Old Production Takes From an Old Guy

Category: Announcements (Page 2 of 13)

Help A Brother Out…Literally

One of the things I love the most about being part of the Church tech community is just that; community. It is amazing to me to see what an amazing community of fellow technical artists has grown up in just a few years. I still vividly remember my early days as a TD, days when I wasn’t aware there were other TDs. Then I found one, and another, and a few more. Seven years ago Bill contacted me about starting a group of like-minded TDs for support and encouragement. That little “roundtable” has become CTL, and it’s several thousand members strong. 

Also about seven years ago, just before I left Minneapolis, I got an email from someone who I now count as a friend. Jonathan Davis was then TD of Bethlehem Baptist church. He wanted to meet and talk about being a TD. So we did. That conversation led to many more, and in the intervening years, I’ve had the privilege to get to know Jonathan and his heart for following God and serving the Church. 

A few years back Jonathan felt the call into pastoral ministry and set himself on a course do become a pastor. He dropped back to part-time at the church—where he still works in the tech department—and enrolled in seminar full-time. It has been a joy to watch what God is doing in this man’s life and I can’t wait to see how he is used to further the Kingdom.

This journey has not been without challenges. Early this year, his son Joel had some unexplained pain in his leg. A visit to the doctor led to the one word that a parent dreads; cancer. I won’t try to re-count the entire story here, you can see that on Jonathan’s blog or his Facebook page. However, after surgery, radiation and chemo, the prognosis is good. Joel is doing well, and holding up better than any kid should be after what he’s been through. That’s the good news.

The harder news is that all of this has taken a toll on the family. Jonathan has been working part-time at the church while in seminary full-time. His wife also works part-time. With Joel’s treatments, both have had to take time off work to care for their son, as any parent would gladly do. The downside is that it puts a strain on the family’s finances. 

A few weeks back, a mutual friend, Tim Gibson, reached out to a few of us and asked if we would be willing to stand in the gap with the Davis family financially. Those that could, did. But I felt we could do more. So I contacted Jonathan’s boss, Tim Frederick—also someone I’ve been blessed to get to know over the past few years—and asked what else we could do. He and I hatched this plan.

Regular readers of this website will remember the fall of 2014 when my first pastor and mentor suffered a serious medical condition. They needed help financially and many of you rose to the challenge. Together, we raised quite a bit of money for the Boehm family, and as a quick update, when all the medical bills were settled, they had exactly enough to pay it all off. God is good! 

I feel like it’s time we step in and do this again. The Davis’s need our help. And I’m going to ask you to consider helping out. They are actually fine on a medical bill standpoint—their insurance has been good. However, they need help with day to day expenses. So here’s what I’m asking of you: If you can, send them a check to help cover their bills. It doesn’t have to be a huge check, but some 8,000-10,000 people read this website. If 10% sent $25, we could support them through this trial. 

Here’s what to do:

Make the check out to Jonathan Davis. You’re going to mail that check (made out to Jonathan Davis, remember) to:

Tim Frederick
Bethlehem Baptist Church
720 -13th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1793 

This won’t be tax deductible, and there’s no foundation or system in the middle. They will get 100% of the donations. It’s one person helping another. Or a lot of people helping this family. Maybe consider putting a note of encouragement in there as well.

Tim will collect the checks and pass them on to Jonathan. Send what you can and we’ll trust God to collectively provide. One of the greatest joys in life is giving of yourself to help another. Jonathan has been a huge blessing to the community of church techs, and this is an opportunity to bless them right back. Now, if you’re totally new-school and don’t have a checking account but still want to help out, send me an email and we’ll work something out. 

I should point out that Jonathan doesn’t know I’m doing this. Tim, Tim and I hatched this plan on our own. None of us get anything from this, we’re just trying to help one of our brothers. 

Finally, pray for the Davis family. As I said, things are looking good for Joel, but there is still a long road ahead. God will use all of this, but let’s not make them carry the burden alone. Thanks for helping out. Tell Siri to remind you to send Jonathan a check when you get home tonight. Every little bit will make a huge difference in their lives!

Elite Core

Merry Christmas

Photo courtesy of  Five Furlongs

Photo courtesy of Five Furlongs

Well, here we are on Christmas Day. If you’re reading this, you made it. You pulled off the 2, 5 or 25 Christmas Eve services. Hopefully all was calm and all was bright. This year, I was able to simply attend a Christmas Eve service with my family for the second time in about 12 years. It felt really good, and it was a wonderful service. 

Today, I don’t have a lot of profound things to say, other than Merry Christmas. It has been a year full of crazy change for me and my family and I truly appreciate all of you sticking with us through it. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many of you at conferences, trade shows and other gatherings this year. I appreciate your emails, tweets and post comments. My prayer for you this day is that you get to relax, spend time with loved ones and enjoy a wonderful Christmas. 

Thank you for all you do for the Kingdom. Most people have no idea what goes on in that little booth back there or backstage, but I do. I know all too well how hard you work, how many hours you put in to make it look like everyone just showed up to a magical evening. 

So kick back, relax and throw another Yule log on the fire. You deserve it. Merry Christmas!

Stoked for SALT

It’s SALT week, and that means it’s one of my favorite weeks of the year. I have enjoyed this conference for the last two years and am even more excited to be part of it this year. If you’re coming this year, I hope to be able to meet you.

Two years, Van and I simply attended, and it was great. Last year, I was there as a sponsor, and this year, I’m there as the head of the audio track. Yes, there is an audio track at a visual worship conference! Luke and the team saw the need for a few classes on the sound side of life, and asked me to help pull some things together. 

Wednesday at 4:30, I’ll be teaching a class on how to get better audio for your video projects. Audio is every bit as important as the video, especially for story videos that so powerfully demonstrate God’s working in the Church. Sadly, audio is often forgotten, or relegated to a “fix it in post” mentality. We’re going to dispel that concept and I’ll demonstrate the power of good audio. 

Thursday at 1:30, Brad Duryea will be teaching a class that will attempt to dispel many myths of live sound. This will be a little bit like Bill Nye the Science Guy meets a really good FOH engineer. I know Brad has some fun stuff planned, and it’s one you won’t want to miss. 

Thursday at 3:00, Van, Andrew Stone and I will be presenting a panel on how to effectively work together. Often times, we hear stories of the technical, media and musical teams not really getting along. All three of us have had plenty of experience with working alongside others who are kind of, but not quite, the same as u. We’re all very passionate about this topic, and I’m sure we’ll be able to encourage you if you’re part of a team not getting along.

Thursday at 4:30, Andrew Stone, the king of Rock will talk about his process for creating an amazing broadcast or streaming mix for your church service. He does this without a dedicated broadcast mixer, and incorporates some pretty clever tricks. I’ve used and adapted his process myself, and it does indeed rock. 

Finally, Friday at 9:00, Otto Price will be teaching a great class on how to use tracks and stems in a worship setting. More and more churches are going this way, but there are some key things you should do before you just drop a laptop running Logic on the drum platform. 

Of course, we also have several cool meet ups planed around various topics that Duke will be heading up. From Stage Design, to Helping Your Pastor Understand Your Role, to Volunteers, to Multi-Campus to a behind the scenes tour of the main session room, we have something for everyone. Those are sponsored by CCI Solutions, and we’re grateful to be part of SALT this year. 

If you’re at SALT, please stop by our audio track classes, the CCI Solutions booth or just catch Van, Duke and I in the hall. We’d love to say hi and chat. 

Learn more at http://saltnashville.com/.

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.

SALT Special for CTA Readers

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Ok, so you guys know that Van and I are big fans of the SALT conference. Not only is it’s organizer and leader, Luke McElroy, a good friend of mine, it’s one of those special conferences that truly seeks to inspire and refresh technical and visual artists in the church. I love the sense of community that happens each year, and I have met many of you at the previous two conferences. This year for me, it has the added bonus of being 20 minutes from my house. I’m digging living in Nashville!

SALT is Coming!

We’re at the end of September, and SALT is just a few weeks away. The conference is almost sold out for the year, but we have a deal for you. Luke has generously made available a special discount code that will save you $20 off each and every ticket you buy. Use the code AUDIOROCKS to save $20. 

What Can You Expect?

If you’ve never been to SALT and you’re on the fence about coming, here are some things you can look forward to:

• There will be over 45 classes on topics such as ideation, creative leadership, audio and technical planning. The lineup of people teaching these classes is amazing. Luke and his team have done an incredible job of bringing in people who are not only great at what they do, but have a genuine passion for helping others get better. Hanging out with the instructors is one of the highlights for me. 

• Keynotes include Erwin McManus (Mosaic in LA), Blaine Hogan (Willow Creek) and Alex Seeley (former Planet Shakers). These are creative, passionate people. I don’t know about you, but I need to be inspired frequently. This is a great way to be encouraged and inspired.

• Hear from the brand new Art of Audio track including Andrew Stone, Brad Duryea, Van, me and more! This year Luke asked me to help coordinate an audio track of classes. I called in some favors of some of our favorite audio gurus to make sure you’ll learn something new. 

• Community groups. One thing we talk about over and over again is how much we need community among technical artists. SALT is about the only conference that I know of that not only encourages community, but schedules it. You’ll get to meet and talk with others who are just like you, offering encouragement and the opportunity to encourage. This is one of the highlights of the week.

You Need to Be There

Of course, you also have the chance to hang out with Van, me, Duke and many other CTW regulars. We love meeting you guys and always look forward to the conversations we have. Basically, it’s a few days of refreshment, encouragement, inspiration and fun. Plus, you get to hang out in the greatest city in the world, Nashville. 

So here’s what you need to do; go to SALTNashville.com and register. Use the code AUDIOROCKS to save $20. Then figure out how to get here and where to stay. The website offers suggestions on both. Then get ready for a few great days that will keep you going for a long time. And do make sure to say hi to Van, Duke and me while you’re here. And come to our classes, or we’ll be sad.

Fall Conference Update

After a week of budget posts, I figured we could lighten it up a little today. Duke suggested we give you a quick recap of where we’ll be this fall. There are a bunch of shows and conferences that you might well run into us if you’re attending, so this is your chance to plan.

Lead Lab—Sept. 21, Tulsa, OK

I’ve been able to get to two Lead Labs so far, and the response has always been great. Some of the top TD’s from churches all over the country come out to share their knowledge and insight. Duke and I will both be at that one, so if you’re around, make sure you say hi. I’m flying home the next day, but Duke will be heading to the Lead Lab in Denver the next day (Sept. 22), so for all you Mountain Time Zone folks, you can say hi to the Duke. 

SALT—Oct. 21-23, Nashville TN

SALT has been one of my favorite conferences the last two years and this year will be even better. I have the privilege of heading up the audio track (that’s right, an audio track at a visual conference!), and we have some great things planned. Duke, Van and I will be there, as will our pals, Brad Duryea and Andrew Stone. There’s no better time to visit Nashville than the fall, and there is no other conference that encourages such community and restoration. You really want to come to this one. 

WFX—Nov. 17-21, Nashville, TN

Though it’s at a weird time this year (the week before Thanksgiving?), we’ll all be at WFX. I’ll be hanging out in the CCI booth along with Duke and most likely Van, so be sure to stop by. It’s also likely that we’ll do a podcast while we’re there, so make sure you follow Twitter to see when and where we’ll be doing that. 

Bonus Supplement—Where’s Duke?

CMS Northwest—November 13-14, Seattle, WA

I’ll be commissioning a system in Omaha that week, but Duke will be hanging out with the Christian Musicians up in Seattle. Make sure you swing by and say hi. 

LDI—Nov. 23-25, Las Vegas, NV

LEDI, as we like to call it is the annual celebration of all things lighting. As our resident trade show hound, Duke will represent there as well. I’ll be sleeping off all the extrovert time from SALT, but you can say hi to him.

So there you go. Now you know where to find us this fall. As we always say, if you see us at a conference or show, please come say hi. We love to meet readers and listeners (unless I’m on an hour of sleep and already drove 4 hours, then I might be a bit out of it…). Happy conferencing!

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.

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Leaving Los Angeles

That's the last view I had of my former state of residence.

That’s the last view I had of my former state of residence.

Well, technically, Southern California. I never actually lived in LA, though many people thought we were close enough. As you probably know by now, we have loaded up the truck and moved away from Beverly and all the way to Nashville, TN. This is an exciting new adventure for us and while I don’t often share too many personal stories and posts, I thought I would let you into our decision making process for this one. 

For Everything a Season

About 3 1/2 years ago, I started getting an inkling that my season at Coast Hills would be wrapping up around the spring of 2014. I didn’t know how I knew that, or what the next thing would look like. I just knew that at some point around that timeframe, I would again be in transition. 

As we processed that, I started sensing a call to go to Nashville. Again, it’s hard to describe how I knew that’s where I was supposed to be, or why, but I felt pretty strongly about it. Of course, I had no job lined up, and no real idea what I would be doing. As my wife and I talked about it, we began to make tentative plans to move to Nashville in the summer of 2014. This was late 2013, but we really sensed this was what we were supposed to do. At that time, our oldest would be in here senior year of college and our youngest would be starting college. So it seemed logical.

Logic Doesn’t Always Prevail

It all seemed like a good plan, but then a few things happened. We had a bit if a family crisis that caused us to re-think our timing. The more we looked at it, the more it seemed like we should delay by a year. I prayed a lot about it, and remember telling God that if He wanted me to stay at Coast for another year, I would happily do that. 

Then the offer to go work for Flexstage came about. Turns out, my season at Coast Hills wrapped up pretty much when I thought it would. God still called that one spot on. We decided to stay in SoCal for another year. This was to help my youngest daughter through some things and allowed my oldest to stay with us for her senior year. 

It all worked quite well. I spent a great year at Flexstage, and it wasn’t until late winter that we started talking about me joining the staff at CCI Solutions. My daughter finished college, and my younger one struck out on her own adventure. But the times they are a changing.

Change Quotient Off The Charts!

In the last two months, I’ve changed jobs, my daughter graduated college and turned 22, my wife finished up her job, we bought a house, moved my oldest out to her new place and moved my wife and I across the country to Nashville. When it comes to the life change score, I think we’re pretty high up there right now!

Thankfully, it’s all good change. We’re very excited to be here in Nashville, and to be in our own house. God provided us an amazing house which will be just perfect for us. We already have a great group of friends here in town, and we’re excited to see what He will do with us here. I’m settling into my new role at CCI and am loving the support and team setting. We will miss our girls, who for now anyway, have elected to stay in California. But, with all the traveling I’m doing, I should have enough miles to fly them out this way every so often. 

Father Knows Best

As Van and I were driving the Palatial Jetta out of California last week, and I took one last glance at my former home in the mirror, I thought about all the things that happened in those six years. So much was good, some was hard and it all worked to shape me into a better person. God provided so many stretching and growing experiences it’s hard to even summarize them. I met and became great friends with so many people, I grew personally and professionally, and my girls grew into women. 

Sometimes, we go through seasons in life and find ourselves really glad when one ends. In this case, I am excited about what is to come, and I look back on the last season with a grateful heart. Like I said, it wasn’t all good, but it all worked together to set me up for what is to come. Sounds vaguely like a Scripture verse I memorized years ago…

So there you go. That’s a glimpse into my life right now. If you’ve noticed that I’ve been a little less regular with the posts and the podcasts, now you know why. But we’re getting things back under control and our regularly scheduled programming should resume soon. And, Van & I recorded five episodes of CTW: Ask Me Anything on the road last week, so look for that this month. 

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to continuing this journey together.


Ask Me Anything!



Most of you probably know this by now, but in case you missed it, in about a week, I will be leaving Sunny California and moving to Nashville. Now that our girls are out on their own, my wife and I decided to head back east, a bit closer to home. We’re very excited about the change and can’t wait to see what God has for us on this next adventure. 

Van offered to drive out there with me and as we considered the possibilities of 22 hours in the car, it occurred to us that we should do something fun. Besides a road trip together. Something fun for all of you. So what we have for you is a chance for audience participation. 

You’ve probably heard of Ask Me Anything, something Reddit does with famous people. We thought it would be fun to do an AMA, or in this case a AMaVA (Ask Mike and Van Anything). Not only are we going to do an AMA, we’re going to record it while we’re driving. 

This is your chance to ask us questions. Collectively, Van and I have about 60 years of live production experience and 25 years on church staffs. It’s safe to say we have learned a thing or two. Moreover, we know a lot of people, so we may even phone a friend, just to make it even more fun. 

Now here is where you come in. Go to our ask me anything page and submit your question(s). We already have quite a few, but remember we have 22 hours in the car. 

This is time-sensitive; we leave on May 28, so you’re going to want to have those questions in by the 27th. Depending on how many questions we have and how long we talk, you’ll be hearing the answers on ChurchTechWeekly in June. Maybe even into July… 

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget, www.churchtecharts.org/ama

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.

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.

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