Worship Tech Roundup

As usual, this week I’ve come across a ton of great posts about the technical aspects of worship ministry. I didn’t have time to put each one into its own post, but I wanted to share them with you.

So here’s a collection of tech-related worship posts. Remember, these are just excerpts, but I strongly encourage you to click through and read each post in its entirety.

Chris Huff posted a guide to rating your portable church’s audio system:

A portable church audio system has unique demands but they aren’t too far off from the demands placed on an installed system. Let’s find out how your system does.

Answer a simple yes or no to each one. I’ll also highlight how the above situation ranked, if you can’t already guess.

Branon Dempsey shares some tips for a great working relationship between the worship leader and the sound team:

The sound engineer is a vital member for making the worship music go without distractions. Hearing the screech of feedback or a pop of something electrical can be distracting to a worshiper. Your sound engineer may not have a mic, but they are in control of yours. Get to know him or her.

David Stagl lists the four stages of competence and how they relate to church tech:

Have you heard of the Four Stages of Competence? I stumbled on these a few weeks ago, and they seemed very applicable to audio. The Four Stages of Compentence are the stages you go through when you are learning a new skill.

Cory Mansfield shares some worship tech freebies for the month of April:

Free mini movies, a free song track, 2 free countdowns, and a free stock video! Can you resist it? Can you NOT click on the links below? Go ahead and try. Don’t do it. Don’t click on the FREE stuff. Haha! Of course you can’t. They’re free! Who doesn’t love anything free?! Alright, go get ’em. Enjoy. Use them and share these with your media-loving friends.

Happy April everyone! Happy Spring and happy warm weather (minus the snow that’s coming).

Worship Tech Roundup

As usual, this week I’ve come across a ton of great posts about the technical aspects of worship ministry. I didn’t have time to put each one into its own post, but I wanted to share them with you.

So here’s a collection of tech-related worship posts. Remember, these are just excerpts, but I strongly encourage you to click through and read each post in its entirety.

Tom D’Angelo ponders the downside of our tech being miniaturized and consolidated:

We’ve come a long way and most of us are pretty happy with the technological advancements and progress we’ve been able to see. But there is a dark side to the advances in A/V/L manufacturing, miniaturization and the commoditization of technology. Do you know what it is?

Let’s use the example of a video switcher…

Grant Norsworthy explains how to solve some of the issues with drum volume:

In today’s video — the first in a series of videos — Grant speaks with drummer/percussionist Jonathan Truman about some alternative approaches drummers and band leaders can take to solve the problem of drums that are too loud. We may not be able to instantly “gift” our volunteer Church drummer with the necessary skills and musicality to control their volume today. But there are highly effective, simple steps that can be taken to alleviate the volume problem.

James Wasem shares some great ways to get better at running sound:

I hate to break it to you like this, but if you want to get better at mixing sound then you’ll need to do more than just show up at mid-week worship rehearsal, shadow the lead mix engineer on Sunday, and “think about running sound.”

Fortunately, there are some great resources to help you get started (if you’re an audio rookie), and tools to help you continue your education (even if you’re a live sound veteran).

Calvin Roy reflects on the right attitude and motivations for church techs:

Nothing is quite as rewarding as putting in hours upon hours of volunteer time, getting the lighting cues programmed and then reprogrammed, dialing in the house mix, getting monitor mixes right, and then getting them right again all to have it noticed by sometimes no one, right? I joke but there’s an old saying that as a sound engineer (or any tech), you know you’ve done your job if no one complains. Now, while I understand where this is coming from, it seems a little demeaning to our craft doesn’t it? But it does beg us to ask the question, Why do we do what we do?

Chris Vacher is giving away an ebook about the best apps for worship leaders:

I’ve compiled my new Best Apps for Worship Leaders: 2016 Edition with updates, additions and some removals of apps that either aren’t available or have been surpassed by other, better apps.

Once again I’m making this available totally free a downloadable ebook. It’s available below through the signup box and will arrive right away in your inbox…

Worship Tech Roundup

As usual, this week I’ve come across a ton of great posts about the technical aspects of worship ministry. I didn’t have time to put each one into its own post, but I wanted to share them with you.

So here’s a collection of tech-related worship posts. Remember, these are just excerpts, but I strongly encourage you to click through and read each post in its entirety.

Time for this week’s Worship Tech Roundup

Mike Sessler on the pluses and minuses of doing an “invisible” ministry:

A big part of the problem with serving behind the scenes is that you are, by definition, supposed to be pretty much invisible. Most of the time, we technical artists are OK with that. We’d rather not be the ones on stage, talking to the crowd; or even in a big room full of people if we’re honest. We like to be in the background, and that’s OK. But there’s a problem with being invisible.

We tend to feel invisible, too.

Cathy Hutchison shares volunteer management advice from a variety of church tech directors:

You know there has to be a better way—and there is.

You can make your recruiting, development and retaining volunteers much more effective with some advice from church technical directors who are making it work…

Scott Pharr published a pretty through guide to choosing worship presentation software:

It’s 1998. You come to church early, turn on your gigantic Windows desktop, wait forever, open PowerPoint, and type out each slide for the new worship hit, “Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord.” Using a video meant turning on the VHS player, which took 5 minutes of the service to just set up. Thankfully, a few developers decided that there had to be a better way and created worship presentation software! Today there are a number of worship presentation software options. But how do you know which one will serve your church’s needs best? We’ve taken the top softwares and created this infographic to help answer those important questions.

Kevin Penrod explains how even designing stage lighting can be an act of worship:

By nature, I think many lighting designers often become more focused on the technical side and forget that what we do is just as much an art form as the worship team on the stage. It also became important for me to realize that I cannot just be creative because I want to be; I needed to let God be the creative being that he is and use me to communicate that to each and every person coming into his place of worship.

Brent Mann lists a half-dozen reasons why churches should use video in worship and teaching:

Now I know what you are thinking, “The reason why it’s so high is because someone is sending a cat video to friends, coworkers, and family.” Undoubtedly, you are correct. Videos are becoming the way we share laughter, thought provoking messages and emotional messages.

Consider this: How many books have you read this year, compared to movies that you’ve watched?

Worship Tech Roundup

As usual, this week I’ve come across a ton of great posts about the technical aspects of worship ministry. I didn’t have time to put each one into its own post, but I wanted to share them with you.

So here’s a collection of tech-related worship posts. Remember, these are just excerpts, but I strongly encourage you to click through and read each post in its entirety.

Magoo Del Mundo lists some handy iOS and Android apps for musicians:

In this post, I’d like to share to you the top music apps I use. These are the apps I actually have in my tablet or smartphone, and I use them greatly, if not almost every Sunday (or during the week when I prepare). I consider these apps part of my Music Tool Kit Collection.

Christian Media Magazine shares five cheap places to make your services available online:

These days churches need to be online. If your church has a website or a Facebook page, you’ve taken the first important step towards connecting with people in today’s culture. But what’s the next step?

A lot of people attend church remotely – that is, they still want to participate in the church service, but for numerous reasons are not able to physically be at church. What if there was a way for your church to have the sermon, or even the entire worship service, available online for viewing?

Kade Young teaches you when and how to use compression:

Audio compression allows you to limit the dynamic range of an input signal. If that went over your head, imagine the vast volume difference between a vocal singing softly versus really belting it out. Compression allows you to bring the two closer together by reducing the level of the loudest moments.

Ralph Hicks wrote about learning the basics of worship lighting:

We use lighting to eliminate shadows, give dimensions to your subject to make them stand out and light the background for separation.

It all starts with lighting in the space, such as how bright it is and how does it change during the program…

Worship Tech Roundup

As usual, this week I’ve come across a ton of great posts about the technical aspects of worship ministry. I didn’t have time to put each one into its own post, but I wanted to share them with you.

So here’s a collection of tech-related worship posts. Remember, these are just excerpts, but I strongly encourage you to click through and read each post in its entirety.

Dante Nelson lists five ways to organize your tech team more effectively:

Do you find yourself struggling to keep your church tech team organized? If so, you may need to keep things simple. One way I do this is by tying together some software and apps to create an ecosystem that everyone can access. Things like scheduling people to serve, training new recruits, and making sure everyone understands what’s going on are all important.

I wanted to share some of the ways I keep my lighting crew organized. Each team has various needs and ways of doing things, but we all can use at least a couple of things that I’m going to mention. Plus, the specific tools I mention are free to use. (Score!)

The Worship Musician posted a handy visual guide to open guitar tunings:

Your guitar’s in tune. Good. If you’re tuned to E-A-D-G-B-E, then you’re in the traditional standard guitar tuning. Great! You can play thousands of songs in this tuning. However, there are other tunings in addition to standard. And you can play thousands of songs in these tunings, too.

Andres Caamano shares a great collection of tips for buying a projector for your worship facility:

Beyond just deciding which projector or projectors have the best features, a key to deciding on what will work best for you is to have a basic grasp of what the system’s capabilities are, what you will need, and to plan beyond your immediate needs.

Calvin Roy lists six considerations to keep in mind when it’s time to buy a new mixing console:

With digital mixing consoles becoming more the norm than the exception, many churches are trying to make the decision on which way to go when upgrading. With varying needs and levels of expertise in operation, there are some obvious concerns that come up, however the appeal of available tools can be very appealing. Let’s look at 6 points to consider when upgrading to a new console.

Kendall Conner shows three new “out of the box” looks for worship slides:

Over the last few years, I’ve started seeing a few ministries moving to some more out-of-the-box methods for displaying the words to their songs. These looks make a huge impact on the look and feel of your corporate time of worship. The best part? They don’t require a lot of experience or time to make happen at your church…

Here are three looks that will take your worship lyrics to the next level…

Worship Tech Roundup

As usual, this week I’ve come across a ton of great posts about the technical aspects of worship ministry. I didn’t have time to put each one into its own post, but I wanted to share them with you.

So here’s a collection of tech-related worship posts. Remember, these are just excerpts, but I strongly encourage you to click through and read each post in its entirety.

Kade Young explains the basics of when and how to use audio gating:

Audio gating allows you to suppress signal that is lower than a specified threshold while allowing everything over the threshold to pass through. If that went over your head, image standing in front of an actual gate and whispering, “Open, please”, but nothing happens. Then, you yell, “OPEN PLEASE”, and this time, the gate opens. The higher volume is what triggered the gate to open… First, let’s talk about when to NOT use gating…

Judah Thomas has some tips on getting your gear (and your heart) ready for the Easter service:

As a tech director this is the most important service of the year. Our churches will be welcoming many people who only attend only once or twice a year and it’s up to us to make sure that it all comes together smoothly. If there is ever a time to get it right, that time is now.

Just because you use your equipment every week don’t assume it won’t on fail Easter Sunday…

Chris Huff lists four ways that mixing music is a lot like taking good photographs:

I stole this idea from a photography class from Ming Thein. There are four fundamentals of photography that so closely resemble the requirements of a music mix, I couldn’t help but notice it.

James Wasem shares a collection of tips on managing your pastor’s microphone:

The best church sound systems in the world can suffer from one simple problem:

Bad audio from the pastor’s microphone.
What a travesty! If there is anything a church sound system is designed to do, it is to provide clear and accurate transmission of the spoken word. All other needs and priorities take a back seat to this one critical requirement.

We’ve probably all experienced this problem at some point.

What does it sound like?

First we need to discuss the simple yet important sound qualities we’re looking for when it comes to clear delivery of the spoken word.

For you worship leaders, Gary Zandstra explains what your tech team wants from you:

Before we dive in let me state that just as a worship leader expects the sound person to know the gear. The sound person expects that the worship leader has talent and knows how to bring a team of quality musicians together.

So with the expectations out of the way, what is it that a sound person REALLY wants from a worship leader?

Worship Tech Roundup

As usual, this week I’ve come across a ton of great posts about the technical aspects of worship ministry. I didn’t have time to put each one into its own post, but I wanted to share them with you.

So here’s a collection of tech-related worship posts. Remember, these are just excerpts, but I strongly encourage you to click through and read each post in its entirety.

Nils Smith provides some tips for church podcasting, delivered, appropriately enough, as a podcast:

This week on the podcast Jay and I discuss basic tips for churches on how to podcast well.

Ben Coleman teaches you how to create a viable master plan for your church tech equipment:

It’s safe to say production gear replacement is one of the more costly components of any church budget. Aside from building and grounds maintenance, it represents high-dollar components that must be planned for in advance. Whether it’s an emergency that happens out of the blue or a known upgrade, the reality, for most churches, is that it doesn’t come easy. Let’s consider two facets of planning that will provide the means for an effective and safe-guarded operation.

Some thoughts on worship services and volume levels:

Hearing complaints that a church service is too loud? Or not strong enough?…How much volume is really needed in order for a church service to be effective?

Christian Media Mag rounds up five Easter videos worth checking out:

Easter will be here before you know it. A lot of churches and ministries have had their Easter programs planned since last year. But there are probably a lot of you who haven’t quite finished the planning; or something fell through and you’re looking for a last-minute video for your Easter event or Sunday school class. Christian Media Magazine has rounded up five Easter video resources that you can use.

Worship Tech Roundup

As usual, this week I’ve come across a ton of great posts about the technical aspects of worship ministry. I didn’t have time to put each one into its own post, but I wanted to share them with you.

So here’s a collection of tech-related worship posts. Remember, these are just excerpts, but I strongly encourage you to click through and read each post in its entirety.

Ralph Hicks shares the fundamentals of church video production:

Understand the very basics in recording a sermon and producing it for viewer audiences.

So, you want to video record your service, but don’t know where to begin. Let’s get you started.

First things first: you will need a camera…

Chris Huff reveals three tech practices that shouldn’t work but sometimes do:

Judge not lest ye be ready to hear the result. Whether it’s microphone placement or mix choices, there’ve been times where I thought, “that guy doesn’t know what he’s doing.” But then I heard the result. The last newsletter covered low passing drums. There are a number of other non-traditional methods that get some good sounds.

Kade Young teaches you how to get a better drum mix with these five tips:

Have you ever left a high-caliber concert completely amazed at how the drums sounded? I know I have. I could feel the kick drum, the snare was clear and punchy and the toms sounded like heavenly thunder. Then, I would go back to my church, try to achieve the same result and just end up frustrated.

But, I didn’t give up. Over the years I have learned tips and tricks to getting the drums sounding great and in this post I am going to share them with you. They may not sound as good as what you hear at concerts with million-dollar sound systems, but with the right technique and decent equipment, you can get awfully close.

Doug Gould lists ten things that church techs need to keep doing:

Technical skills are important and hard to hone with the limited time a volunteer sound tech has available. Being a sound operator in church requires much more than technical acumen, it also requires an understanding of why we do what we do and for whom. Although there are dozens of things to practice, I’ve limited this article to the ones that follow.

Travis Sinks shares some essential apps for pastors and worship leaders:

Most pastors wear many hats. The variety of things we juggle from event cordinating, counseling, visual designing, general business organizing (such as insurance, finances, etc), sermon preparation, spiritual leadership, and much more, can be overwhelming.

I for one am glad we live in an age where we can utilize technology to give us a leg up on all of these things.

As someone who loves testing new applications and workflows to be more productive, I have tried MANY different applications. I hope that these can be of use to you. I’ve added links to the ones I’ve written in more depth on and I hope to write on all of these eventually so I’ll add links for those as I do.

Worship Tech Roundup

As usual, this week I’ve come across a ton of great posts about the technical aspects of worship ministry. I didn’t have time to put each one into its own post, but I wanted to share them with you.

So here’s a collection of tech-related worship posts. Remember, these are just excerpts, but I strongly encourage you to click through and read each post in its entirety.

David Stagl explains why the numbers involved in your mix don’t really matter to your ears:

I had no intention of hitting on this this week, but it’s fresh on my mind after a few conversations I had. I might have written about this somewhat in the past, but I think it bears repeating. Today I want to talk about why I don’t talk much in numbers anymore when it comes to engineer-speak.

Gary Zandstra lists three things that every tech director wants from the worship leader:

Before we dive in let me state that just as a worship leader expects the sound person to know the gear. The sound person expects that the worship leader has talent and knows how to bring a team of quality musicians together.

So with the expectations out of the way, what is it that a sound person REALLY wants from a worship leader?

Matt McQueen shares the ins and outs of mixing and miking the electric guitar:

In many churches today, the electric guitar has become a staple of modern worship music. I can remember a time when I was leading worship and I searched for over 2 years to find an electric guitarist. Today it seems many of the new songs being written even lend themselves to more interesting electric guitar parts and a wider variety of tones. If you are using electric guitars on a regular basis in your church, then it is important to properly mic and mix the guitarist’s amp. Also, I realize that there is a lot of digital technology out there to keep from having to use a live amp on stage, but this article will focus just on using a traditional electric guitar setup with a guitar, pedals and an amp. This article isn’t a be all, end all guide, but it will help you gain a basic understanding of how to mic and mix electric guitars for live worship music.

Lee Varian explains how and why running the tech during the service is an act of worship in itself:

Just as a true worship leader must first be a worshiper, the first calling of a tech must also be as a worshiper. It can be easy for highly skilled techs to throw themselves into the operation of their camera or console and become consumed with the techniques and challenges that present themselves. It’s our thing; it’s what we do, what we were made to do. And it certainly does take a large amount of focus.

But we are called first to worship. How can we do both?

James Wasem lists four things you need to know to get decent sound without breaking the bank:

“Church tech on a budget.” Is that an oxymoron?

It doesn’t have to be!

Having great sound at your church doesn’t have to be a luxury reserved for large building budgets and a tech department with deep pockets. Even if your church has an older sound system, there are likely some budget-friendly ways you can enhance the quality of your sound.

Worship Tech Roundup

As usual, this week I’ve come across a ton of great posts about the technical aspects of worship ministry. I didn’t have time to put each one into its own post, but I wanted to share them with you.

So here’s a collection of tech-related worship posts. Remember, these are just excerpts, but I strongly encourage you to click through and read each post in its entirety.

Matt McQueen shares three temptations that many church techs struggle with:

As church tech team members we check all the mics, position all the lights and verify our cues, but forget to check ourselves. God often uses our skills and abilities to point out areas in our spiritual life that need improvement. I have been in a church tech booth for as long as I can remember and God has used that time to show me many areas of growth. Here are three that I deal with and believe many tech members can fall prey to.

Kade Young lists three steps to an effective sound check:

Frustrated with sound checks? Are they taking too long? Well, I am pretty sure that every worship team member has been fed up with sound check at some point, if not every week. Although there are probably several ways to perform an efficient sound check, I’ll walk you though the process I have settled into after ten years of leading worship.

Luke McElroy shares the basics of good worship slide design:

So many of you are just tipping your big toe into the world of multi-screen and visual worship. You may have been to SALT Conference before, or just started learning about this stuff. Regardless if you’re a veteran or just beginning, it’s good to be reminded of the essentials of visual worship from time to time.

Chris Huff teaches you the ins and outs of compression:

Before I found compression, my life was empty and void. Now that I have it, I feel so alive and…ok, so compression isn’t THAT amazing but if you’ve got it, you should learn how and when to use it. What is compression? Audio compression is the process of reducing the dynamic range of a sound…

Kendall Conner shares six easy ways to give your lyric slides more impact – and make them easier to read:

Projecting song lyrics on Sundays was really my first love in church media. It plays into what I consider one of the most essential responsibilities of the local church – going above and beyond to make it easy for people to get involved. When you provide lyrics to your worship songs, you put everyone in your auditorium on an equal playing field. Whether they’re in a pew every Sunday or haven’t darkened the doorway of a church in years, providing lyrics makes it easy for everyone to participate.

Because so many eyes will be focused on them throughout your service, it’s important to make sure that your lyric slides are organized and done correctly. Here are six quick changes that will keep your slides looking good…