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Church Sound: Simple Stage Planning In Four Easy Steps

Your service setup can be as easy as 1, 2, 3 by following these easy steps.

By Chris Huff July 19, 2012

This article is provided by Behind The Mixer.

 
How do you decide upon a stage setup? That’s the question recently posed to me by a reader.

It’s a simple question that leads to a simple, yet lengthy response. Setting up a stage is more than just placing gear and placing people, it’s all about…

…consistency.

The email included this statement:

“Most of the time we just show up to church and spend a lot of time just trying to figure out where to put the instruments.”

This means that right off the bat, there are two problems:

1. The sound tech’s don’t know, in advance, who’s playing.

This is a problem for several reasons.

They can’t set up the equipment stations on the stage before the band arrives, they don’t know who/what they have to work with until the last minute, and they waste time each week doing the same thing that should only take a short period of time.

2. The band members don’t know where they should be on stage.

This is a problem for several reasons as well.

They waste time talking about setup instead of time that could be spent practicing, limited practice time means less time for the sound tech to get a good mix, and finally, the band doesn’t have a feeling of closeness on the stage that comes from familiarity.

Specifically, in this last instance, I’m talking about the drummer always being on the right side and the guitarist always being on the left, and so forth and so on.

Walking on a stage and being in the same place week after week, provides a level of comfort and ease – because it’s familiar.

What can be done?

There is a solution to the madness!

It requires the work of only two people, and you’ll find you can leave the ibuprofen at home!

1: Find out who’s in the band!
Get a list from the worship leader of the band members. If there are different bands, then a list for each and what they do; sing, play guitar, play & sing, etc.

In the case of revolving band members on a single band, find out the typical setup; one acoustic guitar, one bass, two backup singers, etc. Now you are equipped with a good expectation of the requirements of each band.


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About Chris

Chris Huff
Chris Huff

Writer/Teacher/Author, BehindTheMixer.com
 
Chris Huff is a long-time practitioner of church sound and writes at Behind The Mixer, covering topics ranging from audio fundamentals to dealing with musicians – and everything in between.

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