Passing Out A Sound Tech Job Description

Musicademy put up an article last week with worship team job descriptions. They included the position of "sound technician."  The job description for sound tech was a little bit lacking in my option.  Let's see how we can fix it up a bit…

First off, I applaud the author for creating the job descriptions.  Whenever a person wants to join a worship team, they need to know the expectations.  Let's face it, it's not all "let's have fun and see what happens."  Below, I've revised the example presented at Musicademy while sometimes leaving well enough alone.  I've also re-ordered it so the order stresses the needs of the ministry and the requirements over the duties.

I believe the description offered by Kim Gentes was slightly worship-leader-centric.  Jump when they say jump.  It could just be a matter of interpretation and/or the church where Kim attends.  That aside, this description focuses more on what needs to be done.

Title: SOUND TECHNICIAN

Responsible to (Answers to): Pick which is appropriate for your church (Worship leader, pastor, head audio tech, tech director).

Purpose:  Produce the best possible atmosphere for worship through sound reinforcement.  This includes, but is not limited to, creating the best music mix possible, creating an audio mix that meets the mood the pastor/worship leader wants to convey, and supporting the audio needs of the people involved with the church service.  Ultimately, glorify God through providing excellent audio services.

Qualifications & Skills Required:
    1. A heart for worshiping God.
    2. Be in good standings    with the church and either be a member or attend regularly for at least six months.
    3. Able to work in a team settings and take directions.
    4. Either has experience mixing audio successfully in the live environment OR are willing to attended training and work alongside a mentor.
    5. Have good communication skills (confirmed by someone other than you).
    6. Ability to think quickly and react/trouble-shoot properly in high stress situations.
    7. Must have commitment to a local church Small Group. (Musacedmy listed this and it brings up a very good point; being plugged into the church in a way that feeds our soul needs to happen before we can give back to the church.)
    8. Willing to attend training sessions and read/watch other training material for improving existing skills. 

Length of Service:  2 year minimum, annual after that.  2 years shows the level of commitment required.

Time Required:  2-hours before the service through 1/2 hour after the service when scheduled.  Attend any quarterly meetings, typically 1 hour in length and held in evening or after church.  These times fit for my church.  If you have mandatory band practice times where an audio tech is required, you should note that here.

Tasks:

Pre-service
1. Set up stage for musicians (or with musicians depending on your church situation).
2. Perform proper line check.
3. Perform proper sound check; includes gain settings, monitor mixes, proper volume settings, and the eq/mixing process.
4. Check with worship leader and pastor for schedule and any schedule changes.

During Service
1. Responsible for adjusting sound levels during service as needed.
2. Responsible for following worship leader's direction and musician's direction during services.  For example, boosting monitor levels.
3. Responsible for recording the service.
4. Responsible for following stage and schedule cues.
5.  Responsible for providing a distraction-free service as it relates to audio production.

Post-service
1. Return media to individuals? (Backing CD to soloist, DVD to visiting missionary, etc.)
2. Talk with the band to find out if issues existed for them during service.
3. Note any broken/faulty equipment and take it out of service if possible.
4. Clear stage of equipment as needed.

Wrap up

There is a lot of work required in the audio arena.  The purpose of the above description is capturing the essence of what we do.  A person who is willing to take on the role of sound tech based on this description should not have a problem with all the details that go along with that work.  

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Love this! I’m currently working on putting together something like this for my audio team and this is a great description to use and work off of.

  2. says

    chris,

    great work on expanding the basic template I had set up. You were right, it was just templates we started off with years ago. It wasn’t really intended to be the primo thing for the tech folks. Glad to see you’ve taken it and made it very applicable. You’ve done a great job making it useful for the folks in A/V tech world.

    Kim

  3. Chris says

    Kim, thanks for your comments.  There is so much that is church-specific in any church role.  What is a responsibility of one person at one church might not be that of another in the same role at another church.  By posting your various job requirements, you showed that volunteering at church is far more than just "showing up on time." 

  4. Razor says

    Yep, pretty similar to the job description of sound tech at my church.

    I remember when I signed up, I was signing up for “stage hand”…ha!

    Before I knew it I was being trained on the board and before long I was running sound for the youth services and now I run it for 2 out of 4 services a week.

    When I was a kid I couldn’t even hear right! I was born with ear infections and hearing problems and a lot of other junk that God has delivered me from. Now not only can I hear fine, I can hear well enough to mix sound, at least according to the worship leaders.

    Our church is prette selective about who we allow to work in such positions, which is why I’m so honored to be a part of the team.

  5. Robin says

    What makes a good sound tech? (apart from the qualifications listed above, which are all good.)
    Sound techs that I’ve seen in churches have often been either:
    a) a techie person who understands the intricacies of all the gear but is tone deaf and wouldn’t know a good sound or musical mix from a bad one: or
    b) a person with a good musical ear and can get a good mix but doesn’t understand the gear and gets into trouble with incorrect settings or doesn’t know how to recover from problems.
    I think the ideal is someone with a mix of these skills, however if I had a choice I would lean towards someone with a good musical ear, especially if they have back up support from a techie person.
    A techie sound person should train and develop his/her musical listening abilities: what makes a good sounding mix, musical styles etc. A non-techie person should spend the time to get to know the gear, how it all fits together, the optimum settings, what to do when things go wrong

  6. Chris says

    Robin, a long time ago, I read that a good techie knows how to play a musical instrument.  I'm not saying master it, but know how to play.  This way, they get the "artistic" side of mixing where it's not about the knobs and teh faders but it's about the sound. 

    All science mean you know what the knobs do.

    All artistic means you know what sounds good but don't know how to use the knobs to do so.

    It's about striving to be both.  But yeah, I'd rather had the latter than the former.

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