For the past few months I’ve been learning to run the sound board at our church, which has turned out to be much more complicated than I originally thought when I signed on.
The board looks a little something like this:
This isn’t exactly the same board we work on, but I couldn’t find a picture of one (probably because I didn’t know what specifically to search for). Either way, you can tell it’s complicated. Each instrument and microphone is connected to a slider (the drum set gets five or six sliders) and you adjust them as the songs progress. Then of course there’s the responsibility to unmute/mute the pastor’s microphone at the appropriate times or raise/lower the volume of the music playing before and after the service. I think I’m making this sound too easy… it’s really not, I swear! At least not for this newbie.
Sometimes it’s a bit of a juggling act. The pastor finishes, I mute his microphone, unmute the CD, hit play on iTunes and fade in the music. My worst nightmare is that I’ll leave the pastor’s microphone unmuted and then everyone will hear him singing as we worship. I’ve already made my big blunder though: I muted the CD player but didn’t pause it, and when I hit a button to recall the settings I’d saved for the beginning of the worship set, the CD channel unmuted and the CD started playing right as the worship team was about to start. Never again!
Monday was the first time I had to run the sound board by myself, and I felt as if I’d been shoved right out of the nest. I only run it during our once-a-month small group gatherings, so I tend to forget nearly everything I learned until the next month. I’ve had a great teacher who has been patiently training me, but this time I had to fly solo and do my best not to screw anything up. Thankfully, the evening passed without incident, except that the lights in the auditorium decided to have a mind of their own and randomly turn back on and defy their previous settings. And then there was also a glitch when a team member nudged a foot pedal on stage and dislodged the cord, resulting in a loud crackling noise, and I tried not to have a panic attack because I couldn’t stop the crackling (at the time I didn’t know the cord was the problem). And then someone asked me if I could please turn down the music in the lobby because it was quite loud, but I didn’t know how and I certainly wasn’t going to tinker around and find out.
So… I still have a lot to learn. But I love learning new things!