Being able to work toward nailing each area every week will bring your team closer to achieving smooth services each and every week.
Debbie Keough · October 12, 2017
Musicians, I can’t emphasize enough, audio will likely spend a good chunk of time, sometimes hours on end, in advance to have your area set up. Arrive also well in advance of your sound check’s start time. Make sure all your connections, cables, and devices work prior to your arrival, and also that you have enough time to troubleshoot issues before sound check downbeat.
Singers, all you have to do is sing, which means that you can sneak in a few minutes late, right? Instead, make sure to arrive early, locate your mic, stage location, music, your in-ears, a water bottle, and IEM pack or personal monitor mixer.
All tech members should also arrive on time, if not early as well. Maybe ProPresenter and camera operators are not really needed until after sound check. But use this time to get your station in order, power things up, look at the stage plot, look at where things are on stage, talk to the tech director or video director to get additional suggestions for your service, and look over Planning Center.
Executing the plan
Everyone is here, let’s sound check!
Let me put something out there for you all, sound check is as much for the band as it is for tech. Yes, it has a lot to do with getting the musicians monitors that need to be dialed in.
However, it has as much to do with the front of house audio configuring their settings, lighting to start updating positions and cues, video to begin dialing in on shots and angles.
This is an all team event.
Even if you don’t have fancy cameras and lights, sound check will be equally about audio as it is the band on stage. Work together as a team, and be gracious to requests from each side of the stage.
A few tid bits to help audio get you through sound check faster and more accurately;
• Singers, stand up, on your mark, and sing full volume, please.
• The monitor engineer needs direct communication with the band on stage. Failure to do so can cause frustration for those on stage, as the monitor engineer can over/under shoot some mix needs.
• With large bands and a lot of people not on mic, often it’s easier for one voice to communicate changes to monitors on behalf of the band, like an MD, particularly when the band is playing at full volume.
Perfecting the plan
Sound check is done, band and audio has worked through and dialed in a few songs.
We’re all set, right?
But have you run-through everything in order to make sure you have all the transitions and details ironed out?
You just invested a lot of time, throughout the week to plan, hours setting up the stage, practiced at home, studied Planning Center, you’ve sound checked and rehearsed some songs.
The band doesn’t feel like they need to do any more … they got it, right?
Remember this is a team effort. If you have not yet been able to implement a full service run-through (minus the pastor, because it’s not practical to have them teach their entire message), you really should look at setting a goal of doing so.
Often in a full run-through the entire team, both band and tech, will have to navigate transitions, possible stage props, hand-offs, video cues, lighting cues, audio snapshots, and things maybe you didn’t think of. It also gives everyone a chance to fine tune all the service elements.
By doing that, you get into a polished phase that can place you in a position of no longer feeling like you are just trying to catch your breath to now being able to be a creative artist. You’ll find the entire team gets in the groove, they can handle quick changes, and it becomes a much more enjoyable environment for staff and volunteers alike.
That sounded like a lot right? No doubt it’s hard work.
But it’s hard work broken down into steps that can allow all teams to walk through together.
It’ll build greater trust with each other, knowing everyone is in it together and supporting each other. Not only that, it will allow staff and volunteers to be more successful in their roles to provide more confidence to handle the unknown.