As a kid, I remember my mother telling me to clean the desk in my room. I proceeded to dump everything off of it. Then, over the next week, if I needed something in the pile on the floor, I’d dig it out. Whatever was still on the floor after a week, I threw away. This is not the best way to organize ANYTHING.
As the person in charge of sound, you have much more to keep organized. The sound booth must be kept clean and tidy. The stage needs to be equally clean and tidy not only when the church is empty but even when it’s time for the service; cables kept out of the way and all that. Next, what about the location where all the sound equipment is stored…the sound cave? Cables, microphones, and even musical instruments must be kept in working order. Where do you start?
The easiest place to start is the sound booth. Throw out all the old bulletins, scrap paper, and Diet Coke cans you have accumulated. Any countertop space should be cleared of all but the essentials. What you should keep handy includes a pad of paper and a few pens or pencils. A copy of the current weekly bulletin and the worship schedule for the day are good to have handy. A bible and hymnal are also great! Finally, any instruction manuals can be kept either on the countertop or in a filing cabinet or shelf in the sound booth. A great way to organize manuals is use a magazine holder. Next, look for anything that doesn’t below like broken equipment. Fix that equipment or throw it away!
On to the stage! The stage needs to be organized for times of use and times of non-use. Let me explain the "times of use." When the stage is set up, all cables and wires need to be kept out of the path of foot traffic. Using gaffers tape is great to keep cables in place. Using length appropriate cables also cuts down on the about of cables on the floor. Make sure extra equipment is put away, like microphone cases and the eight hymnals that have piled up. When the stage is not being used, it should be clean of all cables and equipment. The exception to this is if your church keeps equipment in place as a standard practice.
Finally, let’s call it the sound cave. The sound cave contains all your equipment, broken or otherwise, that is stored away. Start with creating an area, be it a shelf or a box, for broken equipment. I find it handy to place a strip of red tape on anything that’s broken so it doesn’t slip back into service. Make areas for each type of equipment such as microphones, DI boxes, cables, stands, monitors, etc.
Organization isn’t done just for the sake of having a clean-looking area. Organization in the realm of the church sound system means quicker setup, better tracking of broken equipment, and a clearer state of mind.
Thought? Questions? Comments?