Sign up for ProSoundWeb newsletters
Subscribe today!

Church Sound: Pitfalls & Traps To Avoid During Services
I think it's time to talk about what can be done to prevent recurring errors...
+- Print Email Share RSS RSS

Don’t stop mixing between songs. Remember the technique of bringing the worship leader’s fader up between songs so the congregation can hear what’s being said?

Well, if your pianist or keyboardist continues playing between songs, go ahead and pull their faders or submaster down about -20 dB or so. They don’t know how loud they are in the house mix. Even if they’re playing softer, it may not be soft enough. It’s your job to maintain a great musical mix, even between the songs.

• Don’t forget to practice. It’s just amazing to me that musicians and vocalists - people who are used to practicing on their own - have to be reminded of the need to practice as a group. I’ve seen the same scenario repeated countless times around the world.

• Don’t create a visual distraction during a worship service. Investing your time and God given talents in the tech support ministry is great. But remember that it’s an unseen activity that helps ministry.

Do your best to keep it that way. If you need to walk out into the auditorium during a worship service, plan your route to offer the least possible distraction to the congregation. If you need to talk on the intercom, do so quietly so that others around you won’t be distracted.

If you need to get a message to one of the musicians or singers on stage during a worship service, see if there’s a way to talk to them quietly over the monitors rather than sending someone on stage with a note. That’s another perfect reason for headphones instead of monitors.

• Leave the sudden light changes to drama. Unless it’s for dramatic effect, the light changes both on stage and in the house should be slow. If possible, they should be so slow that the audience really isn’t aware that a change is being made.

• Dim the house and stage lights for video presentations. If your church sometimes uses videotaped segments to underscore part of the pastor’s message, or for other things, you can really help the congregation see the screens better if you’ll dim the house lights a bit during that presentation, then bring them back up afterwards.

• Stay plugged in! This is a given, but I’ve seen this happen to too many tech support volunteers - myself included, This constant commitment to pursue excellence requires vigilance on our part, but it cannot replace our relationship with God.

If we get lost in the fun of twiddling knobs and playing with the gear, and in so doing forget why we’re doing this in the first place, then God won’t honor our service. So, don’t work every service. You and your family need time to immerse yourselves in the worship services as well.

While this list is far from comprehensive, hopefully you have found it illustrative. What other things can you think of which shouldn’t happen during a worship service?

Curt Taipale of Taipale Media Systems heads up Church, a thriving community dedicated to helping technical worship personnel, as well as the Church Sound Boot Camp series of educational classes held regularly throughout the U.S.

With Live Sound, You Can Make Anyone Sound Good

A free subscription to Live Sound International is your key to successful sound management on any scale — from a single microphone to a stadium concert. Written by professionals for professionals, each issue delivers essential information on the latest products specs, technologies, practices and theory.
Whether you’re a house monitor engineer, technical director, system technician, sound company owner, installer or consultant, Live Sound International is the best source to keep you tuned in to the latest pro audio world. Subscribe today…it’s FREE!!

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

Audio Central