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Church Sound: Sometimes “Live Sound Can Just Be So Live”

You can rehearse the band, practice the transitions, lighting cues and video rolls, but it still comes down to executing in the moment

By Gary Zandstra March 17, 2016

This article is provided by Gary Zandstra.com.

 
A good friend of mine, Mark, is the technical director at a large local church. A few years ago he sent me an email describing the “disaster” he had on a Sunday morning. 

An excerpt:

“To our surprise we had a total audio failure during the first 1/3 of second service yesterday. The audio stuttered for a brief second, came back on for about two seconds and then went totally off…. To make the story short, I found the fault lights on for all three processors in amp world. We switched to the back-up system while I yanked the power to the three units.

“After reboot they showed green, so between testimonies we switched back to the main processors without incident for the rest of the day. At the same time one HH mic battery went dead and a choir mic flaked out later in the same service. Perhaps my car not starting earlier that morning should have been a warning to pray harder.

“Some days live sound is just so live.”

Mark really laid it out: on a Sunday, “live is just so live” is such a true statement!  You can rehearse the band ahead of time; practice all of the transitions, lighting cues and video rolls, but it all still comes down to executing in the moment. 

The moment is that space where you are experiencing life in real time. 

Mark later told me the whole story. While he and the tech team scrambled to get audio back, the associate pastor who was delivering announcements at the time of the system failure decided it would be best to pray, so he did. He prayed for people in the congregation who had specific needs, he prayed about global concerns, and he prayed that Lord willing, the sound system would come back on.

Just as he prayed about the sound system and felt it was time to wrap up the prayer, the tech team determined the cause of the failure and switched over to the backup system. 

As the pastor said Amen, back came the sound system. Coincidence? Perhaps, but I think not. Sometimes we just need to recognize that “live is just so live” and as much as we wish or think that we are in control, we live on God’s timetable – not our own.

Gary Zandstra has worked in church production and as an AV systems integrator for more than 35 years. He’s also contributed numerous articles to ProSoundWeb over the past decade.

More PSW Church Sound posts by Gary Zandstra:
Testing Cables Is Essential To Solid Church Sound System Performance
Two Simple Yet Vital Tools Of The Trade For Church Sound Operators


About Gary

Gary Zandstra
Gary Zandstra

Consultant, Dan Vos Construction, Writer for Worship Facilities and ProSoundWeb
   
Gary Zandstra has worked in church production and as an AV systems integrator for more than 35 years. He’s also contributed numerous articles to ProSoundWeb over the past decade.
http://garyzandstra.com

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