Techs and Worship Leaders - Ten Ways to Support Each Other
Veteran Technical Director and CCI Solutions Church Relations Director, Duke DeJong shares insightful ideas on how to improve working relationships between worship leaders and audio techs.
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Worship teams and audio techs exist in order to help lead our congregations to worship and love God. We all have the same goal, to provide excellence in leading worship. So why do Audio Techs and Worship Leaders frequently experience conflict, having a hard time supporting and respecting one another?
It's a relationship that is more often strained than healthy. That's not good because these two people need each other to be successful. Regardless of which role you hold, here are 10 ideas to help you have a great relationship with your counterpart.
10 Ten things you can do as an Audio Tech to support and show respect to your Worship Leader:
- Be on time for rehearsal and sound check. Don't waste the worship team's time. This usually means mics in place and checked in advance of the scheduled start of rehearsal or sound check.
- Communicate questions or needs with your Worship Leader as early as possible so there is still time to accommodate and adapt.
- Have everything needed set up and turned on before the band gets there. There is much to accomplish in a short time. Use rehearsal time to try different eq's and mixes in the house or your headphones, but not in the monitors.
- Do not yell to or at the Worship Leader from the sound booth. Use a talk back mic or go up and talk to him/her.
- Ask your Worship Leader how he wants the mix to sound from a musical perspective. Then, try to accomplish that. More lead? More Snare? Less background vocal?
- If the Worship Leader asks you to do something, do it as soon as possible and with a smile.
- If you have to question the Worship Leader about something, or need to make a suggestion, do it privately and not in front of the worship team. It's important that the leader can trust your intentions and it's hard if they feel embarrassed.
- Remember the Worship Leader has many things to consider and is looking out for the good of the whole congregation. Remember there are no sides, everyone is in this together.
- Own up to your mistakes.
- Pray for your Worship Leader and remember that just like every artist, they have insecurities and are putting their art out there for everyone to judge. Take every opportunity you can to be supportive and encouraging.
Ten things you can do as a Worship Leader to support and show respect to your Audio Tech:
- Have the worship team be on time for rehearsal/sound check. Don't waste the tech's time. This usually requires the instruments to be "strapped up" in advance of the scheduled start of rehearsal or sound check.
- Communicate your plan and requirements with your Audio Tech as far in advance as possible. They usually need some lead time to set up what you want and to deliver it with the quality that you expect.
- Try not to throw impromptu requests at your Audio Tech right before rehearsal or sound check, and be patient and understanding if it takes awhile to accommodate them.
- Don't speak negatively of or sarcastically to techs through the mic or in front of the band. Unamplified comments can hurt. Amplified comments hurt and embarrass.
- Don't negatively comment on the house mix from the stage where you can't accurately hear it. Make sure you've heard the mix from the seats before you comment.
- If your Audio Tech makes a request, be respectful and remember they have the best possible outcome at heart. They're really not trying to complicate your life. If the request is something that can be accommodated, it will usually result in a better sounding mix.
- If you have questions or concerns about something that can wait until a private discussion can be had, please wait. It's important that techs can trust your intentions and it's hard to do if they feel embarrassed.
- Remember Audio Techs do everything they can to make the mix great. They cannot make musicians play better or vocalists sing on pitch. They can only take what they are given and blend it together.
- Include your techs in pre-rehearsal and pre-service prayer, as well as worship team get-togethers. Make them feel like part of the worship team because they are a critical piece of it.
- Pray for your techs and remember that just like every artist, they have insecurities and are putting their art out there for everyone to judge. Take every opportunity you can to be supportive and encouraging.
Wrapping It Up
Remember a great worship set takes a collaboration of artists all worshiping God genuinely, doing their part in excellence. The Worship Leader and Audio Tech, need to be on the same page, supporting and encouraging each other. Their relationship is a key foundation for the rest of the worship team and those being led.
Are you in one of those positions and a strained relationship with the other makes worship a challenge, or even something you dread? I pray these tips will help you see eye to eye and allow you to help and support each other in worshiping God better with more joy.
Duke has over 14 years of experience as a technical artist, trainer and collaborator for ministries. Duke travels around the country for CCI Solutions and is available to help your ministry. Join Duke on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ccisolutions