Monday, August 28, 2006

BAND STUFF: working with PA guys

I was asked a brilliant Q yesterday by a friend of mine who is a sound engineer. He wrote - "I'd be very interested in your thoughts about the role of sound and the sound system operator as part of the group and what you, as a leader, are looking for. What makes life easier - and what makes things more difficult?"

From a worship leader's perspective, the sound guy (or girl :) is just as important as any member of the band - no matter how hard we have worked as a band to get the songs right, if the mix is bad, or the overall volume is too loud, or whatever it might be, the congregation can't engage. If our job is to help people connect with God, then we've got to make sure that nothing is a distraction - and sound is a huge part of that!!!

Attitude is really important too. I'll never forget singing in Nashville once, and the sound guy was possibly the meanest person I think I've ever met - he didn't care at all what the foldback was like, and was yelling at the musicians on the stage!! It made it almost impossible to do our job of leading worship. I know that none of you will be like that in the slightest, but it makes the point. If, as a sound engineer, you realise that what you bring to the table really, really matters, and that the way you are with the musicians can help put them at ease so that they can lead well, then you are going to do a brilliant job. Being aware (especially with musos who can sometimes be a little on the sensitive side :) is a wonderful helpful.

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