I’ve had a couple of interesting Saturdays recently. For two weeks in a row, I spent those days dealing with digital console failures.
With the first one, a friend called with the news that not one, but two of his digital consoles had stopped working. Both the house and monitor desk had crashed within 30 minutes of each other, the last one just a half-hour before service time.
He was able to facilitate moving the Saturday service into the youth room without a hiccup, and then went to work trying to revive his two consoles.
To make a long story short, I ended up driving across the state to pick up two working consoles for him, and then he stayed up all night getting them integrated into the existing system infrastructure. He managed to pull it off, with services on Sunday morning happening without a hitch.
The very next week, I was setting up for a concert, and planned on trying out a new “lower end” digital console.
It took some time to get it set up, and just when I thought it was ready, all of the output faders stopped moving. Switch layers, and the faders would stay in the same spot. Thus I had no clue as to where the level of any given output was at.
I ended up calling another friend and borrowing the exact same board from his sanctuary in order to make the concert happen.
I do have a point, and am not just venting…
First, we’re now IT people that get to play with audio. In troubleshooting and setting up these digital consoles, I quickly came to realize that I’d better start paying attention to networking, hard drive formatting, backups, etc.
Second, back up information. Back it up again. Then back it up again, putting it on your network or a cloud where you can access it from anywhere.
In my first scenario above, with the two boards crashing, if there had been a recent back-up, we might have gotten them running sooner. In the second scenario, we were able to be on-time for sound check only because we saved the setup on the board where the faders didn’t move, and then plugged it right into the replacement console. Boom—the configuration was immediately recalled.
Third, this is the new reality. There is no going back. Stick your head in the sand all you want, but keeping pace means embracing your inner “IT self” and getting some real education on the ways of networking.