Archive for October, 2012

I’m from the Midwest, so Hurricane Sandy isn’t effecting my state weather-wise. But if I was in the rainy area, I would use this DIY camera rain guard to get some great shots of the weather.

I’m sure we’ll get our share of rain, snow and sleet later.


Anytime the sound booth gets upgraded, the tech leaders should be asking questions to make sure it is the best move. This includes software upgrades. With the release of Windows 8, I was tempted to jump at the chance to upgrade and be at the front of the technology pack.

Then I started asking questions. Do we actually need an upgrade? Will my programs work with Windows 8? Do I have the time and want to put forth the effort to train the team on a new system? (Especially when the new interface is so different.) Will it actually do anything to improve sound booth operations?

I answered these questions for myself, and i’m pretty sure my church won’t be upgrading to Windows 8 very soon.

Not because it is a bad OS, but simply because it is not necessary right now.

Projecting snowfall on the walls

I am tasked with making it snow in our sanctuary this Christmas. I’ve got a couple different ideas, but I’m not sure if I can actually implement any of them.

I would rather have some digital snow rather than having a bunch of paper or soap chips to clean up. So I think projecting video on the walls might have a really cool effect.

Of course these guys are the professionals, and they use projectors worth thousands of dollars. But I can try, can’t I?

An Idea A Minute

How many times have I had a great idea, thought through it, wrote it down, drew a diagram, and then… that was it. Nothing else happened. The paper went to the bottom of the stack. The idea faded away. What could have happened if I followed through with the idea?

Lots of people have ideas every day. Implement some of your ideas into your volunteer work today.

Ever wondered how the internet works exactly? Most of you probably know most of the stuff on this info-graphic. I like it because it has interesting statistics, and it covers the basic function of the internet quickly and simply.

Spotlight on…Followspots!


Just in case you forgot…Christmas is almost here. Well, okay, I guess it’s still about two months out. But you should probably start preparing for it now.

Last year at our Christmas cantata, our music director rented a spotlight, or followspot as it is also known. I had used one before, but it was good to know how to operate a spotlight. It didn’t come with any instructions, we just picked it up from the rental place.

If it is a possibility that your venue might rent a spotlight, study up on them, and make sure you have some time to play with it before the rehearsal.

I do a lot of different things in the sound booth. Sometimes I end up doing the audio recording of the service. Usually, the crew will just upload whatever was recorded to the website as-is.

However, it would sound better if we could do just a little editing with some readily available tools to make it sound even better. Kind of like if the listener was actually in the room.

By learning how to use audio filters, I think our online audio stuff would be more euphonious (Yay! I learned a new word; it means pleasing to the ear).

I really don’t like it when the media computer is running slow. It drives me crazy. “You mean we have a quad-core running at 3.0 GHz, and its taking it’s slow, sweet time to run PowerPoint!”

You see, I haven’t been in event technology very long. I don’t remember the times of the “ancient” technology of 15 years ago because I was only 10 at that time.

Some people do remember those ancient times, because they were there, working with that technology. And even they get frustrated with the newest technology.

However, stop and think about the “high-tech” stuff of the past. And then think about the cool stuff we have today. Maybe I can have a little more patience next time a computer freezes.

Lighting for Less

Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking that I have to have a huge budget to get a “cool-looking” lighting effect. I long for the awesome sets and fantastic lighting grids of mega churches.

However, with a little imagination and some cheap DIY hardware supplies, both you and I can achieve simple yet interesting lighting  for an individual.

Got Good Gains?

Mixer Faders

Few tech volunteers come with amazing in-depth knowledge when they join the team. Most of them learn on the job. They are shown the basics, and then they go to work.

“Here, move this fader up and down until it sounds right.” Okay… I guess I can do that.

What is the next step to doing a better job? Learn more than doing just the basics. Let’s start with setting the gains on the mixer board. Pretty basic stuff, but it makes a big difference in how the audio sounds.