Tag Archive: technology


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.

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!

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.

Mini shotgun mics for a DSLR
Many venues are changing over from the shoulder-mounted video cameras and the hand-held cameras to the DSLR. They are relatively inexpensive, and they take wonderful video. They’re also versatile and can be mounted to any number of tripods, rigs, and jibs. However, they don’t record very good audio.

Maybe we can’t decide which one is our favorite, but we can integrate them together by using different types of mini shotgun mics. I would love the ability to attach a small but effective mic onto a DSLR or a hand-held camera, like my Canon HV30. These mini shotgun mics would allow me to record way better audio than the on-board mic.

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.