Friday, January 04, 2008

What's Next? | A Post-Christmas Return

Some "great" ideas turn out to be just plain silly.

Late last year I wrote about a system we were putting in place to help us understand what is coming next. We purchased a children's paging system and remote displays in order to cut out the middleman in our production communication process.

As the pastors make decisions about spontaneous changes in the service order, they can signal us directly about what was coming next. They simply push a few buttons and the light, sound, and video volunteers immediately know what to expect. Perfect, right?

Some great ideas turn out to be just plain silly.

I failed to adequately assess one part of the equation: "They simply push a few buttons..." We've been using this "miracle solution" for over four weeks now and we still haven't gotten one signal in time for it to be helpful.

Why? Well, the folks pushing the buttons are not production people. They don't really understand how early we need to know about the adjustments. No matter how early we have requested a signal, we have only ever gotten signals moments before the person starts talking.

In addition, the keypad is too complicated. There have been at least four times when they thought they signaled us, but the message didn't go through. They accidentally pushed the wrong buttons.

Some great ideas turn out to be just plain silly.

The sorrow comes when it is expensive.

Please pray that we can get our money back!


Anonymous said...

I watched this happen last Sunday and had a thought.

How about getting the stage manager(wireless intercom/radio) or monitor engineer to give the head's up?


Dave Wilcox said...

That's not a bad idea, Jim. Do you think they have the ability to give enough time and attention to keeping an eye on all that's happening both on stage and with the pastors? Also, do you think they can see up the aisle for people lining up at the ministry mic?

Unknown said...


I'm sorry to hear that the paging system didn't work out as you hoped it would. I was wondering what you guys did for your prophecy mic. A long time ago, we actually purchased a guitar volume pedal and actually run the line through the pedal before going to the patch bay. Doing this allows us to keep the channel un-muted at the board and when there is a prophecy, the pastor in charge of prophecy simply pushes the pedal to turn on the mic and then turns it off after the person is done.

I'm not sure what to say about a pastor coming to talk on stage. When I'm mixing, I've tried to train myself to look at the stage whenever the band seems like they are in a transition to see if there is someone that's going to speak. Wish I had a better idea for this one.


Dave Wilcox said...


We do have a switch on the prophecy mic, which allows the pastor to turn it on and off while we leave the channel unmuted at the mixer. The trick is getting the lighting on and the camera shots set up in time. That doesn't happen with the flip of a switch, unfortunately. But we're just going to be keeping a closer eye out (and maybe install a camera to watch those areas).

Unknown said...

Oh, I see the bigger problem now. Sorry, my mind always defaults to thinking about sound.