Behind the Mixer Welcomes Brian Gowing

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Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Brian Gowing is joining Behind the Mixer. Brian brings a wealth of knowledge, both with his level of technical geekdom but also with his vast experience working with tech teams, worship teams, and church staff in creating unified teams. He’s also a great guy!

Brian and I met a few years, through the normal online arena of church audio blogs. Then, in 2012, we met face-to-face at the Gurus of Tech conference. We hung out the first day and stayed up late talking all things audio.

Since 2012, I’ve re-posted a few of Brian’s articles, emailed him with technical questions, and tried to convince him to move to central Indiana. …keep reading »

The Purpose of Church Tech Production | Why We Work in the Shadows

Lincoln Brewster had just finished his talk at the 2013 Gurus of Tech conference and Todd Elliot took the stage.  Todd briefly talked about working in the tech ministry and then said, “[My] family needs a vision of what I do in tech ministry.”  At that moment, I realized my own family didn’t fully grasp why I worked in tech ministry.  And that’s when I realized I’ve never explained it.  Until now, I’m not sure if I ever had the words to do so.

As you consider your purpose in tech production, consider your pictured fellow brothers and sisters who share your passion. …keep reading »

A Shepherd, a Flock of Sheep, and a Homemade Lighting Board | Ministry Essentials

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[Gurus 2013 in Review: Alberty Reyes and Curtis Templeton]

Continuing this week’s series on the Gurus of Tech review, I bring you the insight of Alberty Reyes and Curtis Templeton.  Alberty and Curtis are two people working in God’s kingdom, doing transforming work, doing it in completely different ways, and each embodies the essence of ministering to others.

Alberty Reyes

Did you build your first lighting board from plywood and a couple of dimmers?  Are you ministering to churches in the Dominican Republic so they have trained technical volunteers and make the right equipment purchases?  Meet Alberty Reyes.

Alberty was interviewed for a short period during the Gurus of Tech conference.  And in those few minutes, it was clear that Alberty had a vision and a passion for helping churches in the Dominican Republic (DR).  He also had a great view on technical equipment and how it could bless churches. …keep reading »

Are You Ready for a Thriving (Production) Ministry Life?

[Gurus 2013 in Review: Lincoln Brewster]

I’ll admit I had mixed feelings when Lincoln Brewster took to the stage.  If mass media + musicians has taught me anything, it’s that I’d rather hear them sing than air their opinions.  Lincoln is definitely an exception.  It might be that he’s wiser than most musicians or that his Christianity is so front-and-center in his life that truth flows so easily from him.  All I can say is I wasn’t prepared for his great insights on “a thriving ministry life.”

But He’s Lincoln Brewster

His topic for the Gurus of Technology session was “how to have a thriving ministry life.”  Right…you sell albums, you go on tour, you play music for a living, and Lee Fields mixes FOH for you…your ministry life doesn’t get any better.  And how will any of that relate to us techies? …keep reading »

Doing Great Production Work (in a Not-So-Great Environment)

Todd Elliott, Technical Coordinator at Willow Creek Community Church

[Gurus 2013 in Review: Todd Elliott]

Do you feel limited in your capabilities because your church doesn’t have the latest, greatest, biggest, newest, best WHATEVER?

Todd Elliott, the Willow Creek Community Church Technical Coordinator, told his story of when he was first working at a smaller church and would attend Willow Creek events.  He said it would make him feel depressed because he saw all the great production work and all he could think was “we don’t have those resources [to do that]“  Recently, he read an article in Fast Company magazine called “Five Paths to Doing Great Work at a Terrible Company” and he saw a direct correlation to his past situation at his old church.  It wasn’t that it was a terrible church; it was the ideas behind the Five Paths that caught his attention. …keep reading »

Top Six Issues for Your Christmas Production

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Christmas productions are right around the corner.  These are usually the most stressful events for any sound tech because you are working with more people on the stage, kids, and a lot of variables where anything can go wrong at any time.  Oh, and let’s not forget all the extra expectations.  Here are the six issues that tend to come up during Christmas productions and how you can address each one.

1. Where can I hide the monitors?

A Christmas production often transforms the stage into a scene.  It might be the manger scene; it might be a changing set.  What happens when those floor monitors suddenly stand out and you’ll be asked “can we get rid of these monitors or can we move them? …keep reading »

Gurus of Technology in Review

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Say it with me, “I will attend the next Gurus of Technology conference.  I will be in community with other church techs.  I will be spiritually fed.  I will conquer all in the Tech Olympics.”

Personally, I had an amazing time at Gurus and it’s left me somewhere between “speechless” and “blabbering to my wife like a fool.”  With that in mind, if you attended gurus, this article will be a walk down memory lane.  If you didn’t attend the gurus of tech conference, you’ll know what to expect when you do go.

What exactly “IS” the Gurus of Technology conference? …keep reading »

The King’s Speech: Tips for Helping (Nervous) Guest Speakers

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Imagine yourself walking up to a microphone to give a speech.  Now imagine, in front of you, are about 10,000 people eagerly awaiting your every word. This is how the movie “The King’s Speech” opens.  Only you have to add one other factor.  The person speaking, the Duke of York, speaks with a debilitating stutter.  When a guest speaker comes to your church, chances are they feel nervous.  Using methods like the Queen of England used, you can give them the confidence they need.

The movie is based on the true story of the Duke of York, who would become King George the Sixth, his speech problem, and the man who taught him how to overcome it, Lionel Logue.  Looking back on this movie, there are three people who made a difference in King George’s ability to give speeches. …keep reading »

Top Ten Tech Tips for Portable Churches

Sunday, I attended service at a portable church.  After the service this past Sunday, I helped clear the stage area.  That's when the idea for this list started.  Here are ten tips that will help any portable church with a faster setup and teardown…and help the sound guy keeps his sanity.

1. Mark all cables with colored electrical tape.  Venues can have existing equipment available for use.  Using colored tape on your cables helps separate out your cables from theirs.  You might even mark your name with a permanent marker on the tape.

2. Mark ANY duplicate equipment with tape.  For example, if the venue provides music stands, microphone stands, or any other basic equipment (even microphones) that look like yours then mark your equipment with colored electrical tape.  This way, you don't spend 20 minutes trying to figure out what to pack up and what stays at the venue. …keep reading »

The Christmas Production Cheat Sheet

LOOKOUT!  The Christmas program is approaching!  The only think that sneaks up faster than Christmas is the church Christmas program.  Follow this cheat sheet so you have everything you need this Christmas (production) season.

1. Date/time of the program and any possible make-up date due to bad weather.

2. Date/time of all practices – mark which are full dress rehearsal

3. Meet with director (leader) of the production to find out production needs.  (Number of wireless mic's, number of people, media needs, etc.)

4. From #3, create sheet outlining needs and use it as a production needs list.

5. Borrow or rent extra equipment as needed. …keep reading »