Wednesday, December 01, 2010

November Reverb


Thanks for serving this month at the Sovereign Grace Pastors Conference and Work Day (0:00-1:43)

Updates from Work Day for the audio team (1:44-4:00)
  • Wireless mic audio lines are now working.
  • New in-ear organization in a pillbox.
  • New labels on the auditorium front-of-house and monitor mixers.
Review of last Sunday for the video team (4:01-6:50)
  • Cam 4 operator should go to Cam 5 when the pastors and the people being baptized go up on stage.
  • Please go to black immediately after "the hug" after someone is baptized.
  • pdf files do not work correctly in ProPresenter. Please convert everything to jpg before importing.
Christmas Eve Update for everyone (6:51-7:29)
  • If you can give 20 minute after the Christmas Eve service on December 24, we could use your help. Look for a planning center invite.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Bullet Summary:
  • Thanks for serving sacrificially all the time, but especially during the holidays.
  • Week 4 Team - You are serving on November 27-28 and December 26. Get subs now if you need them.
  • Our next work day is on November 27th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
  • Because Christmas falls on Saturday, we will be setting up the auditorium for Sunday, December 26 after the Christmas Eve Service on December 24. We could use everyone's help!
  • The Christmas Eve Service team invitations will be going out shortly.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

10.17 Reverb

Summary of Main Ideas:

  • Thanks to week 3 for their hard work and flexibility to make the first run at pre-service prayer happen.
  • All production prep for the 1st service must be done by 8:25a as opposed to 8:30a.
  • Josh Harris will do his best to completely end the 1st service no later than 10:35a.
  • We will standardize the time when the tech director meets with the different team leaders between services. Josh Davis will communicate the details with week 4 team for this weekend, and we'll see how it works.
  • Because we have limited time to prep, every individual needs to do his or her best to get things done right the first time. Don't count on others to cover for you or double-check you. If there is anything on your checklist that you don't know how to do, please ask someone to teach you so that you can own your responsibilities fully.
  • Reminder: please white balance cameras with the sermon lighting cue on. There should be no colored lights on the stage. Also, leave the white board in one place, so that all the cameras get the same white reference.
  • Added to Cam 4 Checklist: Make sure your gain setting is always on "Low."
  • Graphics: 1) Main points with numbers or bullets should have the 2nd line indented. 2) In prose, do not capitalize the pronouns that refer to God.
  • Challenge to Lyrics Operators - Take the time to get to know the music, not just the time to get the information about the song list.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10.10 Reverb

  • Video - Don't work so hard on Camera 4 that you undo the good you've done so far.
  • Video - If Camera 4 seems to change color through the meeting, please let me know.
  • ProPresenter - To "export" a playlist, drag and drop from the ProPresenter window to a Finder window. Right-click + Export does not work correctly.
  • ProPresenter - To "import" a playlist, drag and drop does not work. Instead, double-click on the playlist in the Finder window, and it will open correctly in ProPresenter.
  • ProPresenter - Make sure to add all images and videos to the image/video bin before attempting to add them to a presentation.
  • Audio Recording - The backup audio recording will now run through the break between the services. This will delay the availability of the backup audio recording if we need it.
  • Video Recording - Watch your checklist for an added item: we will record all speech on tape in the 1st service, not just the sermon (and baptisms). From now on, we'll also record baptisms, announcements, and sermon.

Friday, October 08, 2010

10.3 Reverb

  • A band with two electric guitars is a great sound, but we need to work on the transitions with this instrumentation. This may mean having the keyboard player lead the transitions.
  • Once we "open doors" at 8:30am, all "just for fun" stuff should end.
  • We may eliminate "live" pulpit swaps, and the pulpit will often stay up on stage for closing songs.
  • The lighting team must check the focus on each individual band light with people in place, not just as a group of lights with the whole band up.
  • Also, we will be requiring that we go to sermon lighting whenever someone comes up on stage to speak, even if it's not planned.
  • My hair is a mess in this video! Where was the makeup artist?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

8.15 Reverb

It's been way too long since my last Reverb post. I can't make any promises on future posts, but I thought I should take advantage of the few minutes I have today to reflect on this last weekend.

First, thanks to all of you who came out to the work day. Here are some work day changes that everyone should know about:
  • Events Center Drum Storage - Instead of piles of drums backstage in the events center, there is now a storage cabinet for the drums. All of the drums should fit in it except the kick drum. Please use it even if the drums are not in it when you get there. Break the cycle of the mess.
  • Edwards Room Equipment Covers - The mixer and iMac in the Edwards Room now have official covers to protect them and discourage small fingers from playing with them. Please make sure to use care when removing the covers and putting them back on, so that you don't damage any of the cabling.
  • Auditorium Compressors - The compressors and comp/gates in the auditorium main sound booth now have space for handwritten labels, and they have been standardized to our usual input list. We have enough compressors now to serve every mic in our standard band, if you so desire.
  • Wireless In-Ear Transmitter Wiring - I recently found some strange DC voltage issues with our wireless in-ear transmitters. We installed isolation transformers on the audio inputs in order to kill those DC anomalies. As a result, they are now all fully functional and buzz-free for the first time in a long time.
  • Video Control Room Lighting - We added adjustable pinspots to the top of the video control racks, so that operators can have light on the desk without washing out the monitors. Please note that these get very hot, so adjust them with care if they've been on for a while.
A few things came up during this weekend's services that I thought I'd mention.
  • Working During Band Rehearsal - During the production team prep time, the band is rehearsing on stage. While we want to do everything to accommodate them, we must not wait for them to finish rehearsal before we get started on "disruptive" work. By the time they are finished, we are disrupting the congregation, not just the band. Lighting operators should program blackouts and get the lift out to replace bulbs even if the band is on stage. The video team should not wait for the band to be done to pull out the white card and start balancing the cameras. Be courteous, but don't hesitate to do what you are supposed to do.
  • Camera 4 and Camera 5 - I'll be the first to admit that Cam 4 and Cam 5 do not look as good as Cam 1 and Cam 2. There are several reasons for that which we won't be able to overcome perfectly without investing tens of thousands of dollars replacing all of our cameras. However, I am confident that 4 and 5 can match 1 and 2 well if time is given to carefully set the white balance and then check the colors on the monitors upstairs. I am confident because I've seen it done by several of our video teams. I want to challenge all the video teams to push harder to match these cameras, to never assume that mismatched is OK because getting a good match isn't easy.
  • Camera 5 Has Other Uses - A couple times now, we've been caught by poor camera 5 shots because that camera has been used by others, and they returned it to us with their settings instead of ours. Please assume that Cam 5 will be borrowed for various things as it is now, in fact, for the youth retreat. The Cam 4/5 Operator, the Camera Director, and the Video Producer should each expect to spend a solid fifteen minutes with Cam 5 each time we have baptisms in order to get everything reset correctly.
That's all I have for this weekend. What did you see that could have been improved? Leave your comments here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

ProPresenter and Video Team Changes

We are only three Sundays away from what will be a watershed moment for our video team. On April 11, 2010, we are finally casting off SundayPlus and Keynote and making the switch to ProPresenter. ProPresenter is a single software package that will allow us to handle all of our video content needs other than live camera shots. With this software change, there will be a number of other changes for the video team.

Sidenote: those who are directly affected by these changes have been notified and are in the process of reassignment and retraining. This post is to update those of you on the video team indirectly affected by the changes.

Video Team Role Changes - We are using the change in software to also make some changes in the team roles and responsibilities. We used to have three positions, two people running lyrics and sermon notes (Lyrics) and one person playing back announcement slides and DVDs as well as handling all the recordings (Playback).

Those three people will now be arranged differently. There will be one Lyrics Operator, who is responsible only for song lyrics via ProPresenter. Alongside the Lyrics Operator will be one Graphics Operator, who is responsible for announcement slides and sermon notes. And we are adding a new person to the Sermon Media team: Sermon Video, who will be responsible for recording to the tapes, DVDs, and directly to computer.

Computer Arrangement Change - We will also be moving computers around to make the most of the switch to ProPresenter. Instead of having both computers in the sound booth show up as CPU1 in the video room, the two computers in the booth will show up seperately as CPU1 (run by Lyrics Operator) and CPU2 (run by Graphics Operator). CPU3 will remain in the video control room as a backup.

Stage Display on Confidence Monitors - ProPresenter 4 has a great feature called stage display, which allows a third output from the computers in the booth to be shown to the people on stage through the confidence monitors. This extra output includes a clock as well as both the current and the next slides, which will be a significant benefit to the singers.

To enable this feature, we will have to reconfigure the matrix switcher. We'll be removing CPU3 and DVD1 from the inputs and adding CPU1 Stage and CPU2 Stage. Each matrix switcher preset will be slightly different, though the number of presets required will likely be very similar to our current arrangement.

Please comment away if you have any questions on how this will affect you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3.21 Reverb

So, my return to Reverb posting is still happening in fits and starts, but I hope to return to weekly posts in the not-too-distant future. I have been encouraged by the team, in order to keep up the posting, to limit each post to the essentials, so here goes.

Great Job Video Team - The video team this weekend did a great job. The baptisms were seamless in both meetings, and both Cam 4 and Cam 5 looked great. Thanks for your attention to detail and excellence in execution.

Tall Guys at the Short Pulpit - If we end up with a situation like we did on Sunday, where a tall guy is behind the short pulpit, the video team should push in and remove the pulpit from the shot. I'm going to be more careful to get the right pulpit up there, but in case something odd like this happens in the future, you can just ignore the pulpit and get a medium shot, waist up.

Baptism DVDs - We recently purchased a new HD-DVD recorder, which will allow us to easily create a DVD of just baptisms. These DVDs are occasionally given to or ordered by the people who have been baptized. Sermon Media, Playback, and Video Producer checklists will be updated to adjust for this addition to the routine. Please look closely next time you serve.

Dress Code - It's March madness and Duke is still in the tourney (sorry Terps!), and the weather is getting warmer. Please remember our simple dress code: Dark clothing is preferred; please, no shorts, and; please, no shirts with large recognizable logos or words. We want to remain in the background.

Snacks in the Green Room - Yep, we still have snacks in the green room. No change there. But I realized just this weekend that the sermon media team may not been officially invited yet. If you are serving through both services, you are now officially invited. Please come out of your little recording closet after the first service editing is completed and enjoy coffee and snack bars in the green room backstage.

See you next weekend, friends, and feel free to leave your comments and thoughts here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sermon Audio Team Process Changes

Our sermon audio editing computer essentially died last week, so we installed a "new" computer to replace it. In doing so, we also are changing the way we are burning both Audio CDs and Archival DVDs. I put these three videos together to inform the team members of the changes.

To the team: please watch these and let me know if you have any questions at all.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Reverb is Back (God-Willing)

At last Saturday's All-Team Meeting, I got some encouraging news: Almost everyone that attended that meeting read the Reverb posts I used to put on this blog!

I realized immediately that I have been missing opportunities to serve and lead the team by letting the recent changes in my work responsibilities squeeze out writing a weekly review of our Sunday meetings.

But no longer!

God-willing, and as far as I'm able, Reverb is back.

In order to limit the writing time required, I will likely hit only the high points, the main learning experiences, and I will not necessarily comment on all the four main areas of service. Just remember that silence is approval, so if your area doesn't get mentioned, you must have done a great job.

Thoughts From Sunday

First, I wanted to thank Ed for the way he specifically checked Planning Center ahead on Saturday night, so that he would know what to expect on Sunday morning. Rather than attempting to absorb everything on Sunday morning, he looked at the service plan ahead of time to get mentally ready for the next day.

I know he's not the only one to do this, but I encourage everyone to take advantage of that feature of Planning Center. To see the plan, find your reminder email and click on the big blue button that says "View This Service." On that web page, you can see what is going to happen the next day even before it arrives. Note: You will need to log in, so if you've forgotten your password, contact Jenn and she can reset it for you.

Second, I want to remind everyone to do everything necessary to stay sharp through the end of the second service. I've started to notice that the first service actually goes better than the second, which really is backwards from the way it should be.

I'm not sure if the culprit is a level of "comfort" that deceives us into thinking we know what we're doing, that we've heard this all once before, or simply a lack of Mountain Dew. In any case, we all, and I include myself in this, need to be ready to push hard all the way through the end.

God isn't finished working in the church when the second sermon begins, and we shouldn't be finished either.

What did you notice that could have been better from this last Sunday?

Next 2010 Conference - I'll Be There. Will You?