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.
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?
Just three quick things:
- 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.
- Please make sure you leave the stage diagram with focus arrows and the cuesheet in the lighting notebook for the next person.
- 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.
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.