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Too many times, I find myself all alone in the sound booth editing video, creating slides, or playing with lighting. The problem: I like it. I am most definitely an introvert. I recharge by being away from people, but then I don’t feel like spending that energy building relationships.

Surrounded by friendly people all throughout the church, I spend too much time by myself. I love working the sound booth, but am I working too much and not worshiping enough?

Sometimes, I focus too much on the presentation and not enough on the life-changing message. I need to take steps to reduce the risk of becoming disengaged and burning out.

So get out of the sound booth and make some friends. Engage with people (and not just when they turn around to look at the sound booth). Remember the true purpose for why you are volunteering.

Are you tried of tired of frantically pushing buttons? Tired of running the house sound, the audio recording, and the video recording? Tired of coming in on short notice every time someone needs an audio guy?  Are you tired of doing everything yourself?

Maybe it is time to invite somebody to be a part of your team. Yes, recruiting new people is challenging, risky, and invasive to your space. But getting someone else involved allows you the freedom to not have to do all the things mentioned above. The process is not instant, as you will have to find the right person, train them, and then build trust in them.

Applying these tips to build up your volunteer team can make or break the effectiveness of the media ministry. I personally know the importance of these principles.

As we built our video ministry, I recruited some high school boys to be my first cameramen.

I felt I did a pretty good job of training them, but I didn’t plainly get my expectations across to them. Some expectations that I failed to mention to them were the following: don’t text throughout the service, make every effort to not go up and down out of the sound booth during the service, if you are going to miss a service, let me know.Things I assumed were obvious, but I didn’t spell it out. Nor did I have a schedule.

We have worked through many issues, but we are still in our infancy as a team. I’m just glad to know I have more time to improve my own leadership skills. Thankfully, the guys are gracious and we get along well.

My encouragement – look around the church. Find the guy who seems to be a want-to-be tech and glances longingly at the sound booth. That was me a few years ago… and now I’ve got my own team.

It’s almost here! The next couple weekends will be full of Christmas plays, concerts, and cantatas. We volunteers are in the midst of the chaos right now, and we had better be ready for some troubleshooting.

Among the many problems we may encounter during rehearsals, non seems so annoying as that dreadful buzz coming from the speakers.  In order to shoot-the-trouble, it’s important to know what causes the buzz and how to fix the problem.

It could be as simple as a power cord running parallel to an audio cable, or as huge as a bad channel on the mixer. I find it helpful to have a list of possible problems and a logical way to work through solving the issue.

We had an issue with the foyer speakers a few months ago. We spent weeks listening to the problem, checking connections, fiddling with settings. Finally, we traced it all the way back to the mixer board. What we thought was a cable or hardware problem, turned out to be a bad auxiliary.

Hope you figure out that buzz quicker than we did. Good luck with your productions!

How to buy new tech online.

The money in the control room budget comes from the offerings of people in our congregation. For me, using other people’s money to buy stuff makes me a little uncomfortable. Maybe because I have not had the opportunity to do it much. Maybe because I don’t want to be blamed if something goes wrong. However, it is very necessary for upgrading and improving the control room.

New equipment is here!

I wish…

The opportunity to purchase new equipment only comes once in a while, so it is best to make the most of the purchase. By following these suggestions for buying online, you can save money, stay secure, and not get scammed, all while still getting the best equipment for your dollar.

It is always nice to actually handle the equipment before you buy it. But to do that, you need a local retailer to have it. That is why you should consider supporting your local business when shopping around. (Don’t forget to add in shipping and fees from online sites when price comparing.) However, budgets are usually tight and online prices are generally cheaper.

Bottom line, lots of research and careful consideration will get you the best deal and the least hassle.

I have seen the stage light

Stage Lighting

Alright, I wanted to move away from the digital mixers and return to the topic of lighting. Specifically, stage lighting.

I recently started focusing the lighting rig at the church for the upcoming kid’s Christmas production. Of course, I was that one guy working up in the lift trying to be lighting assistant and light designer at the same time.

I used many of these tips to focusing stage lighting while I set each lamp. It’s a really helpful article. I learned much of the same stuff in Stage Lighting 101 at the university.

There are so many digital mixers on the market right now. So many, that I don’t know what all I need and/or will want as soon as I figure out everything that it does.

 

I discovered the Behringer X32 and a chart comparing it to some other digital mixers.

We have had good experiences with our other Behringer products. From FullCompass.com a Behringer X32 and a digital snake is under $4000. I was pretty excited by this. From my other post, I thought I might have to spend more than $25,000!

 

Behold, the mighty digital console!

The end of the year is fast approaching. The financial year of many churches will be turning over soon, and that means new budgets.

This is the time to start answering those questions, “What new equipment do we want?” and “What equipment will best suit our needs?”

I mentioned yesterday the possibility of our church buying a new digital audio console. As I was researching, I found some considerations when buying audio consoles. He has suggestions on what size of console to buy as well as an overview of the many options to ponder when buying a console.

Happy Cyber Monday! I hope everyone found some great deals online.

It seems to me that everything is going digital. And I don’t think it is just me. Small venues could only dream of a digital audio console a few years ago. Now, they are much closer (though still out of reach for some) to being a regular feature of not-so-mega churches and theaters.

I had a conversation with a fellow tech person this weekend as to what the next step should be for our sound system. Going digital was the main theme. My question was, how do we go digital?

The obvious answer is the digital audio console. And I was surprised to discover that going digital did not mean getting rid of all analog components. Instead, it meant we could move our analog equipment to a different area and use a digital board as a remote control for the system.

I can’t wait to find out about all this digital equipment.

So you have a DSLR and want to buy a new lens. Of course there are gobs of lenses out there. And a gob of manufactures that make gobs of lenses. Basically, a lot of choices.

The folks at Crisislab have experimented with the workhorse lens of the photographer (24-70mm f/2.8) and compared four brands side-by-side.

These lenses are not cheap, but they could really improve your shots. And if you are looking to upgrade your DSLR, a new lens is usually at the top of the list.

These guys do a great job of comparing the lenses not only for still photography, but also for video. Which is important because so many people are using DSLR to shoot HD video.

Spoiler: They don’t even pick the Canon or the Nikon. They choose the Tamron! The deciding factor was the Optical Stabilization on the Tamron. Spoiler 2: They destroy lenses with baseball bats!

Christmas lights inspiration!

This weekend is  right before Thanksgiving; which marks the official beginning of the Christmas season.

That means that this weekend is the weekend to get Christmas lights up in order to be ready for opening night on Friday.

 
 

Here’s some inspiration to help you get started on lights.


 
I absolutely love this video. Every time I watch it, I get a big stupid smile on my face because it is so awesome and inspiring. Someday my house will look like this. For now, my house only has 20 channels and a few thousand lights. But I’m slowly building up.

Now get outside and hang some lights!

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