Tag Archive: improvement


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.

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.

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.

Radio Shack amp used at camp

I am blessed to volunteer at a church with a fairly modern audio video system.We have no more jury-rigged contraptions, and the Radio Shack equipment is finally being phased out.

A couple years ago though, I worked at a camp out in Colorado. Its sound system was a stack of Radio Shack amplifiers with in-line faders, old 70’s PA speakers, and an early Shure wireless system that kinda worked. What a fun summer of troubleshooting and jury-rigging!

These tips for making the most of the outdated sound system sure would have come in handy out there at camp. I think it was a good experience for me to work with that old equipment (especially as a beginner). It gave me an appreciation for the new stuff and helped me to figure out how to troubleshoot problems. (I also realize how important those tips are.)

 

  A technical director doesn’t just know everything about the equipment. No, it is much more than that. Learning the equipment is really the first step to being a great technical director. Technical directors should work on skills besides just the technical ones. The article calls the technical director a “technical artist.” I think that is a great term for that position. Yes, the director has to lead his team, but he also must craft the presentation aesthetically.  

It is so easy to become bored or apathetic to our practice. Turn up these mics, dim this light, here we go again. But we fail to realize that each event is a new chance to impact lives whether with the morals from our play or the message of the gospel. Of course, being a creative artist takes more work, but the rewards are worth it. Remember the reason why you volunteered in the first place.

Media Team working together

I spend time working alone. Usually working on something in the sound booth. Designing slides, editing video, or uploading content are just a few of the things I work on, usually by myself.

It is probably because I don’t delegate and I like to do things myself. I prefer things done a certain way.

Just because other people can be tiresome, and they don’t think exactly like me, and I may not appreciate everything they do, doesn’t mean I can or should do everything. Relying on other people is part of working on a team. And we all know, “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team,'” and “we get more done when we work as a team.” Statements we heard from our parents and coaches as kids, but they are still just as true today.

Remember that the ministry is people, and that includes the other inconvenient people on the media team.

More and more churches are heading to the web to get their message out. Almost any church has the capability to put content on the web.

If you have just started posting content online or are thinking about starting, a great place to begin is with sermon recordings. Sermons are pretty easy to record, and there are plenty of resources to help get them uploaded to the web.

The more difficult part is producing content that sounds good audibly online. We use a compressor during live recording to level out the highs and lows of the volume. Our pastor is very dynamic. He speaks quietly and then will raise his voice suddenly. The compressor makes it all about the same volume level. This keeps the listener from constantly having to raise or lower the volume on their device.

We record the audio in Audacity, and export it as an MP3. Our podcast is available for download or streaming on our website. But we could easily put it on iTunes or other similar sites.

The important thing is to make your sermons sound good whichever way you put them online.

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.

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.