This was a “Sub” par day…ha ha

6 blown subs Last night at rehearsal I was behind the console mixing for the Edge band and heard a bad sound. I spent some time working on the the drums after Mario setup his kit, replacing the church’s set.  I just could not get the kick to sound right at all and then I remembered that John said that a sub might be blown.  I took a walk to the stage left side of the building to hear a subwoofer barking out what sounded like a kick mallet hitting a broken drum head.  The cone on the left side of the cabinet was shredded.  I grab some tools and pulled the driver.  Planned on calling the repair shop in the morning.  When I got the speaker back to the booth I noticed that this speaker had been re-coned in 2000.  I guess that it was just time.

I had a great plan when I got home last night and thought that it might be good to check all of the other sub speakers.  Sometimes it is just better to not know.  At the end of the day we found that six or our eight sub drivers were blown.  This is just some of the fun when you are maintaining a 14 year old sound system.  I have mixed feelings about this issue.  On the one hand, it is frustrating to fix blown speakers and not work on making improvements to the services.  On the other hand I have never been happy with with our subs and I have a little encouragement knowing that I have never heard all of the drivers kicking at once.  Some of the drivers appear to have been down for sometime.  So, there could be some light at the end of the weak sub tunnel.

Nya is taking the six speakers in for repair.  We will not have them for this week and will have to rent some subs, but they will return for the following Sunday.  I have to install and tune the rented 18 inch subs tomorrow.

Changes 4/6/2008

Just a sample of one of the lighting looks for Sunday
This is a big Sunday for the tech ministry at Sugar Creek. We are going digital. The Digico is installed and this will be the first Sunday running it for the services.  All is tested and ready to go and John is charged with making sure all works correctly. Over the next few weeks we will train the volunteers on the job. I think that they will be back running the shows soon as they become comfortable.  We have had two rehearsal with the digital system and both were successful and the musician said they can hear a difference in the monitors.  We have not even installed the version 2 Avioms yet. More to come on that next week.

We have a new (at least new since I have been producing) CG operator for the Edge service…welcome Janet.  The Digico took up a lot of time this week, but I did get to add some curtian slashes behind the drums.  I’m really looking forward to hearing the difference in sound quality over the next few weeks as well as how the A1 take to the new system.

Continued Learning – The Countdown

I was not a fan of school when I was a kid or a young adult.  Don’t know if it was just not enough of a challenge, but even college could not hold my attention.  It was only a matter of time before learning became a passion of mine.  One of the biggest reasons we made the move to Sugar Land was the opportunity to continue learning.  I’m convinced the continued pursuit is an important part of a fulfilling adulthood.  The ironic thing is that I’m so busy these days I have to make time.  I just got After Effect recently and I thought that it was time for me to check it out.

We have just started using countdowns to start all of our services.  I have always thought of them as being just for the attendees, but I was mistaken.  After using one for the Easter services we realized that it solved most of the issues we had with getting the services started in a timely manner.  Well, that lead to my first After Effect project, a countdown.  With a little bit of research and time I have built my first countdown…(sorry for the big download)

The graphics above match our current sermon series and I thought it would be good to have a countdown that matched.  In starting the project, I went to my usual starting point, Google.  Found some good tips on using the numbers effects and the time code functions which I guess is the recommended way.  Then I saw a little snippet of an expression and being a programmer that can recognize javascript when I see it, I knew I was heading in the right direction.  With one little piece of code I had the countdown working, then I just needed to add the graphics.  Here is the code for the countdown text layer:

// Countdown time in seconds
countdownTime = 300;

// Get the seconds remaining
seconds = linear(Math.floor(time) , 0, countdownTime, 300, 0 );

// Get the minutes
minutes = Math.floor(seconds / 60)
// Calculate the seconds
secondsRemaining = Math.floor(seconds % 60);

// Add a zero if it the number is a single digit
if(secondsRemaining < 10)
secondsRemaining = "0" + secondsRemaining;

// Return the code formated time remaining
minutes + ":" + secondsRemaining

Here are the easy steps to using the above code:

  1. Create a composition with a length 1 second longer than the countdown timer.
  2. Add a text layer and expose its properties.
  3. For the sourceText properity option or alt click on the stopwatch and enter the code above.
  4. Set the countdownSeconds to the number of seconds you want in the countdown.

That is it, the rest is just standard After Effects stuff.  This was a fun project to start with and I look forward to doing more with motion graphics.

Digico Install

Digico D5 at homeToday was the day that we removed the older of the two Soundcraft Vienna consoles and replaced it with the Digico CS-D5.  Over all, the change over went very smoothly.  Last night John and Vincent pulled the Madi cables for the connection from the stage racks.  They ended up needing to be pulled in the iron. The console is in it’s final home and the stage racks are wired up and communicating. Tomorrow, Bryan is going to bring in the snake and we will get them all connected between the stage boxes and the stage racks. After that it is just finishing up the final patching and rehearsals start Tuesday afternoon.  So far we are right on schedule.  Pictures of todays work are on my flickr account.

Changes 3/30/2008

Sunday Photo


  • Temporarily installed a 5000 lumen project on the ledge above door five.  This projector had a long throw lens and I focused it on the baptistry wall, just for some more stage color.  It looked pretty cool; I guess that it is called architectural projection.  Have a look at the pictures linked below.  I did get one complaint from the choir – that it shined in their eyes being that it was mounted right below the confidence monitor.


  • Installed the cable for the switch to the Digital console.  We planned on pulling it through the conduit under the floor but it was full of water.  Ended up bringing in Vincent and his crew to walk the iron.

Here is a link to this Sundays pictures

Digico Unboxing Photos

CS-D5Yes the Digico is here and I have the photos to prove it.  John is foaming at the mouth and has half of the configuration done.  Started pulling the madi cables, but found the conduit full of water.  After checking with Digico, we decided to run the cables over head.  Vincent is going to come in Sunday afternoon and walk the iron.  Bryan will be in Monday  with the patch cables to connect to the stage racks.  All should be ready for a launch next Sunday… please pray for us.  Here are the photos…

Easter ’08

Easter PhotoWell this was my first Easter as a Technical Producer and it was a great day of worship.  I’m glad that it is passed, but also excited for the next program that I get the opportunity to have a part in.  Lighting is something that is new to me, but it is one of my favorite parts of my job.  For this program, I decided to take on the design and programming of the lighting myself.  It was lots of pressure, but over all I was pretty happy with the results.  You can have a look at some of the photos from my Flickr album.

In the worship center we have have three screens that can project two different video streams. We added two more projectors so that we could play a third video stream for the song Yahweh.  That song had dance, three videos and the worship team.  There was so much going on and the volunteers did a great job of executing all of the cues.

I want to say thanks to all of the techs that served this Easter and a special thanks to George and Joe for helping with the setup and tear down.  Can’t wait for our next special program.

UPDATE: The Digital Shift

Digico CS-D5AND THE WINNER IS: I just sent the purchase order into Digico for the CS-D5.  After much research, number crunching, calling references, and most of all prayer, I executed the purchase order for the Digico today.  Studer has a great product and at some point I want to get my hands on the console.  Digico just has the best combination of features and price.  Keep an eye out here for information on delivery and un-boxing photos.

UPDATE: The Digital Shift

Studer VistaWe are getting closer to making the decision on a console…kind of.  I spent a good part of the week reviewing the consoles and talking with customers from both products.  As I was reviewing the requirements with the technical sales staff of both companies, I came to an interesting conclusion.  Soundcraft recommended that we look at moving from looking at the Vi6 to the Studer Vista 5 SR.  We had not looked at this console because it was out of our price range, but they have some options that might get it into range.  At this tim,e our requirements are greater than the capabilities of the Vi6.   Soundcraft will be add to the Vi6 and meet todays requirements for a console, but really doesn’t give us much room for growth in the future.

At this point in the process I’m not really interested in reviewing another product, but I did tell the folks at Soundcraft I would give them a few days to get an updated proposal to us.  If it seem interesting we would need to schedule a demo of the console as soon as possible.  I have heard good things about the Studer.  Grainger Community Church just installed three Studer consoles.  We just have to wait and see what they come up with.  In the mean time if you are interested, have a look  at the Studer.

Changes 3/9/08

Over the next two weeks we are greatly reducing production at SCBC getting back to the basics of worship.  Because of that, I had time to focus on some office items I have neglected.  But here is the changes for this week:


  • Updated to ProPresenter 3.3
  • Installed Leopard on both of the CG machines.


  • Setup the Avolite software on my laptop and did a good part of the programming for this week at home.