Saturday, May 31, 2008

Board Mixes from Na

Bob Kauflin has posted some live board mixes of songs from last weekend's New Attitude conference. You can check them out here. I hope to write up some thoughts on New Attitude before it gets too far into the distant past, but for now you can at least listen. Enjoy!

Friday, May 30, 2008

www.undistract.com

Strangely, after giving up on getting ahold of the url www.undistract.com when I redesigned this site, it suddenly became available yesterday. I snatched it up and now that is the home of undistract. Any links to www.undistract.net will soon forward to the new address. And the feedburner feed will update soon, too.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Na Setup Day

Friday’s purpose was to get the Na main sound system up-and-running, and we got that mostly done by around 4:30p after a full day of box pushing, cable running, desk tipping, and minor noise making. You can see pictures of the room transformation here.

We are again using what has become the standard Na setup: Two Yamaha PM5D consoles at FOH and monitor world; a stereo JBL Vertec line array speaker system with twelve double-15” subwoofers.

I asked if we could arrange the subwoofers differently this year, using a technique that I learned from some friends at Clark ProMedia. Due to some limitations in space and cabling, we weren't able to do this as purely as I had hoped. However, we are going to try a close alternate. We placed four sub sources (three subs stacked) across the front of the stage at 7.5-foot intervals. I hope we'll find three benefits to this setup:
  • At that distance, the subwoofers combine additively at 80Hz, which is the punchy part of the sub frequency.
  • The group of subs then becomes a type of horizontal line array that also helps steer the sound away from the stage and into the audience just a little.
  • Finally, it spreads the subwoofer energy across the front of the audience, removing the power pockets in front of the pile of six subs on each side.
While we confirmed functionality of all the flown speakers, I haven't actually heard the system in action yet. We'll kick that in around 9:00a tomorrow, and I'm excited to hear the Vertecs again.

I love working on the PM5D. To be honest, the 5D is the only digital console I have experienced, so I’m not trying to make a statement of it’s comparative worth to other digital mixers. I just like it.

I did learn one thing this last year: input assignments for “fader-flip” mixers are important when you are used to mixing on analog mixers. I moved some things around this year to get my most-needed channel sliders on the front 24 channels of the mixer. No more flip-flip-flip-flip-flip all session long.

CTS Audio is the contractor providing the equipment, and I’m always grateful for their help. I'm also inspired by their ingenuity. Covenant Life stole the design of their stage power boxes and adapted it for our purposes. They have some really cool road cases, too.

Mike from CTS was great to work with, and we have a Na newcomer, Daniel, running monitors. Schwartz will arrive tonight and tune up the system in the morning. If you're coming to the conference, don't forget to thank these guys for their contribution.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back in Louisville Na-gain

The Galt House is becoming my home away from home. I was here in April for Together for the Gospel. Now I’m back for my next conference experience, New Attitude, more affectionately known as Na (pronounced “nah” or “en-ay”).

Na will be a very different experience from Together for the Gopsel. Unlike T4G, when I could listen to the messages, I will have mixing responsibilities this weekend. And unlike T4G, when we sang to one voice and a piano, this full band will be driving and loud.

I posted the input list that the Na Band requested recently. I always enjoy working with this group, since they have some very nuanced arrangements between their three keyboards, three guitars, drums, bass, and beatbox. I am really excited about the opportunity to add a seventeen-person string ensemble. One evening will have a large choir, too.

I’m also excited because the Na Band just released their first album, Looked Upon (Lu), through NAP records and Sovereign Grace Music. I’m listening to it right now and really like it. While the live band will be significantly different in instrumentation and vocal arrangements, I want to be familiar with the lines, licks, and ear candy that define the sound of Lu. Hopefully I can bring some of that same flavor into the conference mixes.

I’d summarize my two main goals for Na as these:
  • Clear, comfortable speech levels at every seat in the room, so that we can all hear God’s word preached without distraction.
  • Powerful, enveloping music, so that we find it easy to sing to God in Spirit and truth.
Please pray that God helps me to serve these young men and women well. And please pray that God changes lives as only He can do.

If you are attending the conference, stop by and say “Hello” at the sound console next to the center camera platform. If you’re staying home, I will try to post regularly during the conference. However I may not get around to it due to a packed conference schedule and lack of wifi in the main hall. You will be able to follow our progress on my twitter page. Short posts that I can send from my phone are much more reasonable to pull off in the midst of crazy days.

Let’s get goiNa!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

5.18 Reverb

The Psalms series returned this Sunday in full force and with the full-stage backdrop. Greg Somerville preached on The Bitter from Psalm 55. You can listen to the message here.

We also had the privilege of baptizing two people. I'm so grateful that the entire church gets to rejoice together in the way God is changing lives.

Josh also kindly provided us a video bloopers announcement moment, probably without even noticing it. During the first service, he told our guests, "... We hope this is your last time at Covenant Life..." We do?!? I'm confident it was an honest mistake, but it will likely come back up again, if you know what I mean.

As usual, I have some thoughts that reverberate from this weekend that I'd like everyone to know about. Please send in your comments, too, even if they are not related to something I have written here.

Sound

First, special thanks to Jim and Nate. All the baptism mics worked correctly! I'm sorry that we didn't tell you that Jon was supposed to wear the "rocket pack" earset mic in the first service. We'll try to be more clear on that next time.

I wasn't able to really listen to the choir this weekend, but it seemed like Jim was able to get enough gain out of them. Any thoughts, Jim or others?

It seemed like setup and rehearsal went smoothly. Again, I really wasn't there, so I'm counting on you to agree or disagree by commenting.

One quick reminder on stage setup: We need to watch out for upstage creep. The rectangles on the stage diagram are sized to indicate the person and their instrument, not the music stand. Please put the music stand downstage of the rectangle on the diagram. Here's the issue: our musicians, no matter how outgoing in real life, are wall-flowers when on stage. They always stand as far back as they possibly can while still being able to read their music. If given the opportunity, they will stand as close to the backdrop as humanly possible. This causes lighting issues, primarily glowing foreheads and uneven lighting on the backdrop. Let's "encourage" them downstage.

You may have noticed that we are trying to arrange our services so that we can sing longer after the sermon. Many people have found this to be a great opportunity to reflect and apply, so you can expect to see this happen more frequently. But the change raises a question; if people are invited to the front with 10 minutes left in the singing, do we leave the subs and front fills on or turn them off?

The answer: Please leave the subwoofers and front fills on until there are people praying out loud for each other. In other words, if people are just meditating silently and personally in the front, leave all the speakers on. Once Josh invites pastors or care group leaders to come down and pray out loud with others, please turn those speakers off.

Lighting

Lighting went pretty well this weekend. I think the main challenges were associated with the big backdrop. A few notes:
  • There are nine panels in the backdrop. Please use five lights. Four of them will cover two panels and one will cover a single panel. Don't use more than one light on any panel.
  • Please place the light "break" transitions at the panel breaks. Breaking the lights in the middle of panels is almost impossible to do well.
  • Even if the lights are all aimed correctly, that does not guarantee they will be even in brightness. Please take the time to adjust levels between the lights to make all the panels the same brightness. Remember the cameras magnify the contrast, so even a small change to our eyes shows up more pronounced on the screen.
  • If there is a choir directly in front of the panels, please light the choir from catwalk 2 and use those lights to cover the panels as well. We tried to light the choir from catwalk 1 to push the shadow down to the floor, but the choir members looked too ghostly in comparison to the rest of the band.
Since we are discussing choirs, one other note: when we have a choir on stage, and someone comes up to talk or pray, we need to get lights off the choir to reduce the distraction of having them behind the speaker on the screen. Please plan to have such a cue ready just in case.


Video

The video team had some difficulties this weekend, but they were from the Lord, not from the team. The DVD didn't work correctly in the DVD player, and the slides were out of order due to some late changes on our part. Thanks for serving with faith and for rolling with the changes. I have a new quote: change is just three letters from challenge. (Woah, deep, right?!)

We had four cameras set up this weekend for baptisms (note to non-CLC tech folks, we have no cam 3, just 1, 2, 4, and 5 - strange, I know!), which leads me to a couple thoughts on shooting baptisms for the future:
  • Camera 4 and 5 color correction - cam 4 and 5 both have digital color correction units inline. They are located below the assistant director desk area, and are labelled appropriately. Camera 4 color is locked in and doesn't need to be changed. However cam 5 could still use some help, so don't hesitate to adjust it there to get rid of the green. Camera directors, please make special note of this.
  • Shots during baptisms - Overall, the shot structure for this weekends baptisms were right on. Thanks, John! We start with a pastor explaining the purpose of baptisms, followed by a testimony from the first participant, and then the actual baptism. Cam 1 is the best shot for the pastor and testimony. Cam 5 for the baptism. After the baptism, we should use Cam 2 for a wide shot of the entire baptistry just to avoid any immodesty or simply uncomfortable proximity to a very wet person. Stay with cam 2 as the person leaves and the next gets in.
  • When the last baptism is over - we want to move quickly back into singing, so we can go immediately back to lyrics on the center screen, rather than watch the person leave.
  • Camera 1 shot - If possible, don't show both the pastor and the person being baptized. Depending on how close they are standing to one another, that may not be possible. But if possible, just show whoever is talking at that point in time.
Finally, when there is a person speaking and the band is still on stage, let's move quickly to a shot that doesn't have people in the background. I understand that we may need to see cam 2 first simply due to how the shots line up, but if cam 1 or cam 4 have a clear background, let's move to one of those fairly quickly.

That's all I have. Thanks, everyone, for serving this weekend. We couldn't do corporate worship without you. And we can't improve without your suggestions. What do you want to add to the discussion?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

5.11 Reverb

Last Sunday was Mother's Day, so I want to send a particularly loud, "Thank You", to the wives and mothers who served this weekend on the production teams.

Moms serving on their special day include Julie, Kathe, Dolores, and Lani. Thanks for being willing to lay down your lives even when you are supposed to be resting. God will honor you really well in heaven, believe me!

We also had several wives who allowed their husbands to serve. Susanna, Marlia, Kathy, and Amanda: thanks for giving up your husbands and handling the kids on Mother's day. A mother's job never ends, does it? Thanks!

I want to honor my wife, Cara, who serves our entire church each and every weekend by joyfully shouldering 100% of the responsibility for our two little ones so that I can lead our tech teams. I love you, babe!

If you weren't here on Sunday, were on the video team, or were in Discoveryland, you can hear Josh's message about motherhood here. It should be posted soon.

My notes on this Sunday were sparse, which is a great thing. It means that I noticed very few distracting problems and that this Sunday went particularly well. [Post-writing note: somehow, in spite of the sparse notes, this is a really long post. Just a warning, and thanks for reading!] Here are some reverberations from the weekend...

Overall Notes

I was reminded this Sunday that those of us on the staff planning side need to have a more consistent list of questions to ask the worship leader each Sunday. We need to know when they will talk during the song set and what band members will be returning at the end of the service. Ben and I will try to keep better track of this so that we can program lights and plan for video transitions more accurately.

I am pleased to announce that we have added a new feature to our video system that just went fully live this last Sunday. We are now broadcasting on three different channels throughout the building. This gives people in different rooms the option to watch what they want from the auditorium. In the long-run, we are going to install picture-in-picture televisions in some rooms so that they can watch, for instance, both the camera shots of the musicians and the song lyrics at the same time.

This does have some implications for the video team, however. The main change in activity is that the column "spycam" is now being broadcast at all times on Ch. 4. Whatever you are watching via the spycam is now available for others to see as well. Please don't let this hinder you from using the spycam for legitimate video team sight into the auditorium. However, it should return to it's stage+screens shot (preset 4) whenever it's not being used for some other purpose. And now is the time to stop using it to see if your friends and family are somewhere in the auditorium.

Also, as a reminder, the video team does need to set the audio volume level for the video broadcast. This used to be more intuitive when the recording audio levels and the broadcast audio levels were located in basically the same place. Now they are separated. The broadcast audio level control is right above the mixer that controls what you are hearing in the control room. As a general rule, whenever the service changes from music to speech, we need to change the audio level. If you have to turn up the volume to hear the person talk, please also check the audio levels to the broadcast. Make sure the green lights on the output meter are bouncing around zero decibels. This is officially a playback operator responsibility, but assistant directors can be of great help also if the playback op is over by the recording station.

And while we are on the topic of audio levels in video land, Tony wrote in this comment to last Sunday's reverb post that I didn't get to answer:
"We can't see what's going on upstairs, are totally dependent on house audio being at the right volume, and if everyone else is talking in the room, as the Camera Director usually is, and add to that they are usually not sure when exactly the leadership wants the image up (is it right when they say the magic word, which one, or after, how long after, and how long to keep it up)."
Tony is expressing a legitimate concern here, that demonstrates an area where I think we can grow. Certainly, our video control room is cut off from what is happening in the auditorium, but we need to work extra hard to overcome that limitation. We must not assume that there's nothing to be done or - worse yet - to use that separation as an excuse to check out from the service.

We should be tenacious to make sure that the audio level for the control room is at a proper listening level at all times. If you can't hear what is being said or sung, please either make the change to the audio level or ask someone to do it.

We also need to be diligent and tenacious to keep one ear and one eye on what is happening right now even as we prepare for what is happening next. Don't get so wrapped up in what is happening next that you lose sight of the present. I know that's a balancing act, but I think you all are up to the challenge!

Finally, I have the sense that - occasionally - our video teams use the freedom to talk as a license to talk about things unrelated to the work of supporting the church service, things like sports, work, children, websites, or even video tech stuff. There's nothing wrong with talking about these things, but we should be focused on what the pastors are saying from the stage at all times. Video producers, please make sure you are setting the example in this area.


Sound

The week 2 sound team did a fantastic job handling the orchestra this weekend. Thanks to Mitch, Frank, Bob, Dan, and Gavin for taking the extra time to get everything set up correctly. One huge blessing was that every single orchestra mic was plugged in correctly the first time. That's a huge time-saver, and it made rehearsal so smooth!

Julie, the orchestra sounded tremendous. I really loved the fullness of the cellos and the smooth sound you got from the higher strings. If you have any notes as to how you accomplished that, I'm sure the other mixers would love to know. Post them here, or I'll pick your brain soon, both for future Sundays at Covenant Life and for my own mixing at Na in two weeks.

Just a note to all mixers on orchestras, choirs, and the like. I've noticed a trend when we have a high number of open mics on acoustic instruments. When no one is in the room the acoustic sound is able to reach FOH more easily. But when rehearsal ends and people come into the room, the overall volume at FOH goes down a little and we push the levels into feedback. Typically after a song or two, we adjust mentally and bring the levels back down so that we're not on the edge of feedback.

A few suggestions:
  1. During rehearsal take some extra time, as much as possible, to get more gain before feedback than you think you need. Make it louder in the house than you really want it. Then when it drops, you'll be in a more comfortable range.
  2. I recognize that sometimes we can't get the level out of choirs or orchestras that we normally expect from a Sunday band. Do everything you can to get the gain, but if you need to settle with a slightly lower volume, don't push it. Being on the edge of feedback for the majority of a service or even a song isn't worth it.
  3. Finally, have it in your mind that these elements will seem softer when we start the service with people. Just thinking about it will help you restrain yourself from pushing the levels into feedback at the start.
One small note to audio producers. Since we changed to the DPA headset mic, the speaker's microphone is often too far behind his mouth. I can see how this would happen, given the way the headset is made. Please make sure, though, that the mic element is about a half inch behind the corner of the speaker's mouth.


Lighting

The lighting was right on this weekend. I didn't have a single note except that I need to talk to worship leaders about who is coming up at the end of the service. Thanks, Dave. Any comments from the rest of you?


Video

The video crew did an amazing job this weekend. Most importantly, given our recent discussions, they nailed the Psalms video roll-in. It was perfect. There was a slightly longer pause at the beginning of the video in the first service, but it was not a problem at all from my perspective. I'll ask this afternoon if it seemed too long to anyone on staff.

Peter, what tips do you have for the other video teams? Do share, my friend!

Camera 2 operators, I have some notes for you, based on some challenges common to all the teams. You have a difficult job because you have the wider shot and you tend to be the go-to camera when the pastor moves. Here are some framing and following ideas:
  • You have the medium shot, and it should include the entire pulpit top and the pastor, but it shouldn't be much wider than that. If you've got someone who moves a lot, you can go a touch wider.
  • You also have an angle that requires the pastor to be framed up on the right side of the screen. If he turns to his right (our left), you'll need to frame him even more right than the 1/3 line on the screen.
  • This means that you have to be ready to "rock." When the pastor steps back, you must move back with him. Please don't try to frame empty space back there. No matter how it's done, it always looks funny.
Also, because you are the go-to camera for movement, please be ready to move all the time. I frequently see something happen that I would narrate this way:
Camera Director: Take Two.

Camera 2 Operator: Whoa, red light. Red light means I'm live. I better grab that camera and follow.

Video Screen: Whoa. Jerky shot.

Congregation: Whoa, that's distracting.
Three suggestions to eliminate this distraction:
  1. Camera directors, please always make a ready call for camera 2.
  2. Camera ops, please keep following all the time.
  3. And don't take your hands off the camera unless you really need a rest.

SundayPlus

And now, at the end of a very long post, a quick thought for SundayPlus operators: If the quote wraps over multiple slides, always break the quote at the end of a sentence. If absolutely necessary break the quote at a comma or other "thought pause." Please don't break the quote in the middle of a thought. I should have caught this before the first meeting, but I didn't look closely enough at the quotes.


Comment Away

These posts have gotten the highest number of comments of anything I've ever written on my blog, so keep the ideas coming. They are very helpful and always provide good food for thought for me and the other team members. So, comment away!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Quick Mothers' Day Exit

Happy Mothers' Day to all moms out there! I want to thank my wife, in particular, for being the type of woman who gladly carries the full burden of parenting on Sunday mornings, so that I can serve the church. She doesn't even get mother's day off from that responsibility!

I also want to mention that I will be postponing my Reverb post until Tuesday in order to go as quickly as possible to celebrate this special day with my wife, kids, and our extended family. Enjoy the day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Song Lyrics

Midnight Oil Productions has written a short article on their approach to creating song lyric slides. If you are responsible for song lyrics, please read these instructive basic principles for creating pleasantly readable lyric slides.

If you have any comments or disagreements, please leave them at the midnight oil blog or here.

(HT: Ernie Stevenson)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Off to Louisville Again SooNa

This afternoon, I shipped off part one of several paperwork sets for the fast approaching Na Conference, to be held in Louisville one last time.

Step 1 was getting a list of console inputs finalized, so that the folks at CTS Audio can program the PM5Ds we'll be using at both FOH and monitor land again this year.

What can you expect this year?

First, and most importantly, there are some fine preachers coming: Josh Harris, Mark Dever, Albert Mohler, Eric Simmons, John Piper, and CJ Mahaney. We'll be using DPA4066 and Countryman E6 mics on them all.

We'll also sing with the Na Band, led by Devon Kauflin, using some of their music from their new ablum, Lu. I have asked for an advance release copy of the album to hear the mixes early, and I am looking forward to its arrival.

What did they request on their input list?
  • Drums
  • Bass
  • Beatbox
  • 2 Electric Guitars
  • Acoustic Guitar
  • Synth
  • Rhodes Piano
  • Electric Piano
  • 5 Singers
Of the 48 channels in the Yamaha PM5Ds, the band uses just a little over half, so we've got room to spare. For two sessions, however, we are packing the desks full. Any guesses on what we'll be adding to the open 17 inputs? A hint: I doubt CTS will be able to provide all of the 14 AKG C414EB mics that I requested. Other options for them include the Neumann KM184, AKG C3000, AKG35, or Shure SM81 (as a last resort).

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

5.4 Reverb

The reverb from T4G continues. Two weeks ago, we heard from Thabiti Anyabwile. This last Sunday, Dr. Albert Mohler preached. It is indeed an honor to have men of this caliber teach our church. Dr. Mohler spoke about the sovereignty of God in spiritual hearing and seeing. You will be able to listen to the message here soon.

As usual, I have some thoughts about the production aspects from this last Sunday morning. Please don't forget that you can share your thoughts in the comments section, too.

Communicate with the Musicians and Pastors

One of the strengths of our technical teams is the excellent relationship our teams members have with the musicians and pastors we serve. Please know that this is often not the case, and that we are very blessed to have people who are willing to work with us - instead of against us - to make things go as smoothly as possible.

With that in mind, I want to encourage any and all communication with the worship team that you think will help you serve them more effectively. Specifically, I would like to make sure that the sound team members have met the musicians and vice versa. Because the musicians and the sound teams are not on the same rotation, I'm sure there are many Sundays when the musicians don't know the names of who is serving them on the sound team or what roles each person is playing. That puts both the musicians and the sound team at a disadvantage. So, sound teams - and audio producers in particular - please take the initiative to introduce yourself to the musicians. Let them know what role you play and how you will be serving them that day.

Also, I would encourage the entire sound team to hang out with the band after the first service to give and receive feedback on how things went. Other possibilities: lighting operators, please don't hesitate to talk to musicians about where they are standing (are they in the light?); camera directors, always feel free to double check with worship leaders about who is doing solos in what songs or what instruments will be covering song transitions. Cool? Thanks!

A Special Visitor

We had a visitor to the second service this past Sunday who was hearing impaired and needed sign language interpretation. We haven't had anyone in this situation for a while, so it caught us a little by surprise. In the past, when we had a group of folks who needed sign language interpretation, we've always set out a music stand and a clip light for the interpreter. We scrambled to put the pieces together to serve them, but it was a joy to do so. Let's always be ready to jump in to serve new visitors in any way we can. Also, audio producers, lets have a music stand and clip light ready by the monitor board for the next few weeks in case our friend returns.

Food and Drink

This is a reminder that no food or drink other than bottled water is allowed in the auditorium on Sundays. Yep, that means you. Yep, that means your coffee! I know that you all arrive early and serve a long time, but I need to ask that you not consider yourself an exception to the rule. This can be a serious temptation to others, particularly because it makes them feel justified in bringing coffee in during the second service.

So, let me be more specific, just for the sake of clarity (I'm sure there will still be questions):
  • You may bring food and drinks into the auditorium when you arrive in the morning, but please consume them in the green room or in one of the practice gyms.
  • By 8:15am, all food or drinks must move to the green room or main lobby. No more eating or drinking in the practice gyms at that point.
  • Please do not take your orange juice, cookies, muffins, or fruit from the between-service break to your station in the auditorium.
  • No food or drink is allowed, ever, on the IMAG control desk. You can take your food up into the control room, but leave it over by the couches.
Thanks, everyone, for helping us keep the auditorium clean and the equipment functioning correctly!

Sound

Once again, special thanks go out to the week 1 sound team. They are faithful to come in to the optional setup time late on Saturday after the 10:31 meeting. I am so grateful for this initiative and sacrifice because they are much better prepared for the morning, having been there to help with setup.

I'm almost never downstairs during the soundcheck stage, so I depend on your feedback to let me know how things went. Comment here if you were serving and have any thoughts. I know there was an issue with one of the synth channels that was still being worked out after the rehearsal finished. What was the resolution to that problem?

The Sunday planning team has been trying to mix in some other types of musical styles recently. This was another one of those mornings, with only piano, synth, and vocals. How do you all think this went? I'm very curious to know what you, as members of the congregation, thought.

My personal take was that it was a nice change, but it seemed to lack energy. While I don't want to base the "success" of our musical worship on externals, as I looked around the congregation, people didn't seem as engaged. I'm not sure what exactly triggers that response. It was probably a combination of many things, including arrangement, lower spls, mix, and maybe more.

I did think that this arrangement worked perfectly for the new song, "O the Deep Deep Love," but it just didn't hold together as well for the first two songs ("Blessed Be Your Name" and "God Over All").

During the second service, Roger played a synth bass more often, and I think that helped a lot. But it still felt lacking. What do you think?

Lighting

Just three quick things:
  1. For this last week, we went back to a staggered panel backdrop. After doing this again, I think that it's best to use one light per panel in this setup. Trying to cover more than one panel with a single light gets problematic in this setup.
  2. Please make sure you leave the stage diagram with focus arrows and the cuesheet in the lighting notebook for the next person.
  3. Craig had some questions about the lights backstage. Some of them do have three-way switches. On the checklist, it says "Off" or "On." Just make sure that the lights are off or on and don't worry about the position of the switches.
Video

Excellent job this weekend, video crew. We had three spontaneous additions to the singing time this weekend, and you nailed each one by getting the speaker up there quickly.

Just one tiny thought in this area: if we are confident someone is going to talk, and we have the cameras locked in and adjusted, we can go ahead and put them on the screen before they say the first word. I'd love for it to feel planned, even if it is spontaneous. When we wait until after the beginning of the first word, it seems like we are responding rather than being proactive. This is such a little thing that, if it is all I have to comment on, it proves you all did a great job.

You also did a very good job with the video roll-in this weekend. We are still trying to sort out why the DVD was registering as having a "damaged area," but that certainly wasn't your problem. The second service was particularly smooth and I liked letting the audio roll all the way out, even though the lights came up when the video blacked.

It seems like we regularly have a slide go up early, regardless of the team. It is usually the guest reception slide or the cell phones slide. The typical reason I get is that the person thought they heard the speaker say something related to it. I know a lot is going on during announcements for the playback operators, so an honest question: are we asking too much of them at that time? Or is it reasonable for them to sit down and listen carefully to what is being said? I just want to set you all up for success, so if we need to rearrange some responsibilities during that transitional period, just tell me.

Thanks for another wonderful Sunday, friends. We couldn't do this without you! Comment away, and we'll see you next weekend.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Work Day Pictures

About once every three months, our tech teams reserve our entire building and converge upon it to clean, organize, and do maintenance. We call these work days, and we'll often throw in a longer-than realistic list of projects on top of our de-chaos-ing. In an effort to improve our stewardship, though, this last Saturday was a no-cost work day. We didn't do many projects. We mostly cleaned.

Here are some before and after pictures...





We filled more than one dumpster with cardboard.



And here are some of the small projects we tackled...

We chose a new set flat storage location. (Notice the mosquito net on the projector! That wasn't a work day project for this weekend, but provides a humorous flashback to another post.)



Camera 4 has a functioning monitor mount. Now, we just need to get the camera!



Tally lights on the camera director video monitors work again!



And the house director preview monitors can actually be seen from the house director seat!



Many thanks to everyone who came out to clean! May the fruit of your labors last for many months!