BIG DAY – The Guy That No One Notices Until Something Goes Wrong…

Who is the guy that is invisible until something goes wrong?

Who is the guy that everyone walks past until there is a glitch in the video?

Who is the guy that no one can describe until they turn to look at him… just after the shrill feedback noise pierces their eardrums?

Yep. The soundman.

Those poor media guys. The only emotion they receive from people is surprise, hate, anger, and rage. At least at a youth event there are not as many people with hearing aids, so the rage potential diminishes… at least a little.

While it is a thankless ministry, the media ministry is important for any big day. Glitches in the sound system or the media projections cause distractions, which hurt the event. If they can be avoided, plan and prepare to avoid them!


Sound Man’s Jobs

Some years, we only have one sound man to run everything. He makes sure the following gets done:

Check battery levels. Almost nothing is worse for a sound man than a battery dying on a microphone. All our wireless microphones have battery level indicators built in, so the sound man can see at a glance which batteries need to be replaced. He checks the batteries between each session.

Record sessions. The sound man records the sermons on CD, and then another volunteer uploads them to the website for everyone to access for free. Every year we get asked if the sermons are being recorded.

Sound checks. Before the rally, all the special groups run through the special music to make sure the audience will be able to hear. All the practice time will be wasted if no one can hear what is sung. The sound checks are either done the morning of or the day before the Preaching Rally.

Live sound. During the event, the sound man is responsible to amplify every instrument, piano, group, solo, game, etc. He is expected to be watching the platform (especially the key leaders who might need to get his attention) and be flexible with any needed adjustments.


Media Man’s Jobs

Other years, we have incorporated various soundtracks or videos into the services, so we needed additional help at the media booth. In addition to the sound man, another volunteer ran the computer and projector. He oversaw the following jobs:

Play videos. Our media booth includes the sound board and a Mac Mini, which runs the projector. We use the application ProPresenter to run our videos and other slides. With one click, the media man can play a video or advance the slide for the music. If we have a video skit, an opening slideshow, or a themed video clip, the media man prepares the Mac and plays it at the right time.

Play special soundtracks. Sometimes, our skits require sound effects or background music. We either run that through ProPresenter or iTunes on the Mac, and the media man will prepare and run that music at the appropriate time in the schedule.

Friday run-through. Any year that we require a media volunteer, I schedule a time that he can come to church for a full run-through of the event so he is clear on all entrance/exit music, video fades, etc.


In Conclusion

In conclusion, the sound and media team is crucial in today’s culture. George Whitfield might have been able to preach to tens of thousands of people without amplification, but the technology available today is a great help, as long as we use it well.

In short, when no one notices the sound or media man, he has done his job well.