Time To Get Honest: The Musicians Point of View

I’ve been talking with some worship guitarists recently and asked them questions as it relates to the sound tech / worship team relationship.  Below, I’ve listed each question and some responses.  I’ve edited them only to shorten their length.  I’m not really sure if I need to expound on what they are saying.  Read their responses and apply to your situation.  We are all on a team.  That team is the sound crew plus the worship band.  Your team might be thrilled with you.  They might have a few issues they’d like to raise but are afraid of doing so.  Consider the below opinions as food for thought.

1. What could your sound tech do better?
Technically, walk around a bit with someone else on the board to see how the mix is everywhere in our church. Then mix to maximize the good mix to the largest groups of folks. 
Train other folks on the system so that he is not the only one in the church who can effectively work it. However, that is a tougher job than it sounds.
Take the initiative to actually ask what we need on stage.
-Pay attention to the suggestions the musicians have. Learn to understand frequency!
-Learn to play guitar. Seriously his only failing is that it’s difficult to make too many suggestions. He’s pretty defensive, which makes no sense because he’s not a musician, nor an experienced sound tech.
-Install subs so the monitors/speakers aren’t so overloaded.

2. What does your sound tech do really well?
– Considering the size, shape and layout of the church, he actually does a decent job of sound.
– Standout quality is his servant heart.
– He turns the system on very well. Oh and he is like a pitbull guarding the equipment. To be fair, he is good at stage presentation and lighting.
– He is trying and I suppose it’s his best.
– He comes on-stage and listens to each person’s mix.

3. Where is the biggest disconnect between the sound tech and the praise bands?
– What the mix should sound like. What should be prominent in the mix? Where the prominence should change song to song.
– The sound tech is a know it all.  We were having problems with the monitor amp clipping and shutting off. I told him what it was and for three or four weeks he insisted it was the speaker cable. After the three to four weeks went by he says "I guess you were right".  The other soundman that runs the board pays attention and when I tell him (from the stage with hand signals) to turn down the monitors we have no issue with clipping.
– (Monitor Mixing) I think we need a way to control our monitor mixes from the stage. I’m willing to leave the front-of-house to the pastors if they don’t like what they hear. But I need to hear what I need to hear on stage (rest of the band to a lesser extent).
– He doesn’t understand dynamics.

4. Do you take suggestions from the sound tech?
– Yes, all the time.
– Yes, if they ask for a volume change or an amp direction change I am more than willing to cooperate.
– He doesn’t make any.
– Yes, I’m in constant communication with him during practice and after each service.

5. Do you give suggestions to the sound tech?
– Yes, all the time… sometimes he listens.  To be fair, he listens pretty well.
– All the time and he always dismisses everything anyone says.
– As many as I can get away with short of lighting his fuse.
– Yes…."I think it’s time you go home now".
 

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