Tuesday, June 10, 2008

6.8 Reverb

Praise God for another wonderful Sunday at Covenant Life Church! I always enjoy Youth Sunday, when we get to hear and see how God has been at work in our high school students. Thanks to all the volunteers who made this weekend happen.

Here's a rundown of the morning to refresh your memory:
  • Singing let by Brett
  • Announcements by Adam
  • Senior Challenges by Sarah, Tim, and Josh
  • One fine sermon by Matt Maka (listen here soon)
  • A review of the 10:31 awards. Congrats John and Julie

Equipment Malfunctions

Before we get into some executional notes, I wanted to mention that we had an interestingly rough weekend when it came to equipment failures. These issues may be related to the two power outages that we encountered due to last week's storms. Or they may be unrelated. But in any case, I thought it might be wise to let you all know what happened, so that we'll all be prepared to handle these types of things in the future.
  • Unsynced Audio/Video Switching - The graphics switcher controller had been having some issues all week, and a new one came up on Sunday. The controller on the table was not able to change the switch type (audio, video, or both) on the actual switcher in the rack. The solution was to reboot the system by powering off all three units (two graphics switcher and controller) and then restarting them (graphics switchers first and then controller). I still had to manually set the switch type to "both" (A/V) on the graphic switcher, but the switcher then followed the controller correctly.
  • Sound System Power Sequencer - Kenneth came up to me at the beginning of the first service saying that the sound system didn't seem to be working correctly on the left side of the house where he was standing. I was skeptical at first, but after a visit to his seat, I thought he could be right. I went back into the amp racks, and - sure enough - two amps for the left side of the system were not powered on. I wiggled a couple of the relay cables on our power sequencer, and - "click" - they came back on. Good ears, Kenneth! For the time being, there will be an added item on the audio producer checklist to confirm that all the amplifiers are powered on.
  • Camera 2 Intercom - For some reason the camera two intercom wasn't working at the beginning of the first service. Everything was set correctly. The solution was to press the camera power source select switch further into its correct position (up to RM). It's a little scary that it was in position but not fully engaged, but it seemed to work for the rest of the morning without any problems. If this happens again, please make sure I know since we'll need to have the camera serviced. Also, checking the intercom is a part of each camera operators checklist. We could have resolved this earlier, if we had checked it before the service.
  • Acoustic Guitar Wireless Connection - For the sake of stage cleanliness, we ran the acoustic guitar completely wireless on Sunday. However, it ended up not working throughout the first service. The wireless transmitter was functioning correctly and the cable was connected tightly, so Mitch suspected the problem was in the guitar itself. I never heard where that ended up. Does anyone know what actually happened, and was it ever fully resolved?
  • Camera Image Frozen - A small thing that I still can't explain occurred during the senior challenges: the camera image froze for about five seconds on the center screen. Any ideas why that happened?
  • Video Projector Lamp Explosion - To my shock and disappointment, the video projector lamp exploded between services. Please read more here.
  • DVD Video Input Sizing - Probably due to the power outage, the graphics switcher lost the sizing information for our DVD player. During the first service, several of the lower third names were cut off on the sides. I resized these during the second service without any problem. Video folks, if you see this happen during rehearsal, please let me know, so that I can resolve it before everyone else sees it, too.
  • Ultimate Support Keyboard Stand Collapsed - As we were tearing down after the services, I heard a crash in the sound storage closet. Mitch was putting the P120 keyboard away, and the ultimate support keyboard stand loosened and began sliding/falling down the stand, eventually dumping the keyboard on the floor. Thankfully, Mitch was unharmed, and he somehow managed to brace the P120 for the impact. This is the second time something similar has happened, and I think I know why: the new rolling keyboard cart is the culprit. Sort of. I don't think those keyboard stands were intended to hold keyboards for long periods of time (days on end) without being retightened. Add to that fact that we often put sideways pressure on the attachment when we push the whole cart by the end of the keyboard. Over time this will loosen the attachment point. So, for now, let's make sure not to push the cart by the keyboard itself. Push the cart or the primary upright support.
Now, to be honest, with all these things going on throughout the morning, I had little time or energy left to make notes on the actual execution of the service, but here are a few thoughts. Make sure to leave yours here, too.

Overall Comments

While I thought everything went well this last Sunday, I did have the sense that things were a little less "fine-tuned" than usual: missing a couple mic cues, lyrics coming up late, video elements coming up on the wrong screens. It could be that I didn't do my due diligence to lead the Youth Department in finalizing the Sunday details appropriately. But I think, too, that we were either a little overwhelmed or a little too loose mentally. Anyone agree or disagree?


Special thanks go to Mitch's sound crew for handling the whole morning minus two people! Their team is naturally short a person and then they had one person call in very sick. Setup went smoothly, and it seemed like rehearsal did also. Any notes from the sound crew?

Dave, I am really liking your mixes these days. I didn't get to listen intensely critically, but I was really happy with the overall feel of the mix. The bass sounded nice, I could hear the guitars, and I could follow Brett's vocal easily. Do know what decibel level we were maxing out at? It seemed reasonable to me, but I did get a couple "complaints" that it was louder than usual. I think they were sensing the intensity of the bass more than the overall volume.


David, it was great getting to spend a casual evening setting up on Saturday. Thanks for sharing a bit of your life and for your personal encouragement. I have zero lighting notes from this weekend, so consider this silence as approval, and feel the pleasure of God in your service.


I only have one note for the video crew: we have a system issue that I have yet to resolve that affects how we roll-in videos. The audio doesn't always dissolve correctly when we transition from a source to the BLK input (and vice versa). If you want to dissolve from black into or out of a video, make sure to choose another input that is blank rather than BLK (usually In8 will work fine). Let me know if you have any questions.

Your Comments Needed

Now it's your turn. Send your comments in here.


David MacKenzie said...

Dave, peak SPL at FOH was 97. We might have hit 98 momentarily.

For the second meeting, Ben was playing a different acoustic guitar, and that switch resolved the problem.

I kept forgetting that (I think it was) Adam was running up to the stage during the first song, so I think I missed his first word in the second meeting as I rushed to unmute the podium mic. In all the noise, I'm not sure how many people even would have noticed.

I wish we had a good way to visually indicate the critical channels on the board: podium and primary lav, especially. It takes a couple of seconds of scanning to pick them out, and sometimes when I'm in a rush I accidentally grab the backup podium or backup lav channel by mistake. Although if we switch to a digital console someday, we wouldn't be able to do anything about it any more because all faders are soft due to bank switching.

David MacKenzie said...

I forgot to mention that the SPL this week was mostly determined by Jared's drumming. He was hitting the drums hard, and Ben N even asked me if we even needed the overhead mics on, because Jared was hitting the crashes so often and hard. During the rehearsal I asked Jared to back off some on the intensity, but it didn't seem to have much effect.

At least the band's arrangements dropped the intensity down rather frequently, so we weren't at the high SPLs for more than a couple minutes at a time.

DWHoover said...

David, I thank you for your encouragement. You must have missed the 1st two cues for the second service, they were late due to distractions.

DWHoover said...

David, I thank you for your encouragement. You must have missed the 1st two cues for the second service, they were late due to distractions.