Once the vocals are dialed in, I’ll start with the foundation; kick and bass. I build guitars and keys on top of that, then fill in the rest of the drum kit and anything else floating around. I’ve found it’s a lot easier to build the band in under the vocals than to try to get the vocals on top of the band.
Angela Mullins – Q: If you could give words of advice to someone new to church audio production, what would it be?
A: Don’t lose sight of the purpose. It’s easy to get caught up in the toys and the production element, but it all comes back to getting the gospel out in the most effective way. And don’t think you need a big budget to do things well. My budget has been under $2000 the last couple of years. Training, planning, and attention to detail to cover a multitude of fund-lessness.
Top tech advice from a worship tech director
Rich Kirkpatrick – Q: What is the best way you have found to bring about a team-focused attitude between the tech crew and the worship teams?
A: Relationships, roles and responsibilities all come all play a part in this. I look at my tech people as the same team. The relationship is that the tech booth is part of the band, the band is part of tech booth. Some cross-training helps as well. When some on either teams can blend their skill it helps. However, clearly defining roles and what each is counted on for is important. A guitarist must tune his guitar and be prepared and on time. A sound engineer must know the patching and the music as well. All of this is helped with tools like Planning Center (highly recommend) where what we are doing, who is doing what and what we are doing is all organized.
Karl Verkade – Q:Why do you think there is a perceived rift between sound tech’s and worship leaders?
A: Well, first and foremost, because we worship leaders usually have a really, really difficult time simply admitting, ‘Hey, I was off-key on that part. It had nothing to do with my monitor mix, or the reverb levels, or what mic the sound guy set up for me.’ Instead, we blame the easiest one to blame, the sound tech. And I include myself in this, too. And maybe we don’t do it all the time, but it only takes one bad day for bad blood to start. Just once, I think we should try taking responsibility for a bad Sunday, even if it really was the sound tech’s fault. I think we’ll be surprised by how far that goes.
And secondly, we need to remember that on the average, worship leaders are artistic wackos. Sound guys on average are tech wackos. Not all the time, but just in general. So while the worship leader will drive the sound tech crazy by not letting him work on the issue of none of the subs turning on because he still has too much treble on his acoustic guitar eq in the monitor. But at the same time, the sometimes the sound guy will drive the worship leader crazy by trying to chase the 60 cycle hum that no one can seem to hear but him, while meanwhile the drummer has nothing in his monitor. So learning to understand each other is huge!