Friday, August 10, 2012

8.5 Reverb

Before I get to a review of last Sunday, I want to do three things briefly:

1. Welcome New Team Members

In the last couple months, we've had several new people join the team:
  • Trevor - Week 1 Discovery Land Monitor Operator
  • Matt - Week 2 Discovery Land Stage Manager
  • Yousun - Week 1 Auditorium Lyrics Operator
  • Briana - Week 2 Camera Operator
  • Rachel - Week 2 Auditorium Lyrics Operator
Welcome to the team, everyone!

2. Say Thanks to Elizabeth

Elizabeth has wrapped up her time on the Week 1 and 10:31 sound crews. Elizabeth, thanks for serving these last few years and for giving up so much of your time for the drama productions, both in tech and backstage. May God bless you as you go off to college.

3. Thank the Tech Directors and Assistant Tech Directors

In reviewing the state of our teams these days, I'm so grateful to God for providing Josh and Patrick to help me on staff and for Tyler, Joe, Chris, and Ryan to coordinate the overall production of Sundays. These guys are doing a great job, and I'm excited to see how their combination of gifts and ideas will help us continue to improve.

And now, on to Sunday.

This last Sunday...
Great job, this weekend, crew! Matt M, thanks for covering on camera switch. Matt H, thanks for jumping in at the last minute to help out with sound in the first service.

My only follow-ups for this weekend are related to sound...

Wireless In-Ear Reception Problems - Every few months, we have problems with wireless in-ear reception. The vocalists will have very little audio level and a lot of "swishy" noise in their ears, even if the batteries are brand new. The problem has to do with the antenna combiner, which lives in the rack just below the wireless in-ear transmitters. Power it off, unplug the power cable from the back, let it sit for a minute, plug it back in, and then power it back on. That should resolve the issue, but something else should help as well, which takes us to...

Power Sequencer - Last fall we had a problem with our power sequencer, which turns on and off the audio system. Since then, we've left the sound system on all the time in order to avoid the chance that it won't power up. I'd like to use the power sequencer again because power surges can blow speakers if the amps are on. I spent some quality time with the sequencer this week, and it seems to be working smoothly again. Let's use it again, and let me know if you have any problems at all with it.

Broadcast Mix Assignments - At our spring work day, we added a new broadcast automixer system. This system requires three "stem" mixes from the main sound board. Even though it was months ago, I've never fully documented the configuration of those stem mixes. This weekend, that failure finally caught up to me when the first couple minutes of the sermon wasn't being correctly broadcast or recorded. Mixers, look for some additions to your checklist to clarify how to set up the broadcast mix.

New System Tuning  - About a month ago, we had our sound system "retuned." This means that EQs, delays, and levels throughout the room changed slightly in order to provide a more natural sound overall and to make the system sound more consistent from one seat to another. There have been two great results: 1) the vocals are more present and clear; 2) the lower frequencies are more defined, especially the bass guitar tones.

While these changes are significant improvements for our system, they are also requiring a mental shift for our mixers. First, in making the vocals more clear, the retune has also made all of the instruments in the same frequency range more clear. Now, instead of pushing certain frequencies to make the vocals stand out, we need to cut key frequencies in the instrument EQs that crowd out the vocals.

Second, even though the bass guitar tones are more clear, the energy of the mix is still in the overall rhythm section (drums, bass, rhythm guitar), including the very low frequencies in the subs. In the past, we had to fight for low-frequency clarity in the bass. Now that it's there, we have the opportunity to move beyond that and get a really great rhythm section sound overall.

Any other thoughts you may have?

1 comment:

beth kraatz said...

I really like the title! Excellent form of communication for the team.