When running sound, there are some great habits we need to practice over and over until they become part of our Sunday morning routine. Here's a list that you can also print out towards the bottom of the page to have in the booth:
Get there earlier than the rest of the band.
1. Replace all the batteries in all of the wireless microphones & instrument packs. If you do this first, you won't forget later, because once the system is powered on, you are about to get really busy. Make sure all batteries are fresh before every service. This is where rechargeable batteries are a God-send. Annsman makes the best chargers and batteries.
2. Before powering on the sound system, make sure all mutes are enacted on the mixing console. This will keep any accidents from happening on system start up.
3. When powering on the system, the mixing console area comes on first, and then the stage area - i.e. - amplifiers to the mains, and/or powered speakers.
4. Make sure your recorder for the service has a fresh disk in it (or if it is a DAW, you are ready to record), and is ready to go. Make sure any other outboard cd, dvd, and computer devices are passing audio to the console.
5. Sound Check the Pastor's Mic(s) and any other wireless microphones.
6. Do a quick audio check on the mains and monitoring system to make sure they pass signal and sound good.
7. Check microphone positions on all guitar & bass amplifiers and instruments to make sure they are in the right place (you will almost always find something off - especially on drums).
8. When the band gets there, meet with the worship leader to get any notes he/she may have for you regarding the worship set (level changes, solos, etc).
9. When the band starts playing, check your gain/trim levels on all channels by quickly going down each channel's PFL.
10. Build your mix starting from the drums, to the bass, and then the rest of the instruments and vocals all the way up the console.
11. Check your compressors' signal and compression levels while the full band is playing.
12. Check your effects racks, choosing the right verbs and other effects according to the song list you received from the worship leader earlier and what he/she may want.
13. Make sure audio to the cry room and other areas (foyer, overflow, etc) are on and working.
14. Go up on stage and make sure the musicians have what they need regarding monitor levels (if they are on stage wedges) and other details.
15. Meet with the pastor and/or other speakers, and assist them with their wireless units that you placed fresh batteries in earlier. Get any notes they may have for you regarding audio cues & etc.
16. Make sure the video guys/gals have what they need (if applicable).
17. Once all of this stuff is done, take a quick restroom and prayer break, and then get back to the sound booth before the band gets back on stage.
18. Make sure the appropriate mutes are off and the console is ready to go.
19. Worship Set & Sermon Happens - Mix accordingly & pay attention to any band and media cues.
20. Once service ends, power down system with the stage area and mains going off first, and then the mixing console area.
Other Notes: Make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before, and get a good breakfast before you mix. When stuff goes wrong, tensions can be high, and the stress of getting so many things right with the high level of multitasking involved, you’ll need the extra benefit of sleep, breakfast, and possible copious amounts of caffeine. Be humble, teachable, and diligent. Most importantly: Have Fun!
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