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Church Sound Files: An Old School Guy Adopting Ways Of The Future

While every church must evaluate their own needs when it comes to digital, some of the great control options exist thanks to the A/V industry.

After a session on my topic of tech training a worship leader that was in my class approached me and said, “You know Gary, 10 years ago you couldn’t find a great lead guitar player, drummer, keyboardist or bass player in the church, but now that contemporary worship has taken off you can visit almost any church and there will be some fairly competent musicians on the stage”. 

Until the contemporary worship explosion the only outlet for musicians that wanted to play (for lack of better term) “Rock and Roll” was the local bar, and many Christians didn’t feel comfortable in that setting. 

Once “rock and roll” went mainstream and entered the church worship experience all of a sudden musicians began coming out of the wood work. 

They also began to practice and play on a regular basis and thus became skilled at the craft. 

The worship leader went on to say, “We are on the cusp of this happening in the technical area.  The next generation of worship techs will possess and grow skills that will also help the church by supporting contemporary worship”. 

That worship leader was right on.  Today some of the most talented technical people that go on to work in the “professional tech world” have cut their chops volunteering and working for the local church.

As I completed the flashback in my mind, I said to my friend, “you are so right about what you are saying! This generation is growing up with Smartphone, tablet pc’s, iPads.”

” They are very confident and comfortable operating things with swipes and flicks of a finger.  They will quickly adapt if not outright demand that the systems they use be as “simple” to operate as their “iPhone”.

For a somewhat old school guy like me, I admit this seems a tad bit scary.  After all computers lock up, I fat finger every time I try to type something on my Droid phone. Coming full circle, Iknow this technology is aimed not just at the A/V market but at live sound as well, and I can’t mix like that! 

At the same time the early adopter side of me also jumps in and says bring it on! 

So I guess I will continue to live this sort of paradoxical existence in the tech world of loving old school well at the same time cheering on the “new school” hoping that the boundaries keep getting pushed out farther and farther.

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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