Old Production Takes From an Old Guy

Month: January 2013 (Page 1 of 2)

CTW NAMM 2013 Coverage: Roland M200i Mixer

We’ve talked a lot about it, but we finally get to look at it. The M200i is a 32 channel mixer (with up to 64 inputs), that also includes 8 auxes, 4 matrix mixes, flying faders and recallable preamps. But the real kicker is the beautiful and functional iPad interface integration. More than a mere remote, it’s the way you really control the mixer. 

CTW NAMM 2013 Coverage: Soundcraft Si Expression Mixers

The Si Compact debuted a year or so ago, and Soundcraft is back with an extension to the line. Three models with 16, 24 and 32 faders range in price from $2499-3499 MSRP. All mix the same number of channels to the same number of busses. This tune is sounding familiar…

Today’s post is brought to you by Bose Professional. Sound solutions from Bose Professional Systems Division provide places of worship with full, natural music and clear, intelligible speech. The custom designed systems blend easily into your designs. Hear the reviews of the new RoomMatch speakers and PowerMatch amplifiers.

Church Tech Weekly Episode 132: The NAMM Contagion


Better late than never, we wrap up NAMM with our insightful commentary, hard-hitting analysis and a few coughing fits thrown in for good measure. While we did get sick, we also saw a lot of great products; here is our report.


Today’s post is brought to you by DPA Microphones. DPA’s range of microphones have earned their reputation  for exceptional clarity,  high resolution, above all, pure, uncolored accurate sound. Whether recording or sound reinforcement, theatrical or broadcast, DPA’s miking solutions have become the choice of professionals with uncompromising demands for sonic excellence.

CTW NAMM 2013 Coverage: MyMix Personal Mixers

We’ve been hearing about and seeing MyMix at the shows for the past few years. This year, we decided to stop by and take a closer look. They’ve added some new features, and still remain a unique player in a world of “me-too” personal mixers. Learn more at the MyMix website.

Today’s post is brought to you by GearTechs. Technology for Worship is what they do. Audio, video and lighting; if it’s part of your worship service, and it has to do with technology, GearTechs can probably help. Great products, great advice, GearTechs.

New Year’s Resolutions for Tech Leaders Pt. 5

This is it; our last in the series of New Year’s Resolutions. This might be my favorite, and the hardest. Yeah, I know you thought finding new volunteers was hard, but this may top it (depending on your personality). 

Photo courtesy of  Evil Erin            (I know, right?)

Photo courtesy of Evil Erin  (I know, right?)

Worry Less

I find myself taking on the burden of a lot of things that are not mine to carry—and it’s exhausting. I tend to run around the church seeing all the things that aren’t done as well as they could be and go crazy trying to figure out how to do them better. Of course, I can’t do them better because they are not my job. These things are someone else’s job. And while it’s one thing for me to make suggestions here and there, it’s another thing to lose sleep over them.

My executive pastor once said that he’s been learning that there are some things he choose not to care about. Not because these things aren’t worth caring about; but because they’re not worth him caring about. That’s an important distinction. 

I’m learning that if I want to be able to do this for the long haul, I have to be careful and guard my energies. If I spend all my time running around trying to fix every problem in the church, I’ll be burned out in no time. Even if I don’t try to fix all the problems but simply spend a bunch of energy thinking about them, I’ll still burn out. 

Instead, I’m learning to look past those things and not worry about them. It’s not easy, especially as a recovering perfectionist. But I’m finding I’m happier, I sleep more and enjoy my work more when I concentrate on the things I can and should be working to improve while leaving the rest to others. 

I’m also worried less about punching the “perfect show.” Back when I was doing corporate work, we always chased the perfect show; the one with no missed cues when everything ran on time. For a long time, I tried for that in church as well. Sometimes, I was so focused on making the technical stuff perfect that I missed out on what God was doing. And that is not good.

Now, if someone misses a cue or makes a mistake, we smile, shrug and go on. Sure, we’ll talk about it if necessary, but most time, everyone knows what happened and we know how to avoid it. And I bet 50% of the time, the congregation never even noticed.

Worrying less about this has also increased my enjoyment of the services exponentially. Like in a family, when the TD is happy, everyone is happy. 

So there you go. Some ideas on ways to improve your ministry in 2013: Work less; Delegate more; Train more volunteers; Try more new things; and Worry less. Not such a bad list now that I’m looking at it…

Today’s post is brought to you by Bose Professional. Sound solutions from Bose Professional Systems Division provide places of worship with full, natural music and clear, intelligible speech. The custom designed systems blend easily into your designs. Hear the reviews of the new RoomMatch speakers and PowerMatch amplifiers.

New Year’s Resolutions for Tech Leaders Pt. 4

Alright, we’re more than half-way through our New Year’s Resolutions for TD’s series. We’ve resolved to work less, delegate more and train more volunteers. Today’s resolution is another that’s close to my heart.


Try More New Things

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut as a technical artist, especially when we do a service every 5-6 days. I don’t know how your church is going, but we do a very similar service every weekend. The order is almost always thus; Walk-in, three songs (the worship leader will talk between one and two), prayer, announcements, offering (with a song), message, blessing, walk-out. Occasionally we’ll throw in an interview (it always goes before or after the announcements), or a baptism (between songs one and two) or a child dedication (at the top). 

With such a predictable order, it’s easy to zombie-walk my way through it. To avoid that, I try new things often. I’ll dig deeper into my audio console and try new things there. I’ll re-patch my effects or try some new compression techniques. We’ll work on different lighting options. Sometimes we will experiment with the new features in ProPresenter. 

Last week, I spent a few hours with our video switcher learning how to load looped video into the media stores, then recall them with a preset. As you know (if you read regularly), I like to automate things. I’ll write software to automate my recordings, video uploads, and whatever else I can. After the last podcast with Nicholas Rivero, I’m going to write an Automator action that copies my edited sermon recordings to various computers and servers. I even bought a Rasberry Pi computer. I don’t know what for, but it seems fun.

I love learning new things, so I’ll try all sorts of them. I always ask people I meet how they do what they do; if there is an idea I can steal, I do so. Part of the point of this is to optimize our system so we spend less time doing mechanical things and have more time for people and creative. Part of it is so I don’t get bored. I’m a bit ADD…

Sometimes we can get afraid to try new things, fearing failure. But the most brilliant men that have walked this earth failed many, many times along the way to great success. So if you try something and it fails, you’re in good company. Never be afraid to try something—just be smart about where and when you try it. The middle of the service is not the time re-patch the console… But the rest of the week, experiment away!

Today’s post is brought to you by Heil Sound. Established in 1966, Heil Sound Ltd. has developed many professional audio innovations over the years, and is currently a world leader in the design and manufacture of large diaphragm dynamic, professional grade microphones for live sound, broadcast and recording.

Church Tech Weekly Episode 131: Thanks Uncle Duke!

Technical artists always walk a line between being new and innovative so we stay engaged and delivering a solid, consistent technical experience for the congregation. Finding that balance is critical, and while new and shiny is fun, useful is forever. 


Today’s post is brought to you by Elite Core Audio. Elite Core Audio features a premium USA built 16 channel personal monitor mixing system built for the rigors of the road. For Personal Mixing Systems, Snakes, and Cases, visit Elite Core Audio.

New Year’s Resolutions for Tech Leaders Pt. 3

Today, we’re continuing our series of New Year’s Resolutions for technical leaders. We’ve already looked at the benefits of working less and delegating more. This time, we’ll consider those to whom we delegate.


Train More Volunteers

We all know we need more volunteers in our ministry. It’s pretty rare that I run into a technical leader who says, “Oh no, I can’t handle any more volunteers.” Most of us could always use a few more. 

For our ministry in 2013, we’re going to try to make this the year of training for our teams. We’ve done a pretty good job of build some solid teams, but we’ve neglected training them. Sure, we gave them the basics, but it’s time to go deeper. We need to really build their skill sets. 

I would love to have more people who can do more of what I do. I want them to be more than mere button pushers; I want people who can walk into the auditorium, see what is needed and make it so. They will be able to do that because they know the what, how and why behind what we do. 

To be sure, we have a few of those people already. We just need more of them. As much as I enjoy doing the work of a technician, it’s even more fun to watch a team that is skilled and empowered to do the job and do it well. Also, it ties in nicely with my ideal in the first post in this series to work less. 

The trick, of course, is finding these people. Sometimes we’ll do the announcement, or bulletin thing. I also ask our existing team members to recruit their friends; after all, it’s fun to work with people you know and like (our newest ProPresenter volunteer is the girlfriend of one of our lighting guys). 

But the other day, I was reading through the Gospel of Mark and noticing how intentional Jesus was about calling certain people to work with him. I’ve started praying that God would give me eyes to see those that I need to call into His service in technical ministry. I don’t expect to find a ton of people that way, but a dozen would sure be nice. 

As time goes on, our jobs as technical leaders are going to become more about leading people than doing technical things. So why not get a jump on your new job description and raise up a few more people who are better trained this year than last?

Today’s post is brought to you by Horizon Battery, distributor of Ansmann rechargeable batteries and battery chargers. Used worldwide by Cirque du Soleil and over 25,000 schools, churches, theaters, and broadcast companies. We offer a free rechargeable evaluation for any church desiring to switch to money-saving,  planet-saving rechargeables. Tested and recommended by leading wireless mic manufacturers and tech directors. 

New Year’s Resolutions for Tech Leaders Pt. 2

Last time, we started our series of New Year’s Resolutions for technical leaders with the admonition to work less. Today, I’ll suggest one way to make that happen.

Photo courtesy of  Robert Higgins

Photo courtesy of Robert Higgins

Delegate More

When I was younger, I hated to delegate things. As a perfectionistic, workaholic, control freak, it is really hard to let go. However, the older I get, the more I’ve realized a few things. 

The first is that I simply can’t do it all. The net effect of me trying to do it all is always worse than if I delegate some tasks out; even if those tasks aren’t dealt with at my (usually too) high standards. When I try to do it all, I end up spread too thin and things start falling apart. I over-work myself, which makes me tired, and when I get tired, I end up with a bad attitude. Eventually, I start blaming others for my inability to manage my time and my staff. It gets ugly quickly.

On the other hand, when I share the load, a lot more gets done. I do my tasks well, while staying more relaxed. Moreover, the people to whom I delegate feel valued and take pride in being able to contribute. Instead of ugly, this is quite beautiful.

For me, the best illustration of this is Christmas 2012. In 2011, I was mostly on my own, and I didn’t offload as much as I could have to others. This year, I offloaded a lot, and found that not only did I enjoy the process, my team was more engaged. Everyone felt like they contributed in significant ways to the end result, which was better than any of us could have accomplished on our own.

Could I have done some of those tasks better than my team did? Probably. But it doesn’t matter because in the big picture, the entire event came together better with everyone involved. And that’s what matters. 

Oh, and instead of working 80 hours Christmas week (like I did last year), I put in about 55. That by itself made Christmas much more enjoyable. 

Let go, delegate and give others the opportunity to be involved. You won’t regret it.

Today’s post is brought to you by Elite Core Audio. Elite Core Audio features a premium USA built 16 channel personal monitor mixing system built for the rigors of the road. For Personal Mixing Systems, Snakes, and Cases, visit Elite Core Audio.

« Older posts

© 2021 ChurchTechArts

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑