learning the songs which will be performed. And of course, communication with the musicians and those in charge. In the church, that’s the musicians, worship leader, and pastor.
- Work smarter. Know what to do and when to do it. For example, you can turn the EQ controls randomly and stop when it sounds good. Or, you can reach for the right control the first time.
If you want to be a great church sound tech then I’ve got great articles and in-depth guides for you. But before checking those out, you need a place to start.
Let me explain. A common email I receive goes like this, “Chris, I’m new to church audio. What should I learn?” Let’s see, there’s mixing, there’s equipment selection and setup, there’s…you get the idea. What they need is an overview of the major areas of production work. Only then can they see how to create a successful audio production by incorporating these areas together. In short, it’s way more than mixing.
I’ve created the FREE Church Audio Mini-Guide that’s packed with information perfect for anyone new to church audio. It’s that overview covering crucial areas that too many church techs miss because they only think their job is mixing. Oh, and if you aren’t new to audio but never received formal training, I think you’ll find it helpful as well.
What You’ll Find Here
1. The Blog
The Behind the Mixer blog has been going for over 8 years so there’s a wealth of information available. My posts focus on technical aspects such as microphone properties and how to mix vocals. I also cover the non-tech side such as dealing with difficult musicians.
What you won’t find is a blog filled with the latest new gear announcements. There is so much that comes out that I sift through it and pull out only the stuff that’s relevant to the majority of church audio techs.
New posts come up a few times a month and I tend to write at length to really cover a topic.
2. The Guides
What do you do when people say you should write a book? You write it. That’s how the guides came about. My biggest guide so far, now sold in over 60 countries, is Audio Essentials for Church Sound. It takes you through every step of audio production so you’re creating a good mix every week and meeting the unspoken expectations of the musicians, the pastor, and the congregation.
A number of guides are available, covering topics from mixing vocals to buying an audio console and you can see the full list here.
Chris Huff – Founder
Chris is the founder of Behind the Mixer (2006), author of Audio Essentials for Church Sound, and currently an audio engineer at Greenwood Christian Church in Greenwood, Indiana. He’s been involved with live sound, primarily church audio, for over twenty years working at churches and venues of various sizes.
He’s also a freelance writer for pro audio publications which include:
- Live Sound International (print magazine)
- ProSoundWeb (online magazine)
- Church Production Magazine (print and online magazine)
- Technology for Worship Ministry (print and online magazine)
Fun facts about Chris:
- “I’ve walked off a golf course twice because I ran out of balls.”
- “I used to play guitar on a worship team. I’ve been on both ends of the microphone cable.”
Brian Gowing (Joined in 2014)
Brian is the technical director at large Ohio church and the Business & Technology Manager for the Great Lakes District Office of the Christian & Missionary Alliance. He’s helped over 100 churches with worship issues, both technical and worship-oriented.
He believes, “to have a transparent worship experience every piece of the worship service has to fit together and run like a well-oiled machine. If you have friction between the worship and tech teams you’ll never have this beautiful dance that transpires.”
His articles have been featured in:
- Church Denomination Newsletters.
- Behind The Mixer (as a guest writer before joining with Chris).
Fun facts about Brian:
- “I consider pizza and chicken wings to be food groups.”
- “I also play percussion and drums in worship.”
You can catch him on twitter.
Join Our Tech Team
Join our growing global tech team of 20,000+ techies. By joining the team, you’ll get:
- the free Church Audio Mini-Guide,
- access to our active church audio forum,
- the newsletter with news on new gear and links to the latest articles,
- and no worries as your email address is protected.
“…thank you for all that you have done with your website, blog, and email newsletters to enhance tech ministry in the Church! I’ve been following your blog for the past couple of years, and you have really helped me develop my skill and my ministry as a sound tech.”
– Steven W.
The thoughts and views expressed on this web site are our personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of our respective churches or organizations.