Tuesday, March 10, 2009

3.8 Reverb

Covenant Life enjoyed another wonderful Sunday a few days ago. Here's a brief review of the morning:

General Comments

Did you get sick this winter? If not, take a moment to thank the Lord for his mercy in your life. An unusual amount of people have been getting the cold or the flu this year, which means production team members like you have either been sending or receiving an unusual number of last-minute requests for substitutes. Let me say thanks for being faithful to send those requests and for being generous in responding to those requests. Many of you have given up extra time to cover for someone who is at home recovering. Thanks.


I have heard nothing but positive feedback about Julie's mix this weekend. Specifically, Don mentioned that the acoustic guitar sounded great and was perfectly located in the mix. I thought that Devon's vocal sounded comfortably in the lead, clear but not harsh.

The rest of the sound team did a great job as well. Soundcheck went smoothly and the band was able to end early to accommodate the 10:31 Youth Meeting on Saturday.

One sound team mentioned to me afterwords that she had changed the batteries in a wireless in-ear receiver, only to find out when the service started that they were in backwards. Her honesty allows me the opportunity to remind everyone to always check that an item works after changing the batteries. At least flip it on momentarily to confirm that you see lights.


I have zero notes on lighting this week. All the lights were aimed well, and the cues ran smoothly. Thanks, Dave, for starting from scratch this weekend and making it all work so well.


The video team was busy this weekend, having the most challenging job of all the teams this time around. Naturally, then, they have the most notes from the morning.
  • The Next promo video was perfect both services. Thanks, Dave (video Dave, not lighting Dave), for handling this so well, and for counting down to the end.
  • Sarah did a great job on camera 4 this weekend, nailing the spontaneous speaking in both services.
  • We had some timing issues with slides in the first service. Some reminders: 1) the "Welcome" slide should not come up until the pastor mentions the guest reception; 2) the "Please turn off cell phones" slide should not come up until the actual handoff between the introducing pastor and the preaching pastor. The only exception to this is when the introducing pastor specifically asks people to turn off their electronic devices.
The big note from this Sunday is a note to self. I need to make sure to coordinate ahead of time between the lyrics operators and the house director for the hymn memorization time. This is becoming an increasingly complex moment in video land, and I didn't prepare everyone enough ahead of time, so the first service was somewhat rough. The second service was perfect, however, so thanks for adjusting.


Closely linked with the video team are the lyrics operators, and I had a few related notes for them from this last Sunday, too.

Brittany (I'm guessing based on the handwriting and her personal passion for fonts) asked,
Can we switch the default sermon notes font to "Sylfaen"? It looks purtier. :)

However, I would like to change up our fonts regularly, getting away from the "default font" idea, just to keep them from getting too stale. I'll look at Sylfaen to consider adding it to our list. Leave a comment to suggest your favorite sermon notes font. It must be both attractive and easily readable, but it cannot draw attention to itself. Free fonts are preferred but not required.

Two other quick ideas:
  • Please left-justify all the sermon notes. We've gotten into the habit of center justifying some and not others. We should stay consistent and left-justify everything.
  • Remember that pressing the down arrow at the end of a song will take you to the next song. If you mistakenly press the down arrow and then correct yourself by pressing "c," you will show the chorus for the next song. Be careful with those arrow keys.

Sermon Media

Thanks, Tom and Olu, for your hard work this weekend. This was the first weekend that we were able to complete the entire new process without needing to go back and adjust anything. Well done, guys!

One quick note for all sermon editors. Listen to the beginning of the sermon by clicking here. I think this should have started about seventeen seconds later. Specifically, it should start when Bob says, "I have a good friend, Drew..." While our members connect with the fact that we are in a series on Ephesians and that we've been blessed by it, the non-member is clicking on the link to hear the sermon, not to catch up on the most recent going-ons of Covenant Life Church.

I think we are still holding on to an age-old editing rule that says, "Start when the pastor asks people to open their Bibles." Let's throw that out once and for all, and start when the sermon starts. That will serve everyone listening.

Your Turn

Thanks, everyone! What comments do you want to add?


brittany said...

I completely agree with using different fonts for sermon notes. as long as it's not Clubtype Mercurius. Can anyone say over-used? I can.


Nick Fitzkee said...

If the idea is really serving people, then the the proper choice should be informed by research (yay science!). Since one person may have different aesthetic tastes than another, you really need statistics to work out the "eye of the beholder" issues and get down to true readability. The result may not be as aesthetically pleasing to some, but that's not the real issue here, especially for those who are visually impaired. Choosing the right font may make the difference between someone being able to read the lyrics on Sunday and that person going elsewhere where they offer large print hymnals or sermon handouts.

I did some googling on this, and I came across the following site:


It looks like this was a final project for an HCI student's master's degree project. It seems to summarize a lot of research in a few pages (click through the red box at the right). The applicability is more oriented toward web design, but some elements apply here. Lynda Weinman (www.lynda.com) has probably written some stuff on font readability, too.

I've retained an affiliation with Hopkins, so I have access to their online library for computer science publications: I'm happy to download any of the references and send them to you for your perusal. Just let me know what you want. This is something I'd be curious to learn more about myself.

Personally, I'm in favor of using the same font for both worship and notes, and a bigger font than was used for the sermon last week. My eyesight is poor compared to most people (and family history indicates it will only get worse), so I adjusted on Sunday by listening and writing more rather than looking at the screen.

Tyler said...

I humbly submit for your review the venerable typeface Helvetica for sermon notes as it is "undistracting". ^_^

In a similar manner, Tahoma and Verdana may also be appropriately professional. If you're looking for a serif typeface, I do like the elegant, modern Sylfaen, which Brittany suggested. Britt, what are your thoughts on something in the Bookman family, like Bookman Old Style? It seems to have a distinct, readable flair with a loose kerning that could be good for the side screens.

As for whether to go with a serif or sans serif typeface readability is absolutely critical, as Nick stated. In my mind, either could work depending on the context and word density per slide with serif typefaces perhaps getting the upper hand if the latter is higher. Thoughts?


Dave Wilcox said...


Any more info you can find on font size and readability would be greatly appreciated.