A number of the worship and tech team fails we encounter seem to happen week in and week out, so how do we solve this? For the most number of churches the most practical place is going to be just before sound check, one of the few times where all the people rostered are in the same room.
FAIL #1 NO PRODUCTION MEETING
Regardless of the size of your church, taking even sixty seconds to run through the flow of the worship part of the service will work wonders. And as noted in this article, this will serve as the moment to prevent a huge number of worship and tech team fails.
SOLUTION: Before sound check, gather everybody in the worship and tech teams for a production quick huddle to discuss and circumvent potential fails for that service.
FAIL #2 POINTING OUT SIGNATURE PARTS
If you want your sound techs to mix for signature parts like the keyboard line at the beginning of the bridge in “What a Beautiful Name”, then tell actually them.
SOLUTION: The band leader arrives at the production meeting prepared to succinctly describe where those parts happen and what is supposed to be featured. This means that the sound tech walks back to the board with that in mind before the band runs through the songs.
FAIL #3 NO PROPER SOUND CHECK
While getting ‘there’ might require a few offline meetings between team leads, a timely and efficient sound check is a beautiful thing!
SOLUTION: Developing a run through order like drums > bass > keys > guitars > vocals will allow the sound tech to get good input levels, and for each worship team member to properly get theirs. Looping the chorus of the loudest song is a great way to get everyone on the same page both musically and technically!
FAIL #4 SECRETLY TURNING UP YOUR INSTRUMENT VOLUME
One of the key benefits of a functional sound check is that it gives the worship and sound teams a chance to decide what levels things are set at. In case you didn’t know, if you turn a mic’d amp up on the platform, that also increases the input going to the mixing console, potentially overloading that channel in the process.
SOLUTION: You guessed it, if you can’t hear yourself well enough during sound check and or rehearsal, that is the time to discuss this with the sound tech.
FAIL #5 NOT RUNNING TOPS AND TAILS DURING SOUNDCHECK
Be it tempo transitions, capo moves, or keyboard patch changes etc., there are lots of reasons to practice song transitions during rehearsal.
SOLUTIONS: I’m going to go a bit long on this one! I like to go through each song, stopping to fix anything that needs attention, then running the entire song top to bottom ‘correctly’ before moving on to the next one. Once this process is done, I like to take the team back through all the transitions. To keep this efficient, hitting the last four measures of the first song and the first four of the second works really well. Sometimes it is necessary to loop a troublesome transition in order to work out the bumps. This process is also a great vehicle to jump start a band into creating smooth, tight transitions between songs. This is a real morale booster for musicians, and trust me, the congregation does notice so it’s time well spent.
*BONUS* FAIL #6 KEYBOARD SOUNDS AND LEVELS BEHIND THE PASTOR/SPEAKER
Noting how many churches have the keyboardist come up towards the end of the service, I’m always miffed at how many times I’ve seen something that happens week in and week out turn into a fail that everyone notices. Between the keyboardist playing away with no sound coming out of the mains, to choosing the wrong patch or register to play it, this bonus fail could be the perfect place to start this conversation in your church.
SOLUTIONS: During rehearsal, pick a good keyboard patch and register while having someone talk through the pastor’s mic to establish a good balance. Also find a healthy way to let the sound team know that this is a cue that can’t be missed. #Teamwork