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Church Sound Files: A Job Description For Sound Technicians

Running worship sound isn't all a game of let's have fun and see what happens. It's serious work, and volunteers need to be informed Are yours?
This article is provided by Behind The Mixer.

 
Some time ago I read an article which detailed worship team job descriptions, including the position of “sound technician.”

The job description for sound tech was a little bit lacking in my option, so I wanted to see if we could fix it up a bit…

First off, I applaud the author for creating the job descriptions. Whenever a person wants to join a worship team, they need to know the expectations.

Let’s face it, it’s not all “let’s have fun and see what happens.” Below, I present my job description of a church sound technician, which stresses the needs of the ministry and the requirements over the duties.

If you’re currently recruiting volunteers, be sure to check out my previous article on the subject, and include this description of duties which focuses on what needs to be done.

Title: SOUND TECHNICIAN

Responsible to (Answers to): Pick which is appropriate for your church (Worship leader, pastor, head audio tech, tech director).

Purpose: Produce the best possible atmosphere for worship through sound reinforcement. This includes, but is not limited to, creating the best music mix possible, creating an audio mix that meets the mood the pastor/worship leader wants to convey, and supporting the audio needs of the people involved with the church service. Ultimately, glorify God through providing excellent audio services.

Qualifications & Skills Required:
1. A heart for worshiping God.
2. Be in good standings with the church and either be a member or attend regularly for at least six months.
3. Able to work in a team settings and take directions.
4. Either has experience mixing audio successfully in the live environment OR are willing to attended training and work alongside a mentor.
5. Have good communication skills (confirmed by someone other than you).
6. Ability to think quickly and react/trouble-shoot properly in high stress situations.
7. Must have commitment to a local church Small Group.
8. Willing to attend training sessions and read/watch other training material for improving existing skills.

Length of Service: 2 year minimum, annual after that. 2 years shows the level of commitment required.

Time Required: 2-hours before the service through 1/2 hour after the service when scheduled. Attend any quarterly meetings, typically 1 hour in length and held in evening or after church. These times fit for my church. If you have mandatory band practice times where an audio tech is required, you should note that here.

Tasks:

Pre-service
1. Set up stage for musicians (or with musicians depending on your church situation).
2. Perform proper line check.
3. Perform proper sound check; includes gain settings, monitor mixes, proper volume settings, and the eq/mixing process.
4. Check with worship leader and pastor for schedule and any schedule changes.

During Service
1. Responsible for adjusting sound levels during service as needed.
2. Responsible for following worship leader’s direction and musician’s direction during services. For example, boosting monitor levels.
3. Responsible for recording the service.
4. Responsible for following stage and schedule cues.
5. Responsible for providing a distraction-free service as it relates to audio production.

Post-service
1. Return media to individuals? (Backing CD to soloist, DVD to visiting missionary, etc.)
2. Talk with the band to find out if issues existed for them during service.
3. Note any broken/faulty equipment and take it out of service if possible.
4. Clear stage of equipment as needed.

Wrap up
There is a lot of work required in the audio arena. The purpose of the above description is capturing the essence of what we do. A person who is willing to take on the role of sound tech based on this description should not have a problem with all the details that go along with that work.

Ready to learn and laugh? Chris Huff writes about the world of church audio at Behind The Mixer. He covers everything from audio fundamentals to dealing with musicians. He can even tell you the signs the sound guy is having a mental breakdown.

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