Sunday| Mag article: Getting a consistant mix

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ve heard me talk about Sunday| Magazine.  It’s an awesome resource for not only techs, designers and creatives in the church but for worship teams, leadership and other leaders that pour themselves into creating a great experience each Sunday at church.  The man behind it all is Jonathan Malm who has become pretty well known in the church tech and stage design circles as a result of the great websites he runs.

I was privileged to write once again for the second issue of Sunday| Magazine.  In this issue, it focuses on curating rather then creating.  I could go into how amazing I think that concept is but I don’t want to take the fun away.  Go to www.sundaymag.tv to subscribe and read it.

My article is on “Getting a Consistant Mix from Different Techs“.  Check it out and let me know what you think!  I always love to get feedback and hear what people’s rections and impressions are.

Creative Burnout and Significance in the Journey

We do what we do because we love it.  If you work in a creative field and don’t love it, you simply cannot excel at it because of how much heart is behind what you do.  But, even those who are passionate about what they do might be almost too passionate and wind up burning themselves out.

In a field like technical ministries, design, or something along those lines, we tend to view what we do in a very project driven mind set.  I know that’s true of me.  I feel like I accomplished something when I can stand back and see a fully-functional, complete and whole project finished.

We become possessive of what we do and what we’ve made instead of giving that project back to God as an offering of worship.  Then, when someone else critiques or criticizes (constructively or not), we become defensive and argue why we we think our methods and our ideas are best.  While that may be true, we need to remember that we function within a body of leaders who are all working towards the same goal. Continue Reading…

Check out Sunday| Magazine launching March 1st

If you follow me on twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, you’ll know I’ve been talking about Sunday| Magazine for a while.

At WFX in 2011, I was introduced to Jonathan Malm who is the creator of websites like Church Stage Design Ideas as well as his self-branded creative inspiration site and new new Sunday| Magazine which launches March 1st.  As we talked, Sunday came up and ultimately, I was given the incredible opportunity to write it.

His concept behind the magazine is what really has impressed me. Continue Reading…

Brad Keselowski tweets from car during Daytona delay

This afternoon, at lunch, I was talking with one of my co-workers about how at random times I’ll tweet articles and randomly get alot of hits or I’ll tweet something completely off topic and because my blog link is in my Twitter description, I’ll get a spike in hits.

A perfect example of this is Brad Keselowski, the driver of the #2 Miller Lite car in the Nascar Sprint Cup who randomly tweeted a picture during a red flag period of the Daytona 500 this evening.   Continue Reading…

Are you excited about what you’re doing?

I had someone pay me a complement recently that kind of blew my mind.  A leader mentioned to me that my opinion and ideas meant more because of how enthusiastic and excited I was about what I do.  Anyone who knows me, knows just how much I love church production.  My passion permeates who I am and how I serve.  It’s my calling, my element and my gift of worship given back to God for the furtherance of His Kingdom here on earth as well as in heaven.

How cool is that?  We get to influence people simply by living out what we’re passionate about and giving our all in the service of our Lord!

I just wanted to share that encouragement with everyone else who is in church production.   Continue Reading…

DPA d:fine headset mic review

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve all used them.  We’ve all be frustrated with them.  At least they’re better then lapel mics right?

I’ve never really been satisfied with Countryman headset mics.  They are easily bent up and even broken at times especially if they are used by different people all the time.  In all honesty, they don’t particularly sound that great without alot of EQ even on a well tuned and optimized system.  At church, whoever is preaching uses one when we record our video services.  If they aren’t fitted properly, they can easily move when someone turns their head or simply moves around.  If a speaker is constantly playing with his headset while we’re recording the video, not only is it distracting to the live audience, but it isn’t something I want on the video recording.  I decided to do some research to look for a different mic to try.

While I was at WFX, a friend recommended that I check out the DPA d:fine.  DPA had a booth and I was able to put one on my ear and get a feel for how comfortable it was.  It felt awesome!  I knew that if it sounded as good as it felt I had to get one.

Wally Grant of Church Solutions Group was able to quickly hook me up with a demo.

The headset doesn’t sit on your ear quite like other headset mics.  It is made of a rubbery material that is smooth but springs back putting slight pressure on your ear.  Not enough to be uncomfortable, but enough to hold it in place. It loops over your ear and then once it reaches the front of your ear, it looks inside your ear slightly allowing the headset to stay perfectly in place.  It a little hard to explain, so here is a screen grab from a DPA demo video that shows how the mic is supposed to be positioned on your ear.

There is also a clip on the cable so that you can clip it to the back of your collar so that you don’t yank it off.

The design is modular.  You can replace the mic capsule with the boom, the ear piece, or the cable all separately.  That’s great if something breaks.

It comes in black, beige, brown, as well as a pretty stunning lime color which seriously caught my eye.  I don’t think I’d be able to get away with lime green but it’s still pretty cool looking in my opinion.

All that is well and good, but how does it sound?  I must say I was stunned at how great it sounded.  It was crystal clear and didn’t require alot of EQ.  Just a little bit of ringing out and tone shaping mostly based on preference was all it needed.  It comes in a omni directional or a cardioid pick up pattern.  I bought the directional cardioid model which does an awesome job of rejecting noise or interference especially when the band is playing on stage at the same time.  It also improves the gain before feedback over most other headset mics I’ve used in the past.

All in all, it was a great buy and I’d highly recommend the DPA d:fine headset.  It’s one of those things that once you hear it, you don’t want to go back to what you had before because of how great of an improvement it is.  It’s something you seriously need to hear.

Presonus StudioLive consoles now include Smaart Analysis tools

Rational Acoustics, who has been a leader in software for acoustic tuning and measurement software, is now including system analysis tools with the Presonus StudioLive VSL remote control/editor software.  These tools can be used for sound system analysis and optimization and can interface directly with the console’s graphic EQ.  Also, with the software, users can view the spectral analysis of their mix and make changes in real time.  It can help identify feedback frequencies.  For the many churches that have already adopted the StudioLive into their sunday morning set up, this will be a huge update for them and will not only give helpful flexibility, but will also equip church volunteers to serve more effectively.

You can check out the press release at: http://www.presonus.com/news/press/Detail.aspx?NewsID=183

10 OSX Apps I Can’t Live Without

 

Here are some apps and programs that I use basically every day:

  1. Wunderlist : http://www.wunderlist.com/
  2. Google Chrome : http://www.google.com/chrome
  3. Crashplan : http://www.crashplan.com/
  4. Evernote : http://www.evernote.com/
  5. Dropbox : http://www.dropbox.com/
  6. Google Music : http://www.google.com/music
  7. Caffeine: http://lightheadsw.com/caffeine/
  8. Audio Hijack Pro : http://rogueamoeba.com/audiohijackpro/
  9. Spotify : http://www.spotify.com/
  10. 10.   Echofon : http://www.echofon.com/

What apps and programs are critical to you?  What can’t you live without?  Let everyone know in the comments section below.

Breathe Out

 

If you’re sitting there reading this post right now, chances are- you’re breathing.  Your heart is beating…  And this post is starting to sound cliché already…but bear with me… :-)

Think about this:  When you breathe, your diaphragm contracts and moves in a downward direction causing your lungs to pull air in.  Once it enters your alveoli, (did you know you had one of those?) the oxygen in the air gets transferred into your blood stream supplying oxygen and blood to your heart before it gets pumped into the rest of your body.

When you breathe out, your diaphragm relaxes and air gets pushed back out carrying carbon dioxide, which is a waste product to your body.

We all know we need to breathe in order to survive.  So what happens when you hold your breath?  You’re holding that waste product in which also doesn’t allow your body to get the oxygen that it needs in order to sustain you.  You start to feel pain right?  And eventually, you are going to pass out.  It would be stupid to hold your breath for a long time.

So why do we do that spiritually?  Let me explain…

I don’t think there is a person out there who doesn’t want to live their life to the fullest.  Spiritually, the Holy Spirit of God is our sustenance.  It’s our spiritual breath of life.  But when we hold it in, it’s harmful.  This life that was gifted to us through God needs to be lived out.  So breathe out.

Another spin on that same thing is that there are blessings that God has given us but there are also things we need to let go of.  God won’t give us any more then we can handle with his strength, but there are some times we try to handle life on our own and there are times where we need to lay something down, let something go, or spiritually breathe out.

Maybe you’re holding onto something that you need to let go of.  Maybe that pain you are feeling or that situation that you’re going through right now is because you’re spiritually holding your breath even though you know you need to exhale in order to survive.

You need to breathe out sooner or later.  Passing out spiritually is a lot worse then passing out physically.

Building bridges and standing strong in church production

 

In Washington DC, we have a few bridges that get you in and out of the western side of the city.  The speed limits are relatively low even though they’re on a highway but people never do the speed limit.  It gets even worse during rush hour when everyone packs on there.  Everyone wants to get to where they are going. Think about the forces exerted on it from gravity, weight and temperature among many other factors.  The average person doesn’t think about the weight, but the architects and maintenance workers sure do!  It’s all held together by forces we cannot see, but ultimately, we feel the effects.

What we do in production is a ministry of building bridges.  We build bridges between our pastors, worship leaders, the worshippers, and ultimately to God.  That’s an incredible responsibility!  When we’re mixing, firing lyrics or lighting cues not only are we worshipping as we serve but the worship of everyone else is depending on us doing our ministry well so that there are no distractions.

The message is flowing through us.  There is so much mystery in just that.  It should convict us about our purity before God and prompt us to take care of thoughts or feelings that may not be honoring to Him.  I hope you understand the gravity of that statement…but I hope you see the great honor that we have in getting promote and communicate the message of Jesus Christ through what we do.  That’s the beauty of the bridges we build.

For anyone who has served or worked in church production, you know the feeling of being pulled a million different ways at the same time.  The worship leader decides to change the order of some songs and add a few slides that weren’t in there before.  He doesn’t feel like it’s a big deal because it’s only a few slides.  The pastor wants to add an extra sermon illustration and swap a video around and maybe add an extra graphic or scripture slide.  He doesn’t feel like it’s a big deal cause it’s only a few things here and there and they have the bulk of the material already…it’s not much to add in right?  Meanwhile, you’re still having a minor issue with an acoustic guitar that is buzzing and he’s getting a little frustrated because you aren’t making it happen quite as quickly as he would like.  After all, it’s just a few cables!  Any of these issues independently are not too big of a deal to fix.  But, all of them happening at the same time will typically stress out most church volunteers or even some staff members for that matter.  I’m all about making it happen and like anyone else who does production they will probably do all they can to make things happen week in a week out.  But when there are issues like this, stress and tensions can run high and people are people and sometimes they just react in ways they shouldn’t.  It doesn’t make it right though.

In my experience, part of being a bridge, involves getting walked on.  Sunday morning can get stressful…tensions can run high and it can get difficult to push forward and carry the weight of what is going on.  Maybe the problem you’re dealing with isn’t your fault or you are simply struggling with the weight you’re carrying.

Maybe Satan has knocked you down earlier in the week and you’re afraid that you aren’t strong enough or good enough to do the work of God.  And actually, that’s true.  You aren’t strong enough or good enough on your own.  That’s why we need Jesus.  We need His power and His strength.  We can’t walk into church ministry without it.  We are carriers of the message of Christ with the Holy Spirit living inside of us.  There’s great power in that.  If we try to depend on anything other then that, we will almost definitely come up short.

We may not see all the forces that hold everything together.  But that bridge certainly feels the pressure.  If it’s built well, it will stand.  If it is maintained well, it will continue to carry the weight.  And you will too week in and week out.  Stand strong.

 

Check out these other blog posts if you liked this one:

Depend on God, Do what you do well

Church Audio Problems

Killing Feedback

Mix with your EARS and not your EYES

 

 

 

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