Sing Unto the Lord


Adopt a Sound guy
September 10, 2007, 12:16 am
Filed under: Doing music

Hey all. Haven’t written anything for quite a while now.
This weekend our youth group ran a conference called Coast Youth Revolution
It was a good weekend. There was lots of different things that had to be taken into consideration in terms of sound with this weekend because the event was in a different venue to normal. This meant we had to hire a bunch of gear and use stuff from a variety of sources.
All of this needed good coordination between sound guys and musos so that the whole thing could run smoothly and not be a negative experience.
This sort of coordination is crucial in running a team. A music team does not function if there is no sound/tech team assisting. Likewise, there is no need for a sound team if there are no musos playing or singing. Thus their relationship is symbiotic (like the jedi and midi-clorians in Star Wars).
But too often there is unnecessary friction between sound teams and music teams. This leads to ungodly gossip, resentment, and relationship breakdown. So I thought that I’d post a couple of my thoughts about sound and music teams and some keys to success in both parties.
1. The Gospel comes first. It is great that we have good music and awesome sound but in the end you won’t be sitting behindthe sound desk in heaven. What matters first is hearing God’s word taught and seeing it work in people’s lives. This is more important than presenting a polished production on a Sunday. It is more important than making sure your foldback has heaps of you in it. It is more important than your early morning or your late night. I’s more important than rolling leads properly. We should never compromise the gospel for music or sound. And by that I also mean that we should strive to not sin on account of music or sound. If being part of a production team that doesn’t suit your standards is causing you to hate others and to gossip about them… get out. Preach Jesus. That’s why we have church, to get together and to preach Jesus to one another. That should be expressed right from set up to pack up.
2. Communication is not just for marriage weekends. Learn to talk to the sound guys in your church. Let them know what you are planning. Give them lots of time to prepare. Make their job as easy as you can. Don’t just learn to communicate with them about sound but actually befriend a sound guy.
Something that has helped me lots this year has been having weekly catch ups with the guy runing our sound team. We spent a lot of time trying to coordinate the direction we are both heading and giving each other helpful insight into leadership and teamwork.
3. Learn a bit of sound stuff. Spend one week just sitting behind the desk watching what goes into sound/tech stuff. You will gain a great deal of insight into how rude some musos can be. You will see how hard it is to give just you, just the right amount of keys in just your foldback. Plus it may help you in seeing how musos can help more with pack up or set up.
4. Share the vision. The guy who oversees a lot of the sound stuff at church (h/t to Blake) and I often send each other emails sharing resources like talks or articles that we find. We try to head in the same direction. I know what he wants from the sound, and he knows what I want from the music. When we eventually get our Music team retreat off the ground, the sound people will be there too. The sound team at night church come to every second rehearsal to read the Bible with musos and think about theology. In the past the sound people have used that time to talk tech with musos and teach them things like microphone technique and rolling leads. Spend time each week making sure you debrief with the sound people after a gathering so that you can laugh about what went wrong and scheme about ways to be better.
A helpful blog both I and Blake read is this one by Dave Wilcox, the guy who does sound at Covenenant Life church in the states. I find it really helpful. Hopefully you will too and you might find it in your heart to adopt a sound guy.
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1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

Good post, Dan.

It’s one of the age-old conflicts: techs and musos.

Comment by Ben




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