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.