Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Not All In-Ears Are Created Equal

This picture shows the three types of in-ears that we currently have available for our musicians. These three types are not created equal, however.

What's the difference?
  • The pair on the left is an old Shure E3 headset. It is a single-driver in-ear that will work fine for vocals and some instrumentalists.
  • The pair in the middle is the Shure SE425. This is a dual-driver in-ear that will sound better than the old E3, and it will have much better bass response for drummers, percussionists, and bass players.
  • The pair on the far right is the current version of the E3, now called the SE315. This is what comes we get when our old E3s get "repaired."
So, what should you use when? Well, here's a good order of operations:
  1. Use all of the 425s first. They sound the best and will help the musicians hear the most accurately. If there are not enough 425s for the whole band, prioritize the drums, bass, worship leader, and electric guitar players first.
  2. Use all of the 315s next. Since they are all newer than the E3s, they won't be as fatigued and should sound better.
  3. Use the E3s as a last resort.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Events Center Video Projector Settings

If your pictures and songs aren't fitting on the Events Center side screen video projectors correctly, watch this video.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Video, A Survey, and a Couple Lighting Notes

Here's a tribute to all you gurus out there...

And now for something completely different...

Can you take a second to complete this brief survey about your thoughts on our volume levels?

And now for something completely different...

Two small notes for lighting folks and other interested parties:
  1. The window blinds are now controlled via a remote in the FOH booth. It's on the wall next to the architectural lighting controls. Step 1: Press the button to indicate whether you want to adjust the left or the right curtain (you can do both at the same time by pressing both buttons); Step 2: Press the Up, Down, or Stop button as appropriate.
  2. House lighting diagrams are now updated and in the lighting binder. If you want to see what channel or dimmer controls a particular section of house lights, reference these two diagrams. Please note that the channels and dimmers are not set up one-for-one, so it's important to know which diagram to look at. To turn on and off house lights, use the channel diagram. To troubleshoot dimmer rack problems, use the dimmer diagram.

Friday, September 30, 2011

New Discovery Land Tech Paperwork

This Sunday begins the new Discovery Land creative team year, which means new bands, new lead worshippers, and new tree house gang members.

In preparation for the new year, I met with the creative team coordinator to get the new personnel lists, and we've built new tech paperwork for this coming year.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Layout - The layout for the paperwork has been de-cluttered. The new paperwork looks almost identical to the auditorium paperwork, so that you can easily switch between the two rooms.
  • Standardization - We have standardized the paperwork, primarily so that we can have semi-permanent labels on the mixers for inputs and outputs. The biggest change from this will be that drums and bass will be required to use headphones each week. It won't be an option for them any more.
  • Binder - Five copies of each week's paperwork, as well as one master set of each, is in a binder in the monitor board drawer. Producers should not have to print the paperwork each week, as long as your team is faithful to return the paperwork to the binder at the end of each weekend.
  • Switching Weeks - The binder will also allow people who switch weeks to have access to other teams' paperwork.
  • Online Access - The paperwork is also available on Planning Center under the Adventure ministry attachments. To find them, log in to your plan, then click the Up Folder icon next to "Adventure" at the top. You should now see "4 - Discovery Land" at the top. Click the triangle next to "Adventure" if the list of plans is not open. Look at the bottom of the list of plans for all the paperwork attachments.
  • Changes - If you find that your paperwork needs to be changed for the long-haul, please let me know. I'll make the changes and update the binder.
  • Forward-Looking - I've tried to be forward-looking with this paperwork, so you'll see some mic and monitor assignments that you don't have available yet. I hope to purchase or re-assign these things very soon. If you don't have everything on the current lists available in October, just do your best with what you have in inventory.
Post questions and suggestions in the comments section below.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Green Room "After" Every Event

Covenant Life's new Music Academy Director, Mr. Goodling, has recently cleaned up the green room, and mighty well, too. See the "after" pictures below, and note that these are "always after" pictures. Every time you serve at an event, the green room should look like this when you're done. And in case you forget what these pictures look like, they will be available in a binder by the double doors.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rechargeable Batteries in the Edwards Room

We now have a rechargeable battery station in the Edwards Room. It is nearly identical to the ones in the auditorium and events center. If you need a refresher on proper rechargeable battery procedure, please review this post.

There are a few minor adjustments for the Edwards Room:
  • The batteries are in the amp rack in the closet above the wireless mics.
  • The Edwards Room will use a maximum of 8 AA batteries at a time, and there are 16 batteries in the charger. Please return batteries to the charger when you are done. Do not leave them in the microphones.
  • There is a charger opening tool in the drawer with the wireless microphones.
Please do not lose, recycle or trash these batteries! We've lost about 16 already in the auditorium. Please make every effort to remove all batteries at the end of every time and do a count to make sure you have them all before you go.

You can see the location of the charger here, below the autorecorder and above the drawer with the wireless mics:

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

9.4 Reverb

Thanks, everyone, for another great weekend at Covenant Life.

  • We sang together, with Ken Boer leading - Praise to the Lord The Almighty, Happy DayJesus Paid It All, and Come Holy Spirit
  • Seven people testified that Jesus was their Savior and were baptized.
  • We prayed for South Sudan together.
  • We heard about the new class of Introducing God that begins tonight.
  • Jon Smith preached on evangelism - We Promote What We Prize.

Baptism Video Shots

After a relatively long hiatus from baptisms, week 1 came back strong with great baptism video shots. What worked so well?
  • They skipped the shot of the worship leader asking people to be seated. This shot is often a distraction for both camera operators and directors. Just go straight for the pastor in the pool.
  • They stuck to the simple, predictable order of shots: Camera 1 for the testimony, Camera 5 for the dunk, Camera 2 for modesty coming out of the water, and then black after the hug.
  • The camera operators didn't try to follow people in and out of the pool. They just dissolved to black and didn't worry about covering the entrances and exits to the pool.
Great job friends!

Lock In Camera Brightness Before Going Live

We focused on shading a while back as a team and the brightness levels improved for a time, but I think we could use attention on this area again.

Some ideas to assistant directors to consider:
  • Once the shot goes live, it's too late. While those of us back at the sound booth will correct you if the shot's problematic, but that's not how we want to get it right. Let's get it right up in the control room.
  • I know there is a level of distrust of the monitors up in the control room because they don't look exactly the same as the main screen itself. However, if you trust them for what they can do, they will serve you well.
    • They show overexposure perfectly well. If the person's face is significantly shiny on the control room monitor, they are too bright. If you don't see any shine on them, turn the brightness up until you do, and then turn it back, so that they are as bright as possible without gleaming.
    • The embedded waveform monitors give you very accurate readings. Set brightness so that the face is at 80% for light-skinned folks, 70% for dark-skinned folks, and in-between for in-between.
  • Camera directors can help in this by anticipating when shading changes will be required. For example, the cameras will always need to be adjusted between Mark Mitchell and Joshua Harris. You can help by going to black between the two instead of trying to have the assistant director shade on the fly.
  • Finally, follow the cue sheet. The light cues are listed on your service rundown, so that you can anticipate the coming lighting changes. If you are setting up a shot that won't happen until the next lighting cue change, you'll have to anticipate what the lights are going to do. In particular, don't adjust the iris for a subject in the dark who is about to be lit. They will look angelic and other-worldly when the lights do come up. Instead, make an educated guess as to how high the lights will come up and set the iris accordingly.

Sermon Backlighting

We've made some changes to the sermon backlighting recently, and I expect that is why there is confusion with the sermon backlighting levels. At some point, the sermon subgroup got programmed so that the backlights were at 50%, making them completely ineffective. Just to be clear, the backlights should be at full.

The new lighting locations do make them somewhat more noticeable to the congregation in the front rows, but turning the lights down creates more problems than it solves. I'll soon be ordering some top hats to help reduce the flare in the eyes of the people in the front rows.

Headset Chatter and Other Non-Event-Related Discussions

Finally, I'll pass on a quick reminder to stay on task with your conversations, especially on headset. We had at least two instances this weekend when operators were distracted by conversations happening around them, one on headset and one off headset. The result was that they missed cues.

So, two important "golden" rules:
  • Please be mindful of who else is on the channel with you and don't talk about non-immediate topics when cues are coming.
  • If you have important personal discussions that you need to have with people on the team, there is plenty of time before and between services to have those conversations.

Your Turn

What did you notice that went well or could use some tweaking from this last weekend?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

8.28 Reverb

I honestly cannot remember the last time I put together a reverb post, but now that the fall is here, I want to get back into the swing of regular communication with the team. Even though we are in the midst of challenges at the church, I am more excited than ever about the people on the production teams. You all are faithful, sacrificial, and God-centered servants. Thanks for working so hard for the Savior.

As a reminder, here is what happened at church this Sunday:

Backup Sound System - First, I want to thank the sound crew for preparing a backup sound system in case hurricane Irene caused a power outage on Saturday night. Because our sound system is not powered through the generator during an outage, we have instead wired two circuits of generator power to the stage in a quad outlet with a red panel near the stage right door. Those outlets could power a small mixer and two powered speakers, enough to be able to support speech and a miniature band. I hope we never have to use this backup option.

Drum Baffles - The choir this week was small, eight people small. That made getting sound out of the choir all the more difficult, so we tried using some studio baffles to reduce the drum bleed into the choir mics. I'm not sure if they really helped, but maybe Jim can comment on that. Unfortunately, the didn't pass the aesthetics test in their gray state, so we'll need to build something more attractive if we want to do something similar in the future.

Ministry Mic - I know the video crews have generally been working hard to get prepared for video shots of the ministry mic. I also know that in some cases, you don't get much warning. I think this is an area where we can still improve, however. Specifically, camera 4 operators need to be faithful to write down the zoom and focus markings for the ministry mic. Then, use them to get lined up. I don't think anyone actually does this any more. Please start again the very next time you serve.

Also, camera directors, you must, without exception, call for camera 4 to prep the ministry mic shot as soon as someone is talking to one of the pastors. I know that is both limiting for you when shooting the music and boring for the camera operator. However, the ministry mic shot is the money shot for camera 4, and it needs to be treated that way. This is the shot you must get right.

Matrix Preset Switching - In general our house directors do a great job switching between presets on the matrix switcher. However, at the end of the sermon, we often miss the transition to Preset 2 during the closing prayer. The result is that there are no lyrics on the confidence monitors when the post-sermon song begins.

This Sunday was the perfect storm: Not only is this the oft-forgotten transition, we also forgot to include "Closing Prayer" as a separate line item in Planning Center, and the house director was trying to handle the recording responsibilities as well as his normal switching. On top of that, someone "borrowed" the worship leader's chord chart, meaning that he literally didn't have access to the words of the song in any way at all. It wasn't pretty.

All that to say that, until we are more solid on this every-service transition, we need to take a team approach. Anyone who does remember should remind someone who can remind the house director to make that switch as soon as the closing prayer begins.

Mics for Closing Comments - To our mixers - you have been improving steadily in keeping your eyes up to watch out for the mystery pastor spontaneously coming up on stage to share something from his heart. It is rare for you to miss a mic cue during the opening worship set. Let's make sure to take that same sense of anticipation into the closing song segment. Specifically, watch out for the pastor who is going to close the service. He may come up more than once depending on the situation, and he may not have the worship leader's full attention if he wants to change the plan. Go ahead and turn his mic on even as he comes up the steps. I know that runs some risks of stray singing, but it will ensure that we have his mic on as soon as he wants to interrupt the music to either direct or dismiss.

These are small things in a generally great weekend, so thanks for seeking to improve in the little details. Anyone else have any thoughts or suggestions from Sunday?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

5th Sundays

Even though each of our teams serve on a once-a-month rotation, the commitment we ask for is 13 weekends a year. Why? 5th Sundays! Each team is required to cover one of the four extra Sundays.

Here is the schedule of 5th Sundays from September 2011-August 2012:
  • October 30, 2011 = Week 1
  • January 29, 2012 = Week 2
  • April 29, 2012 = Week 3
  • July 29, 2012 = Week 4
Please mark your calendars now for this one extra weekend this coming year. The auditorium assignments have been added into Planning Center. The Discovery Land Assignments will be in Planning Center shortly.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rechargeable Batteries in the Events Center

We now have a rechargeable battery station in the Events Center. It is nearly identical to the one in the auditorium, which I wrote about and demonstrated here. If you need a refresher on proper rechargeable battery procedure, please review that post.

There are a few minor adjustments for the Events Center:
  • The batteries are in the wireless rack by the amps. I know this isn't the most convenient location, but it's only place with constant power.
  • The Events Center will use a maximum of 20 AA batteries at a time, so when you are done with batteries, there should be 40 batteries at the station: 32 charging and 8 in the drawer.
Please do not lose, recycle or trash these batteries! We've lost about 16 already in the auditorium. Please make every effort to remove all batteries at the end of every time and do a count to make sure you have them all before you go.

Saturday, June 04, 2011


Summer is officially here.

How do I know?

You might think I'd know because it's getting warm outside, or because I witnessed the first graduation of the season today (congrats, Caleb!). Or it could be that memorial day weekend is over, or because the next big event at Covenant Life is a kids camp called Summer Celebration.

What is really tipping me off, however, is the high number of production teams members looking for substitutes because they are now gone or going on vacation!

So, here are a few summer survival tips, based on the "golden rule" for golden summer days:
"Do to others as you would have them do to you." - Jesus
  • Today - Look for a sub for your vacation today. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Today. By giving people advance notice, you give them time to process your request. You increase your likelihood of finding someone, and you may even be able to work out a deal that allows you to switch with someone else who needs a sub.
  • Reply - When you get an email or voicemail request for sub, reply right away. Reply, even if you have to decline. Silence stalls the process and makes it very difficult for the person asking to know what the right next step is. To be honest, I get regular and frequent notes from team members saying they looked for a sub and got no responses. Friends, this should not be. I'm confident that, if you were the one in need, you'd want people to respond to you.
  • Serve - With many people travelling, if you are home and available when someone needs a sub, that's probably a good sign that you should serve. Please be leaning forward, looking for opportunities to bless others by freeing them to leave town.
If you need a list of possible subs, please contact DJ at the church office, and she'll get you the most recent list.

The sub requests are on their way. Please don't become numb to them because they are more frequent now than during the school year. Instead, consider this an opportunity to serve others and bless them.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Two Videos from Risen

We have recently done two songs from Sovereign Grace Music's new album, Risen. On Easter and last Sunday, we multitracked the audio and iso-recorded the cameras, and they put together some YouTube videos from it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Video Camera Upgrades

We recently purchased two used cameras that are identical to Camera 1 and Camera 2. Watch these videos to see how the changes will affect you.

Please comment here if you have any questions.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rechargeable Batteries

Well, the time has finally come. We are now making the switch over to rechargeable batteries.

Several of you have asked over the years why we haven't used rechargeable batteries. Considering the amount of money we spend each year on alkalines, only to recycle them after a few uses, that is a great question.

Until recently, the answer has always been this: Rechargeable batteries drain quickly to a voltage lower than our microphones need. While they may hold some voltage long enough to power most electronics, wireless microphones are current hogs, and rechargeable batteries are just not reliable enough.

But that has now changed. Rechargeable technology has improved enough in the last few years that they not only are a good financial decision, but they also actually last longer than alkalines.

That being said, we have installed the first set of rechargeable batteries in the auditorium. This will require a slightly different process than the use of the alkalines.

Here's what to do:
  • Take two fully charged batteries (green lights on the chargers) and put them into the microphone.
  • Take two batteries from the drawer and put them into the charger for the next person who comes in.
  • When you are done with the microphone, remove the batteries from the microphone and put them in the drawer.
While this is simple enough, please take a couple minutes to watch this video to see more specifics about the charging station.

A few final notes:
  • These batteries are blue and labelled with "2580 NiMH." They should stand out from the others. Please do not throw them away or place them in the normal battery recycling bins. This will not save us money if we have to keep replacing the batteries.
  • If you happen to see rechargeable batteries in the reuse bins, please pull them out. They do not belong there, ever.
  • There is a charger "opener" tool in the drawer. Please do not lose it. While the battery drawers can be opened by hand, it is a bit of a pain.
  • We have enough batteries in the auditorium to have all our wireless units in operation and all the chargers full at the same time. There should never be an empty charger, so please make sure to keep them full when you pull batteries out to use.
  • We haven't purchased enough of these yet to do the Events Center or Edwards Room. However, unless something strange happens, we will be adding them to those rooms in the near future. I'll let you know when that happens.
Let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

3.6 Reverb

We had another great weekend just a few days ago.
The production side of the services went pretty smoothly, but there is always something to learn.

Work Day Audio Setup - We had a work day on Saturday (more coming soon on what we accomplished). For several recent work days, we've set up the stage for Sunday during the work day and then let the Sunday team come in later. While I love the idea of this, it isn't working out well. It has regularly led to a significant delay in the rehearsal start time as the Sunday crew tries to get up-to-speed on the setup and troubleshoot whatever isn't working correctly. This same thing happened again this week. In the future, we're just going to leave the setup to the Sunday crew. If they happen to be at the work day, they can set up early, but they need to do the setup themselves.

Where is the Person Who is Sharing Her Testimony? - A woman shared her testimony in the first service this weekend, but we still hadn't located her by the time that the service began. Rob ran around for a while looking for her. In the future, Kjersten will hold anyone giving a testimony at the sound booth until he or she has a microphone on. Audio producers should go to the sound booth to get them a microphone.

Starting Early - We "accidentally" started the first service early. John David began to vamp about two minutes before the service was supposed to start. Not knowing exactly what JD had in mind, we brought the lights up about one minute before the service was supposed to start. Then we started to sing. I have since found out that JD didn't even realize he was starting early. Certainly there was no harm done, since early is definitely better than late. In the future, though, let's wait to bring up the lights until the official start time or when the singers actually begin to sing, just to make sure that we don't force the attention on the band before they are ready.

Spike the Location of the Worship Leaders Equipment - Sound crew and lighting crew, we need to work together to make sure to spike the location of the worship leader's equipment, and ensure that it returns to the right spot before each singing time. This weekend, the lights were aimed with JD's mic in one place. Then JD moved it for rehearsal. Then the sound crew "put it back," but not quite in the light, and spiked it. As a result, JD's left side of his face was pretty dark in the first service.

Baptism Video Sequences - The video team nailed the baptism camera sequence, and even got John David on screen for his brief "Please be seated." Well done!

Power Outage - After the first service, we had a power outage. That always increases the level of excitement. Thankfully, everything held pretty well except that the lighting board lost it's programming. Thanks, Dave, for rebuilding those cues quickly between services. Time to get another battery backup.

We are looking into how to handle a service if the power stays off indefinitely and we have to run everything off generator power. Right now, not a single outlet in the new addition has electricity when we switch over to the generator. We are in the process of wiring up the stage so that we can pull out a simple portable sound system and get a little amplification for a sermon.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1.23.11 Reverb

This Sunday's sermon entitled Death Shall Be No More was an important reminder of the way God will triumph at the end of time. Death is not the end for those who have trusted in Christ for their salvation.

For those readers outside of Covenant Life, this last week we mourned the loss of two very dear people in our church family: John Spiro and Amy Calderone. Meanwhile, extended family members of two pastors have also passed away recently. The atmosphere around the church has been appropriately sober and filled with a greater longing for heaven.

On Sunday, Bob Kauflin led us in singing about the return of Christ, solidifying our desire to see Christ soon. We also sang a poem written by Amy Calderone about trusting in God through suffering.

Even as we mourned together, we saw eight people baptized in Sunday's service, reminding us that God is about the business of bringing his people into a new life that death will never end.

I have four quick things that you all should know...

5th Sundays - This coming Sunday is a 5th Sunday, and the week 2 team is supposed to cover the weekend. However, I blew it. I didn't get to everyone ahead of time to let them know that they are supposed to serve.

As a precaution for the future, please look ahead on your calendar and note the rest of the 5th Sundays for the year:
  • May 28-29 = Week 3 (this is also memorial day weekend and Next11, so find your subs now)
  • July 30-31 = Week 4
  • October 29-30 = Week 1

Sermon Videos - In preparation for some other new website components, we have set up a channel on Vimeo for our sermon videos. You can now see your work each week here. This is not the final way we're going to present our videos, so the videos are not accessible from our main site. However, we'd love your feedback on quality and usability if you have a second to watch one of the videos.

Drama Time - Yep, the spring and summer string of dramas is here and will be here for some time to come. Sound crew, that means that we will almost always need to clear the stage on Sundays. It also means that you should not trust the sound board settings when you walk in. Grouping and EQs will more often be changed on "standard" channels as we stretch our wireless capacity to the max.

Beginning Baptism Videos - The worship leader usually transitions from singing to baptisms by saying "Please be seated as we watch some people express their faith in God and be baptized." Officially, I'd like to see the worship leader say that. However, it is most important that we see the actually pastoral introduction.

Because we have limited camera shot options, we only have one way to get cleanly into baptisms: Get the worship leader "please be seated" shot from Cam 2 and then get the pastoral introduction from Cam 1. If you can't get the worship leader shot from Cam 2 for whatever reason, just skip it and lock in Cam 1 on pastor in the baptistery.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

1.16.11 Reverb

This last Sunday was powerful. God's Spirit proved his faithfulness to meet us once again.

What happened?

The 3rd weekend team did a fantastic job, particularly in the area of flexibility.

For those of you who weren't there in the midst of the chaos, the Next Conference video was a very last-minute addition. I didn't even hear about the possibility of playing this video until after 8am on Sunday morning. We received the video with literally two minutes to go before the pre-service prayer.

Yet, the teams were able to add the cues and test the video within minutes. Then, they made the playback happen without a hitch.

Grant was really thrilled with your ability to adapt and include this at the last minute. Please know that neither Grant nor I want or expect this type of last-minute addition to be the norm, but your eagerness and ability to handle it with such excellence brings peace and a freedom to follow God wherever he may lead.

Because everything went so smoothly this weekend, I have little to write. I have two small things, and then I want to touch on one general trend that I suspect may be creeping in a bit on all the teams.

First Very Small Thing: No More DVD+R Discs

We have finally burned through all ouf DVD+R discs in the sermon media department. Just to keep things simple, we will now be using DVD-R discs for both Video DVD and Audio Archive DVDs.

Second Very Small Thing: Dangling Guitar Cable and Velcro Cable Wrap

Matt had a wireless beltpack for his acoustic guitar this weekend. He positioned the beltpack in such a way that the cable was dangling, which made it bounce a lot as he jumped around. That was only accented by the bright red velcro cable wrap that was bouncing up and down in the middle of the cable. In the future, let's try to position the pack so that the cable is a little more hidden. I'll also replace the red strap with a black one.

That was the only comment I received from the Sunday Planning Team, which means that the team nailed it this weekend.

One Medium Thing: Serving Sleepy

My non-scientific "gut sense" is that more team members than usual have been serving like the dog in the picture above: sleepy. The cause may have just been the crazy holiday schedules that we all kept over the last couple months, or maybe it is the longer serving times required by the pre-service prayer, or maybe it is actually a broader trend. I'm not sure, but I thought I'd mention two thoughts, just in case it is trending:
  1. Everyone on the production teams starts serving on Saturday night. Even though not all of you actually come to the church on Saturday night, everyone on our teams begins to serve on Saturday night. If you want to serve the church effectively on Sunday morning, you need to begin on Saturday night by getting enough rest to come in alert and eager to jump right in. It's a long morning, and you are going to need a full tank at the starting line to be sharp through the end of the race.
  2. The way you engage with the service matters. First, it matters for your own soul. When your responsibilities slow down, you may be able to check out or start up a conversation with a team member about the game, but you may also miss your best opportunity to hear from the Lord. Second, it matters because people are watching. You are very visible, especially those of you in the auditorium sound booths. If you allow yourself to doze off or you choose to read something unrelated to the message, you will be noticed. Your actions make a strong statement about how much you value what is happening in the service at that time, both to those around you and the God you are serving.
Please know that I identify with weariness. Ask my wife. Most often, I have nothing left in me by the time I get home on Sunday. I'm wiped out. By the time the sermon comes in the second service, I am ready to be done. But God is not yet done with the church or with us at that point, and I have to push through to the end in order to faithfully fulfill my responsibilities.

I have even done some of the things I listed above in weariness or carelessness or selfishness, but, when I disengage from the singing or preaching, I'm missing what God wants to use to meet my soul in the midst of serving.

Again, I don't know that this is a major issue, but I want to ask us all to consider two quick questions:
  1. Am I setting myself up to serve effectively with the decisions I make on Saturday night?
  2. Am I valuing what is happening in the service in a way that reflects the fact that God is there and may want to speak to me?
Thanks for considering this. Go ahead and leave any response to this and any thoughts at all about the weekend in the comments.

Photo Credit: TJ Morton

1.9.11 Reverb

Last Sunday was another excellent weekend on the production teams. What happened on Sunday?
I wanted to thank the great group that came out the all-team meeting on Sunday afternoon. I am grateful that you would take the time to attend, and I appreciated those of you who participated in the discussion. We got a lot of good ideas from you.

Have just a few thoughts from this last weekend...

Pre-Service Prayer Slides

I am grateful for the way the team has embraced the new pre-service prayer and even the extended serving after the meeting to allow for more singing after the official dismissal. I know that it has been a sacrifice, but you have given that extra time and effort without complaining. Thank you.

We are going to be altering the pre-service prayer slide arrangement slightly in order to help make them feel more natural. We will use a generic "Pre-Service Prayer" slide on the center screen to clarify that we are in prayer time when people enter. The prayer points will show up on the side screens. Not only will this be more clear for those entering the auditorium, it will also allow us to naturally take the points down when Josh wants to pray for something for which we don't have a slide and when he is closing the prayer time.

Disc Duplication Change

As of now, the sermon media team no longer needs to duplicate CDs or DVDs for the bookstore. Sales in the bookstore are so small these days that we often throw most of these away. We will fill any bookstore orders during the week. Please continue to duplicate the DVDs for the prison ministry. This is a significant blessing to their ministry!

New Headset Microphones for Discovery Land

If you didn't get a chance, check out the new headset microphone plan for Discovery Land. The picture above shows the latest addition to the microphone list.

Food Policy Reminder

As hot drinks become more important to wintertime survival and as break times are reduced because of pre-service prayer, I want to remind you about the rules for eating and drinking at the church. In general, the church has become pretty lenient with food and drinks, but there are two limitations:
  1. No food or drinks on tables near equipment. Yes, this does include the auditorium main booth desk, monitor booth desk and racks, IMAG control room desks, events center mixer rack, events center monitor desk, events center projection desk, edwards room desk, and anywhere else you think it may apply. Please put all food items away from both the equipment and people traffic areas. The purpose of this rule is to protect our equipment from accidental spills and crumbs. Please keep our equipment in great shape.
  2. No food or drink is allowed in the auditorium at all between 8:30a and 1:30p on Sundays. Please finish your coffee and snacks before the doors open for prayer at 8:30am. The purpose of this rule is to protect the congregation from temptation. No one is allowed to have food or drink in the auditorium, and that includes us. If you are not done, please take your food back to the green room when you have a break.
With the new pre-service prayer schedule on Sundays, auditorium team members will need to be thinking ahead to take breaks for sustenance when you have the chance. When in doubt, though, take your food and drinks to the green room.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Discovery Land Wireless Microphone Changes

I am excited to announce that we finally have everything in place to make some official changes to wireless microphones in Discovery Land.

As the sound crews in Discovery Land are aware, the Tree House Gang and Lead Worshippers have gone through a few E6 headset mics in their day, so we've been looking for a less expensive alternative to the E6.

For about the cost of an E6 repair, we can purchase a brand new MM-Audio headset microphone. About six months ago, we switched over about half of our E6 stock to MM-Audio single-ear headset mics, and no one even noticed the difference, so we are going to switch the other half over to MM-Audio double-ear headset mics.

As of today, the new Events Center wireless headset microphone stock will be:
You will undoubtedly notice that we now have 17 headset mics for 9 beltpacks. The goal is to allow each person to have his or her own headset, and then he simply switches beltpacks with the next person who needs it. The headset mic will stay with the actor or singer. This should reduce the number of breakages significantly.

I'd also like to formalize who gets what types of microphones. The teacher will get the E6 mic, the Tree House Gang will get the MM-Audio headsets, and Lead Worshippers will get the Shure WCM16s.

Please comment if you have any questions or further suggestions.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

1.2.11 Reverb

Welcome to 2011!

This may be the year of returning to text-based Reverb posts if I can maintain it.

What Happened Last Sunday?

Notes from the Weekend

Everything went very smoothly this Saturday and Sunday.

Extra thanks go to the sound teams in both the auditorium and Discovery Land who came in on New Years Day to get ready for Sunday.

I also want to thank Tyler for taking the helm as Technical Director, so that I could be free to work on other things for the service. More and more, I'd like to see volunteers "calling the service" as the primary person on headset, so expect to hear some new voices over the intercom in the near future.

I have several small things that I noted and wanted to pass on:
  • Audio Teams - Constant change is here to stay, especially when it comes to pulpinating and de-pulpinating the stage. Please take the pulpit down after the sermon again.
  • Lighting Operators - Please make sure to mark up the stage diagram with your light assignments. It will not only serve you as you write cues, it will save time for the next person.
  • Lyrics Operators - Merry Belated Christmas! We have purchased an iPad that we are testing as a remote control for ProPresenter (see picture above). The goal is to be able to move you down front with Ken, so that you can communicate directly with him, and so you can easily see the hand signals from the worship leader. Brittany Kauflin ran one very successful test this weekend.
  • Graphics Operators (pt 1) - Point of information: The "Welcome to Covenant Life" slide that you put up at the end of pre-service prayer is the cue for the greeters to open the doors and let the loud lobby folks into the auditorium. Please take care not to put the welcome slide up before prayer is fully complete.
  • Graphics Operators (pt 2) - No one pays any attention to the sermon countdown clock, so I have removed it from the CPU2 stage display and from your checklist. It may come back sometime in the future, but for now we won't use a sermon countdown clock.
  • Sermon Media - For the last year or so, we have been including the closing prayer at the end of the sermon recording. Josh Harris has asked us to remove the closing prayer for all future sermons.
Please make sure to leave a comment if you have any thoughts, questions, or suggestions from this last weekend!