Wednesday, September 30, 2009

9.27 Reverb

This last Sunday was another wonderful morning together as a church. God heard our singing and our prayers and spoke to us through his word and his Spirit.
  • Bob Kauflin led us in singing, along with the choir.
  • Five people were baptized.
  • Kenneth Maresco shared items of pastoral significance (aka announcements).
  • Joshua Harris shared part 2 of what will become a three-part series on laziness, distractions, and technology. If you didn't hear his message, you still can listen and apply.

General Notes

Thanks for Coming to the Picnic - Thanks to those of you who came to the picnic. For those who couldn't be there, we missed you. I enjoyed the evening with you all, and I hope you enjoyed it as well. Prizes went to the best volleyball team, the most skilled (and lucky) water balloon tossers, the most interesting life story, and the best frisbee golfers. If you enjoyed the picnic or have a suggestion on how to improve it, please leave a comment. We want to do better in blessing you all.

Complete Those Checklists - I hate to bring it up again, but I am still finding some checklists that are incomplete. There were four of them blank this last week. Some of the specific challenges we faced this last weekend can be directly tied to not following the checklists. While that is not true for all of them, it is true for enough of them that it is a good time to remind us all that faithfulness requires filling out your checklist. Let's also agree that reading it is not enough. If you don't check the boxes, I must assume you didn't take the time to read it and follow it.

Checklists Without Owners - While we are talking about checklists, I want to remind both the video and audio producers that you are ultimately responsible for all of your team's checklists. Some sound teams don't have a stage tech, and some video teams don't have a camera 5 operator on baptism Sundays. Even so, those checklists need to be complete, and the responsibility falls to the producer. Feel free to delegate tasks or the entire list to people on your team, but the checklist should still be completed. Because we have avoided duplicating the same tasks on multiple checklists, you will forget something if you don't complete all the checklists.


Happy Birthday, Jim! - Jim served on his birthday last Saturday. While we won't reveal his true age online, it should suffice to say that he has been serving on the sound team almost as long as I've been alive. Thanks for sharing another year of your life with us. We are grateful for you!

Choir Volume - Jim has been working extremely hard over the last few months to improve our choir sound, working to overcome the limitations of having live drums on stage. I think we had the first Sunday where the choir may have been too loud. That's an amazing thing because it means that we can begin to work on improving the tone. Thanks, Jim, for getting us so far ahead in the last year. Now we can work to even warm up the choir tone even further.

Starting on Time - The sound team listened carefully to last week's reverb post about starting on time. Thanks for getting started promptly at 6:30p. Technical difficulties, unfortunately, overcame the immediate start, but just imagine how delayed the start of rehearsal would have been had we not started soundcheck on time.

Improvising - For various reasons, including one mistake on the paperwork by yours truly, the sound team had to improvise a bit from the written documentation. This improvisation, not by itself but combined with a lack of communication, resulted in at least one of the technical difficulties from the evening. In solving one problem we created another, and we all ended up scratching our heads puzzledly until we put the pieces together. If we stray from the plan, we need to inform everyone else what we did, so that they don't undo it later.

Line Check - One of the problems we encountered during soundcheck was due to a failing monitor board channel which probably could have been identified in line check instead of after the musicians arrived. Make sure to pay close attention during line check. Even if something is plugged in correctly, it may still not sound right or the channel may not be working right. If you have concerns about something, don't get bogged down, but make sure to come back to it at the end of line check.


Lighting was very smooth this weekend. I want to commend Phil on how much he has grown in being diligent to aim lights for that week's setup instead of counting on last week's plot. I also appreciate how he receives the inevitable changes with joy instead of grumbling. Thanks, my man.


Camera 5 - A few notes for when we use camera 5 on baptism Sundays:
  • Camera 5 now has a cable loom. The power, video, and intercom are now bundled together. Power and video plug in at the far stage right video panel and the intercom goes further to audio panel 1. Please do not unbundle these cables, no matter which cable you think you urgently need. There are more of all these cables in their pertinent storage locations.
  • For now, the camera 4 operator should plan to move over to run camera 5 for the one shot per baptism that it gets us (and a nice shot it is!). That means you need to know how to operate it. Make sure you check it out before the first service to remind yourself where all the controls are.
  • Finally, camera 5 must be put away after the second service. We already had a camera like this stolen, so please don't leave it out for the staff to pick up later. This is on the camera 5 checklist and the responsibility is owned by the video producer. Leave the camera on the tripod. Take the camera, the power supply and the cable loom to the IMAG room. Store it behind the racks just to the left of the camera director position.
Stop the Fanciness (Sooner) - Over the four years we've been doing IMAG, our directors and camera operators have improved in shooting music. We're getting better at the "fancy" cross dissolves and moving transitions and fuzz-outs and the like. I'm not saying we should stop those things altogether.

We just need to know when to stop the fanciness for the purpose of setting up for IMAG. Camera Directors, please don't attempt to push the fanciness to the very end of the song and then expect your camera ops can get all the right static shots in the moment you have left before the camera shots to go live to the main screen. If we are going to err, we should err on the side of setting up the boring shots early. We may "bore" (not really) moms and dads in the video rooms, but the early shift will serve the entire congregation, which is a far higher priority.

Baptism Shot Sequence - Just a reminder to camera directors and house directors that you need to know our baptism shot sequence by heart. You can read about it again here. We are working on putting together a storyboard that will help you see the images ahead of time and show them to your camera ops, but you should plan to commit this to memory, since - by the mercy and grace of God - we keep having baptisms.

Sermon Media

Sermon media happened smoothly this weekend. Thanks, Tom, for being ready to push out the 1st service files even before 2nd service editing was complete. That gives us the opportunity to get the resources online by 2pm instead of 3pm.

Your Turn

What did I miss? Who would you like to encourage from this last Sunday? What could have been better still? Comment here.


Unknown said...

thanks for all this, dave.
choir: i'm glad for choir mic experts! and i don't know if i remember many if any times the choir sounded so good.

i have a question: was there a 'hum' (feedback?) in the house? i was in the 2nd service, and during josh's message (for sure during the 1st half of it) i thought i heard an intermittent 'hum'. i could have hummed it to you then, but i don't know if i can tell you the pitch now. just curious.


Dave Wilcox said...

Thanks, Karen, for mentioning the hum. I don't know if there was or not, since I wasn't in there during the second sermon. I'll listen more carefully on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

SNIFF! I looked and looked and looked, but my checklist vanished from the safe spot where I had left it onstage. My life is not complete without little boxes to check off and the endorphin rush that accompanies this. Personally, I suspect the heffalumps and woozels of neferious plots against the whole of civilization. This is simply their opening move.

Can I please come in this week and complete a checklist?