Tuesday, June 03, 2008

6.1 Reverb

It's been a couple weeks between Reverb posts, due to Na last weekend, but it's good to be back. I want to thank Bram, Gavin, Jim, Pat, and Ken who led the tech teams during my absence on 5.25. From all reports, things went well, even if not flawlessly. Ben and I learned a lot about how to prepare for these times away.

The first Sunday services in June included the following elements:
The morning went very smoothly, so thanks to everyone for all the effort involved. Here are some reverberations from the weekend (which won't be complete without your comments).

Sound - Overall Comments

Setup seemed to go well this weekend. One thought: the crew - with my approval - broke to eat dinner at 6:00p before doing a line check. While that seemed like it would be plenty of time to eat and get back for line checks, it did make the arrival of the musicians a little more stressful as they set up and we tried to run line checks at the same time. I would suggest to myself and all other teams to complete both headphone and input line checks before eating dinner.

I thought the mix this weekend was great. Thanks, Dave, for making the low-end impacting but not overwhelming and for working to create a warm, full vocal ensemble sound. I think you accomplished several of the goals we've been working toward as mixers.

There are dangers with having a warm, vocal ensemble sound rather than a brighter, leader-up, bgvs-behind mix. One is loss of a worship leader's vocal direction to the congregation. A couple times I thought that Mike's direction was a little hard to hear. But I don't always trust my assessments because I have a radio earbud in one ear and a headset over the other. Any thoughts from the team?

Another DPA headset mic note. While the new headset mic is great, it seems to have a tendency to stray toward the back of the head. I'm not sure if this is just placement by the audio producers, or if it is actually moving when the pastor sings, or (most likely) both. But we need to get the mic closer to the corner of the mouth. It is more sensitive to plosives than the Countryman E6s, so it cannot be out in front of the mouth. But it needs to be closer or we won't get enough gain before feedback.

Lights - Overall Comments

I don't have any notes on lighting whatsoever. I did get a comment after the 2nd service that there was either a stray or "fallen" light in the worship cue. Let that be a reminder to do a visual double-check all cues on Sunday morning.

Video - Overall Comments

All the video elements went very smoothly this weekend also. Both DVDs read correctly in the player and their playback was flawless. Thanks, team, for not rushing either the in or the out.

I also want to thank Steven on camera 4 for implementing the recommendations on ministry mic pre-service setup that I wrote about here. The shots of the ministry mic were locked in so fast. Excellent!

My only suggestion this week is the never-ending persnickety one: I'd still like to try to get the initial camera shots up faster. Many times, this challenge gets pegged as the problem of the house directors, but the entire team can help them out. Here's the process that needs to happen:
  1. Dave, Ben, or Bram reminds team (or informs them) that someone is coming up.
  2. Camera director assigns camera to get shot.
  3. Camera operator gets shot framed and focused.
  4. Assistant director gets shot shaded correctly.
  5. Camera director takes shot and notifies house director of ready status.
  6. House director takes the shot to the main screen before his first word.
If we are all listening carefully and on our A game, I think we can do this in 15 seconds. Would you agree? If so, let's make this our lofty goal: If we have a 15-second notification, we will get a perfect shot up prior to the person speaking. Please post your "whoa, wait a minute!" comments.

Thanks, friends! Don't forget to share your thoughts, and do have a great week! I'll see you on Sunday, if not before.


bill said...

Hey all... My only thought/suggestion about the 'getting the shot up faster' workflow would be to have either the producer or someone who is able to see the bigger picture of what is going on let the house director know that it seems like the speaker is ready to speak.

A lot of times we'll have the shot pretty much ready to go, but since we (CD/HD) are only seeing the speaker isolated usually, we are unaware of what else is going on in the auditorium so we don't know whether the speaker is ready to address the congregation or is just standing there waiting to address...

If it is better to just throw the person up and have a few moments of the person 'hanging', then I think we can definitely just do that.

Anyone else have thoughts on that?

Unknown said...

I noticed during the second service the camera was in exactly the right place when the lights came up. It worked out perfectly on the DVD so that when I hit record the lights came up there was no need to recenter on the speaker.

Unknown said...

During the 2nd service I could hear Mike B. directions quite clearly.

I did wonder at one point if the Sunday plus person was hearing it as well.

One song he clearly (imo) started singing a verse and the lyrics jumped to a couple of different slides before getting the correct one on the screen.


David MacKenzie said...

You're right, Dave, I was having to do a lot of active mixing of Mike's mic to balance between a pleasing vocal ensemble blend and getting his instructions heard clearly. I probably got better at it as the morning went on.

Anonymous said...

Dave(Wilcox)-I'm just very thankful to God for your faithfulness to practice excellent communication through email and this site. A couple of mentions:
1) I noticed there was panning in the PC student-grad section of the program. I know you've specified "no-panning" preferences in live shots like these, just wanting to get more clarity/input.
2) I also have found it helpful to visit the "Quiet Room" downstairs once every month on different weeks. I get to see different CamDiretor shot styles for Worship and also Service. It has been a great tool to learn and improve my own style.