5 Reasons Live Sound Issues Are Not Your Sound Person’s Fault

Let me explain the difference between paid staff and volunteers: then you’ll understand five reasons live sound issues are not your sound person’s fault.

3.) No “win” has been clarified, therefore all anyone can do is lose. Sound techs intuitively assume that their job is to offend no one since it’s church and we’re supposed to be nice. When they receive complaints (from people that generally just don’t like rock music and are going to be unhappy no matter what), they feel personally responsible and begin to mix out of fear, trying their hardest to do what every pastor knows is impossible: please everyone in the church. Volume and mix preferences are wildly subjective, and no two people (including professional mix engineers) totally agree on what good is.

4.) They’re volunteers. In most churches (like Fred’s) these wonderful people are there only out of the kindness of their heart. They are among the first to arrive and last to leave on a day that for many people is their only day to sleep in. In most churches I’ve seen, they serve more frequently ([fewer] Sundays off) than any other area in the church. And they carry a tremendous weight of responsibility. Is there any other volunteer position in the church where the pressure of the entire service is on someone, they’re not paid, and they’re there as long or longer than the staff?

And last but not least:
5.) You forgot to turn the mic on, bro. The most common answer to “what’s wrong?” is “someone on stage did the wrong thing.” Not that that’s going to stop anyone from blaming the sound person.

Now that you and I and Fred are on the journey of repentance together, maybe consider if that Starbucks gift card is really adequate to express your appreciation for the team this holiday season.


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Caleb Neff is a producer, pastor, songwriter, worship leader, husband, and dad from Cape Coral,Florida. His passion is helping artists both inside and outside the church develop their full creative potential. Check out his website, http://www.juniperrecording.com/