Ask any sound professional, musician, or performer about their nightmare gig and the story will certainly involve some sort of technical problem: a failing cable sending bursts of static to a defenseless congregation; an out-of-sync lighting effect creating Men In Black-like flashes every three seconds; a loose electrical plug that finally drops from the socket, plunging the stage into silence. With Easter around the corner, it’s especially important to take stock of your gear to make sure your congregation sees and hears the entire impact of this sacred day. While no one can prepare for every eventuality, in our 40-year history we’ve found that there are a few common issues that are easily solved with a simple Easter checklist and a few quick fixes before those big services are upon us.
Don’t let preventable problems disrupt one of the year’s biggest services!
When you’re “in the moment,” a technical glitch can suck all the energy and flow from the room. With a few inexpensive investments and a little of your time, you can eliminate unforeseen problems before they happen.
Batteries: Whether you choose industrial-strength disposable batteries or rechargeable, keeping a fresh batch of new batteries on hand is always a good idea. Can’t remember the last time you put new batteries in your wireless transmitter? Then it’s a good time to put in some fresh ones before the big day. Make sure any rechargeable pieces of gear are connected the night before to ensure a full charge, and if you’re doing multiple services on Easter, be sure to have a backup pack at the ready.
Cables: It’s wise to do line tests on all of your existing mic, instrument, and speaker cables. A decent audio cable tester is an inexpensive investment that can save a lot of stress and identify failing cables before they find their way on stage. Full Compass stocks a huge assortment of these valuable accessories.
DI boxes: That new bass player may have impressive chops, but his rogue amp settings are killing your mix. A quality DI box gives you more control over the overall sound and volume while minimizing hum and distortion. Having a few on hand also makes adding new instruments or inviting guest performers and their equipment to join the performance seamless, keeping interruptions to a minimum. We have a wide range of professional active and passive DI boxes, and our team will gladly help you find one with features tailored to your specific requirements and budget.
Stands: We’ve all had those mic stands that have been used for a few too many services. They won’t hold in place and the singer is forced to hold the stand to keep it from slowly falling down. Maybe there’s some duct or gaffer’s tape involved? If so, it’s time to replace them. It’s also a good time of year to take stock of your drum and cymbal stands, PA stands and mounts, and all other support-type equipment. Take a walk around the stage and note any stands that aren’t up to scratch along with their purpose. Your worship team will thank you!
Your stage lighting and effects have a huge impact on the delivery of your message, so before a big holiday service, it’s smart to take stock of everything. Replace dead or failing lamps, update lighting positions, and ensure even washes across the venue, platform, and walls. Projection has also become a mission-critical part of many services. Replacing lamps by the 80 [percent] mark of their life expectancy will maintain a consistent projected image. And just like with your audio equipment, cables are the most likely culprits for unwanted video issues, so don’t forget to check those, too! Here’s a handy list of things to remember before the big day.
Lamps and bulbs: Because of the accessibility issues associated with re-lamping lighting fixtures, it’s best to make all of your lamp changes at once. That’s why assessing those lighting plots and scenes is so important when considering not only the number of lamps or bulbs that need to be replaced, but also noting how many you need for your next maintenance window.
Replacement fixtures: The lighting systems of the past are rudimentary and inefficient compared to what’s out there today. Thanks to LEDs, stage lighting and effects are now more affordable and vivid than ever, without the heat or cost associated with traditional stage lighting. Replacing old, inefficient fixtures with new ones will not only create a better lighting scene but is also a smart investment that will pay big dividends down the road.
DMX cables: When re-lamping fixtures and updating your light plots, moving fixtures also means extending the cable runs for DMX cables. As with your audio and video cables, having a healthy inventory of these ready-to-use lighting and control cables ensures you’re not limited in fixture placement due to insufficient cable options.
Easter will be here before you know it, and big services demand your most thorough and thoughtful preparation. We hope this list becomes a valued part of your pre-service routine! At Full Compass, we can help with each and every one of these checklist items, equipping you with the right gear for your space and budget. Visit fullcompass.com today or reach out to one of our Sales Pros by calling 1-800-356-5844.