Tuesday, July 22, 2008

7.20 Reverb

This was the view on Sunday when I came into the church building. What a beautiful sight to begin another wonderful morning with Covenant Life Church.

Judah Groveman and Zelos led us in singing, and Robin Boisvert taught us on Christian citizenship in a message called "Don't Waste Your Vote." Listen here if you haven't yet or if you were under headset in camera land.

In case you - like me - quickly forget what happened just two days ago, here is a summary of Sunday morning:
  • 2 Songs - Judah Groveman (Sing to the King; Nothing But the Blood)
  • Baptisms - Joshua Harris
  • 2 Songs - Juday Groveman (Jesus, Thank You; Hail to the King)
  • Announcements - Mark Mitchell
  • Sermon - Robin Boisvert
Overall Comment - Checklists

Thanks to everyone who has been faithfully reading, learning from, and completing the checklists we introduced back in the springtime. If you look at recent Reverb posts, you'll notice fewer probems and issues, and I think that is partially because the checklists are helping us remember what to do and are assuring we get everything done.

I did notice, however, while going over the checklists from Sunday (yes, I do see them all each week) that there were several empty checklists. Some were for positions where people didn't come in to serve. Some were for positions that people actually filled. If you served and yet didn't complete your checklist, you will be hearing from me sometime this week. The danger with checklists is that by their very use they become critical. I need you to fill them out, no exceptions.

And for the checklists that would have been covered by absentees, I have some basic direction: ultimately the person directly above them in the org chart is responsible for their tasks. Who may that be, you ask? Check out the org chart for the auditorium production teams here. This means the camera director should take responsibility for a missing camera op. The audio producer should take responsibility for a missing stage tech. The executive producer takes responsibility for a missing lighting operator.

With several blank checklists, I'm surprised we had almost no problems all morning. Praise God! I'm pretty sure this means that people did appropriately take responsibility for each other. However, please do take the moment to use the checklists and fill them out. They will help you and they will help me later. Thanks!


Zelos is a younger band with a more modern sound than our normal Sunday worship team. Personally, I appreciate the more modern arrangements and I also like the changes in sound from week to week. Do you?

However, Jim asked me an excellent question as he was working on the mix: Because this is a younger band with a more modern sound, should it be louder?


And maybe yes.

We should still be aiming to hit our normal sound pressure levels, around 95-98 dBC. Please don't push it just because it is a more modern-sounding band.

However, there will likely be a sense in which it will seem louder to some. I was absolutely confident that Jim stayed within reasonable limits on Sunday, but we still got one complaint about it being too loud.

I suspect that is because not everyone differentiates between style and volume. Sometimes a more solid kick/bass foundation can equate to "louder." Sometimes more electric guitar can seem louder, too. In this sense, I do want it to be "louder," if that is what the band's arrangement calls for. As sound mixers, we should be seeking to replicate the musical style that the band is producing, not necessarily the "normal" Covenant Life sound (whatever that may be) or even our preferred styles. Thanks, Jim, for doing this very well last Sunday.

One quick staging note for the sound crew: Whenever possible, musicians should take their instruments with them when they are done playing. I was so happy that all three guitars ended up in the green room after the 1st service singing concluded. But that left two things on stage: one drum set and one lonely, fragile violin in the middle of the floor. While the musician's are ultimately responsibile for the care of their instruments, the sound crew can serve by reminding people to take their stuff with them.


Lighting was very smooth this weekend. Phil had everything aimed and programmed in a couple hours and everything ran as planned during the services. Thanks, my man!


Video, too, was very smooth. The slides went great. Robbie, Dennis, and Sylvia worked out their own plan for side screen slides. What was that, folks? We could all learn from how you did it.

Baptisms went well, especially considering that we had no camera 5 operator. It would be wise for all video folks to review the preset shot order for baptisms here. One question came up from our house director about when to go to blank logo between baptisms. To clarify, blanking the screens is not a modesty issue if the final shot from camera 1 is wide enough to prevent immodesty. Blanking the screens is primarily to avoid the awkardness of people getting into and out of the pool. That means that there can be a pause between seeing the wide shot on camera 1 and the screens going blank. Don't wait too long, but definitely avoid the "stacked dissolve" where the camera director dissolves to camera 1 and then the house director immediately dissolves away to blank.

You Talk!

Those are my thoughts. What are yours? Comment away...


David MacKenzie said...

I thought Jim did a great job of making everything heard and balanced well while keeping the SPL under control. I was in the front row of the bleachers and the sound level was very comfortable.

Anonymous said...

I will remind people during my two weeks to please get there stuff (movable stuff) off the stage for the going forth of the word of God. I didn't look but I think that violin/viola case was empty - but I will try to make sure that the stage is clear.

Anonymous said...

Hi, the link to the organizational chart didn't work for me. I'd love to see how you all at Covanent Life organize things. It said there was a permission error, like the graphic is on a protected server. By the way, I love the blog.

Bryan Kirby
The Master's College
Grace Community Church, Sun Valley

The Forest Gang said...

Did I miss it or is there not a link to look at your 'checklist'? I would love to see what things you check.

Dave Wilcox said...

Sandy, email me at dwilcox@covlife.org and I can send you our checklists. Thanks!