Map is rulerThese days I live in Sugar Land, TX. The family and I feel like we are on mission here. I was laying in bed this morning not sleeping because our dog was crying. That is another tale altogether. So I start hearing train horns and thinking that they seemed loud today. Now I have spent time in three cities in Texas and slept in about 10 hotels or houses. Only one of them was right next to the tracks (yes Eric, your apartment), but in each of them I remember hearing trains. I’ve come to the conclusion that is just a fact of life in Texas, or at least in the areas I have been. Our current house is 3/4 of a mile from the tracks as a crow flies based on Google Maps. The train doesn’t head toward our house and the 3/4 of a mile is the closet point the tracks come. So why do we need to hear the horn? You would think that some one could develop a more directional horn that doesn’t spread the sound 3960 feet to the left and right of the train. I have not been woken up by a train at this house, but Trisha and I are pretty sure the conductor is using the horn to keep himself awake.

Sunday 1/27/2008

Wow what a day. Since the day that I started working in the production department our worship leader has been expressing his discontent about the choir sound.  We have tried hanging the mics, putting them on stands, and moving them to many positions.  Never have we been able to get the sound that we are looking for.  I had resigned to start looking for other mic options.We are currently using six AKG C3ooo mics in two rows of three.  The first row of mics is in front of the choir about 1 foot above the head of the second row and about 2 feet in front of the first row.   The second row of mics are in the same configuration.  At rehearsal on Wednesday I decided to try a few other mics that we had lying around.  In the process of doing this, I started enabling and disabling the EQ on the channel strip.  Come to find out the process our audio guys were using to ring out the mics was really choking the sound.  For the rest of that rehearsal we flatted the EQ and did just some very minor changes to clean up and take out some ringing frequencies.  We also found that the overhead choir monitors had many of the wrong instruments and that was being picked up by the mics.I couldn’t tell that the change we made really helped that night because we discovered the issue late in the rehearsal.  So I was excited to see what the effect would be today.  Let me just say that the choir sounded much better and we were finally able to balance the praise team and the choir.  It was great to finally start making some headway in this area.As happy I was with the choir mic changes, I was even more surprised at how awesome the worship was in our Mosaic service.  Currently most Sundays, I’m filling the role of producer.  In that role I’m always looking ahead to make sure that the team hits the next cue, but today I found myself worshiping.  The music was great and the entire room seemed to be involved and I just couldn’t help but worship.  It was amazing to see how great worship songs matched with a good mix (Amanda and Steve did great today) really brought the congregation into corporate worship.  What a great day.

Career Day

Today was an interesting day.  The best part of my job is that I get to work with volunteers.  About two weeks ago, I got an email from one of my long time volunteers asking if I would speak at a career day.  He is an assistant principal at a middle school and was looking to fill some slots.  When a volunteer who has served in the tech ministry for a long time gives you the opportunity to help him, you jump.  So I spent the morning speaking to eighth graders about my job as a technical producer and a web developer. Certainly not the way that I had planned my first day off in three weeks.

Each time I think that I have other things to do, God lets me know where I need to be.  I was paired up with a graphic designer and we spoke to six different groups for about 25 minutes each.  Being that my week was crazy, I didn’t have much time to prepare my talk.  During the first session, we each gave a short description about our jobs and then asked for questions.  The question was asked if there was anyway for them to start learning about graphic design, web development or technical production.  What a great opportunity to invite the kids to church and become a part of the tech ministry!  That same opportunity presented itself for the remaining five classes.  Just where I needed to be.

Outside Events

Planet WisdomThis weekend we hosted Planet Wisdom. Anytime we have a outside event it means work. In some cases we have to totally clear the stage. So you have to ask is it worth the work that is involved? In the case of Planet Wisdom, I would say yes.

This event was lots of work and as usual was scheduled on my two days off. We had to clear the center of the stage as well as move some of the pews to fix their equipment. Load in and out is taxing and then being that this event ended on a Saturday evening we had to reset the stage for Sunday morning. I think that I ended up in leaving at about 10 pm.

So was is the value? Just the fact that 900 students were given the opportunity to hear the word and grow in their faith is value enough. But events like this can also be a learning experiences as well as spark some creative ideas. This event had some good lighting as well as some creative video shots that I might have to try in some future services.

Over the past week or so I have been checking out the site Dave had sent me the site and I was very impressed with Camron’s use of projectors for architectural projection. Come to find out Camron has worked with Planet Wisdom for a while and I had the opportunity to meet him and get a better idea of how he created such cool stage looks. I still am planning on getting up to Dallas and attend Irving Bible Church and see the projectors in action.

Tech Issues Sunday

Wow!!! Today was video issues day. Our confidence monitor was not displaying the right content and was patched wrong. We found a really big short in the RGBHV cable that feeds the left and right side screens. This was causing the random blinks in the screens and finally the right screen just stopped displaying content. Last but for sure not least, the graphics coming from the CG machines are being washed out on the production switcher. None of this is going to be difficult to fix which is great, but it is strange how it all happens at once. For the past few weeks I have spent my limited tech time improving our system. Sometimes you have to step back and do some repairs before you can move on to the bigger and better things. It is good to have great volunteers that put up with me freaking out when something doesn’t work.