Often the most unappreciated volunteers in a church.
Some of the most gracious & patient people I know.
To the tech geniuses who control the ‘suck’ button…
This shout out is for you!
Archives For Gear & Tech
Often the most unappreciated volunteers in a church.
My most visited blog post over the past yearÂ (by a long shot) was on building a new drum booth. Â Call it a drum booth, drum shield, drum cage, whatever – the bottom line is that sometimes the acoustics of a room will create a need to control the sound of your drums. Â I wanted to get a little more detailed with the specs, materials used and the things I learned so I’ve written an updated post here.
Start talking about building a drum booth and some people start talking about using an electric drum kit. Â Not me, no way…I believe electronic drums are of the devil. Â My feeling is that if you’re gonna have drums in your band, then play with an acoustic kit.
There were some specific challenges I had in building this particular booth due to the room it was in. Â I’ll try to leave out things that won’t apply to everyone. Â There were also some political matters that I won’t go into here….you know, sometimes there’s the insane pastor’s wife you have to deal with.
My goal was to build a booth that contained sound and visually kept the drummer as unobstructed as possible. Â I wanted it to look and feel feel like he was part of the band, not tucked away in a box. Â My first choice would be to go without a top/lid, but the acoustics of some rooms will amplify sound shooting up. Â You’ll also need to consider reflected sound exiting the back of the booth. Â Something will need to absorb those reflections wether it be theater walls, curtains or sound panels. Â This will be determined by the room and space you’re dealing with.
Iâ€™m often asked about the gear and equipment I use when I play out, so Iâ€™m going to do a little blogging on that over time here. This info is kind of a moving target for me because technology is continually updating and new gear is always hitting the market. I probably should confess that gear-lust often clouds my good judgmentâ€¦but Iâ€™ll save my confessions for another post.
For years Iâ€™ve exclusively used Elixir Strings. Iâ€™m a rhythm guitar player, self-taught, but a keyboard player first. Perhaps itâ€™s because Iâ€™m a sissy (or most likely because of it) that it took me a long time to build up string-calluses on my fingers. So when I first played Elixir Strings with the POLYWEB coating, my fingers felt like they were being pampered and I became an instant fan.
Not only do I love how the strings feel when I play, Iâ€™m also thrilled with the way these strings keep their intonation. Other strings Iâ€™ve played always seem to have a short â€˜shelf-lifeâ€™ and required constant tuning. Elixirâ€™s stay in tune week to week, needing only minor adjustments, and last a lot longer than any other brand Iâ€™ve tried. I dig this because it saves me money and time spent constantly changing strings.
Iâ€™ve also found that my Elixir Strings consistently maintain their tone. They donâ€™t just sound great for a few days of playing and then loose their brightness. I can play them for several weeks and still be happy with the tone Iâ€™m getting. Many other strings sound great at first and quickly begin to sound dull and lifeless. Elixirâ€™s sound great the entire time I have them on my guitar.
I’ve decided to change up the way I’m Â putting my set-lists here on the blog. Â Until now I’ve been listing our performance key, but I think it would be a bit more helpful to post the artist that my arrangements most closely match for that week. Â There will be some songs where I can’t really find anything comparable, so in that case I’ll just post what I think is the most popular version. Â If you have any questions about what key I’m doing songs in and what’s working in a live setting, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to get you that info. Â I’ll continue to add iTunes links for the songs to make it easy for you to purchase and download tunes I’m using.
This week we used a quick custom track I laid down for God Be Praised, a new song I heard at the Gateway Worship Conference last month. Â I just decided to do a simple track in GarageBand. Â It was a little tricky because the song has a tempo change midway through and GarageBand has some limitations I had to work around. Â I just added a pad and string track to my click and cue/guide tracks. Â I’m loving this song live…it’s a great worship anthem that is easy for people to connect with.
Here is my set from this weekend:
Are you using enhancement trax in your worship?
What are your thoughts about the new song God Be Praised?
We’ve used a click off and on, but I’m implementing it on a more consistent basis now. Â We’ve purchased a Tama Rhythm Watch and our drummers run it. Â Over the past year I’ve changed the way we’re set up on the platform, moved completely to a quiet stage with In-Ear Monitors and now bringing in the click to keep the band solid. Â Change can sometimes be a challenge, but kudo’s to my worship peeps for hanging in there with me. Â I’ve seen a huge improvement in the technical and musical side of our worship ministry.
Here is the set from this weekend:
Mighty To Save – G/A
Great Is Our God – A Â (Andy Allen original, recording not available yet)
Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King – C
Hosanna – E
Beautiful Beautiful – Dm (Special Music Performed by Ivy Weesner)
All Who Are Thirsty – G (Saturday)
Son of God – GÂ (Sunday)
Have a great week!