Archives For Gear & Tech

Chocolate CakeWell, by this weekend all the people in my house were feeling better….whew!  Then Saturday night, the dog got sick.  I normally wouldn’t bring up the dog being sick here, but I think it’s kind of a funny story.  Brenna went to a friend’s birthday party on Saturday, and they sent her home with a huge piece of cake.  Now what I’m describing as a huge piece of cake was about 12″x12″ and a double layer.  Lots of frosting on this chocolate cake that came home and sat on our kitchen counter….until about 2 am.

Gidget, our 5 month old Boxer puppy, decided to raid the kitchen for a midnight snack and ate what amounts to about 1/8th of a sheet cake.  Shortly after she hoarked the cake…her tummy wasn’t feeling so good and she came in to wake us up and complain about it.  When we discovered what she had done, we became pretty concerned because chocolate is toxic for dogs.  I quickly grab my iPhone and Google for info on what we’re in for and how bad the situation might be, while Pam takes her out and watches to see if she’s gonna be sick.  This is the point where I realized that I would be sick if I would have eaten that much cake…and then realized that certainly the dog would be sick too.  I was right….it wasn’t a pretty sight.  Just plain gross.

That ordeal took a good hour and a half.  Crazy.  We did finally get a little more sleep before waking up to go to the church.  Definitely not the way I pictured my restful night of sleep leading into our Sunday services.  Oh yeah, the services this weekend went really well.  Guess I should mention that.

Our church really connected with the songs in our set, and always love having Pam lead a couple songs when she’s on the team.  The band and tech crew really did a terrific job this weekend.  Even though we had a couple folks in the band come down with the flu, we had people step up and fill those positions.

CapoOne other small but goofy thing I’ll tell on myself.  On Sunday during second service we were to play an instrumental bit over the offering while a set change was happening.  We started to play and I had forgotten to pull my capo off from the previous fret.  Yes, neatness ensued.  The drummer and I were dialed tho!  The band just grinned and acted like we just planned it that way as they each stopped playing notes that didn’t really go with the ones I was playing.  Ummm…oops…my bad.  😉

Here is our set from this weekend:

Hosanna – G
Today Is The Day – D
Rain Down – F  (Pam Allen Leading)
Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King – C  (Co-Led w/Pam Allen)
Draw Me Close – G

Have a great week…and don’t forget that dogs should NEVER eat chocolate cake, and you should always note the position of your capo.


New Drum Booth

Andy Allen —  September 15, 2009 — 5 Comments

Drum Booth[I have written an updated post on building a Custom Drum Booth…click HERE to see that post.]

This past week we made some long-awaited changes to our platform.  I have been lobbying for this since last December and was pretty excited to see this finally happen.  The drum booth that has been here since long before I came on staff last year just wasn’t cutting it.  The design was terrible.  We couldn’t see the drummer because it was mostly solid wood with just a little clear plexi on the top, and it didn’t contain sound in our room because there was no lid on the thing.

The first step was to remove stair-step choir risers at the rear of our platform.  We kept the elevation at about 14″ above our main platform so that the drums would be up a bit, and now in the center of the room.  There was quite a bit to rebuild and we still had to have a second step because of existing concrete.  Then we installed carpet to match.

I designed a new drum enclosure that has full plexiglass on the front and sides, with a sound-absorbing lid.  I did not do a full enclosure with a back because we wouldn’t have any way to control the temperature in the booth, and since we live in the desert…that’s a fairly important consideration.  To handle the sound coming out the back of the booth we’ve placed a couple initial panels directly behind the booth, and then installed Owens-Corning 703 rigid fiberglass insulation covered in burlap on the walls at the rear of our platform to absorb a good deal of the sound.

We’ll still be working out the kinks and tweaking things for the next few weeks, but the difference has been very obvious right away.  Our Audio Tech Crew will now be able to control more tone and levels and mix the drums into the mains.  This allows for so much more control over the volume in our room, an important component to mixing worship services, or any live band for that matter.  Another huge benefit is that our entire team can now see each other.  No more missed cues to the drummer, or between the drummer and bass player because he’s hidden behind a wall.

Thanks to everyone on our crew who helped make this happen!


Taylor T5-S1

Andy Allen —  July 10, 2009 — Leave a comment

T5-S1 Red EdgeburstSo….I’m on vacation this week in San Diego county and decided to take my Taylor 714ce into the Taylor factory for some repairs on the electronics.  Then I thought “Heck, while I’m here I should test drive a couple T5’s and see how I like them.” Depending on one’s perspective, this was either a very good or very bad idea.  Long story short…….meet my new guitar!

My Taylor T5-S1 has a Maple top with Red Edgeburst color.  Mine actually has a prettier wood design than the one pictured here….and it plays like a dream.  It’s been 4 years since I bought my last guitar…so this is kinda fun.  Like making a new friend.  I’m sure we’re gonna get along quite well.

Anybody else out there play a T5?