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Church Sound: Confidence Is Essential To A Successful Mix

“When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun"

This past Sunday I had the privilege to do something that I don’t get the opportunity to do enough: mix.

Our volunteer front of house mixer had to miss services and couldn’t find a replacement, so he called me.

I could hardly wait for Sunday to come—it had been at least six months since I had to opportunity to mix our worship band. (I usually serve as producer these days.)

The anticipation only increased with I found out that a number of my favorite musicians were scheduled to play at those services as well.

So come Sunday just past dawn, I was ready. More than ready. And it turned out to be a great morning, I had fun, the band had fun, and we all shared a wonderful time of worship.

At front of house, as we were doing a quick rehearsal/sound check between services, I began thinking about why this seemed so effortless, so joyous and fun. What it came down to, mostly, was confidence and comfort.

A quote from the great NFL quarterback Joe Namath came to mind: “When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.”

So why did I have confidence?

1. I not only know every musician on the stage, I also have a relationship with each one of them. We share a history of praying together, laughing together and sharing fellowship.

2. I know how these musicians play and what their instruments sound like. Before the first note was even struck, I had the gain and EQ already roughed in. 

3. During setup I had interaction with every musician, individually. Most of it was a simple “hello” or “how are you?” but it was enough for me to know that no one on the stage was having a bad day and they all seemed glad to be there.

4. I was already familiar with all of the songs in the set. Earlier in the week I checked the set list, and even listened to one of the songs that I’d not heard in a while.

5. I had the respect and confidence of the musicians. This has been earned over a long period of time—shooting straight, admitting fault, being on time and ready to go, never blaming others—in other words, acting as a team player

So it turns out that ol’ “Broadway Joe” has it right—my confidence translated to a lot of fun, and together, our result was amazing.

Gary Zandstra is a professional AV systems integrator with Parkway Electric and has been involved with sound at his church for more than 25 years.

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