Quick Mix Fix

The Problem

You present the greatest message known to man, week in and week out. You’re attracting more and more talent to your church. You think you have a great band and you work tirelessly to prepare, but what happened this last Sunday–the mic squeel, feedback, bass guitar out of control, acoustic guitar distorting–is just proof that Satan does not only inhabit deacons, but sound systems as well (just kidding on the deacon part–I think).

There is no question the devil wants to battle every inch of ground that you take for the Kingdom’s sake, however, let’s not give our enemy more credit than necessary. Often, good sound can not only come from a successful exorcism, but a well-trained sound tech that knows how to use the tools he/she has.

Often, churches will usually purchase about 3 sound systems before they end up with the one that meets their needs. Sometimes this is due to poor purchasing advice (or worse, none at all), and sometimes it’s due to putting technicians in places that musicians belong. If a person cannot discern what good sound is (quality/balanced sound appropriate for the genre), then no matter how many knobs they turn, you will not get pleasing results–and after all, music is supposed to sound good.

Tools

One way to help curb this issue is to audition your sound personnel before you invest any time/money in training them. Make sure they know what good audio sounds like. One resource is the S.A.T. (The Soundman Aptitude Test). You can find this resource at www.soundmantest.com.

Once you’ve qualified your personnel effectively, another resource that can be of immediate improvement to your sound is a training website called Own the Mix. These guys have compiled a significant library of training videos in real-life situations that will help your volunteers to dial in to good sound week after week. You can find them at www.ownthemix.com. There is also a forum and other networking tools to help your team to connect with others that are on the journey to better quality sound. For a very reasonable price, you can give your team the tools to succeed week after week.

It helps to have a quality car and driver to win a race. It’s not a lot different when it comes to church sound. If you put a 6 year-old in a Formula One car and expect them to break any records, you may be a little disappointed. On the flip side, Mario Andretti in a Yugo…well, you get the point.

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