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.