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First, you should have an idea of what you want as the worship/band leader. Make a cd of about 5
songs that you currently do at church or want to do. Pick songs from the top artists and songs that reflect what you want your band to sound like! In other words, if you don’t have an electric guitar player, do not use Lincoln Brewster songs for your mix training.
Set up a lap top/cd player and a good set of stereo speakers in a room (do not use the sanctuary sound system at this time) Have the sound techs and the worship band (if they are into it) get together around the stereo. Try to get the best set of speakers you can. Don’t use little computer speakers if you can avoid it. You could have this meeting at a team members house with a great home stereo system.
Pass out paper. Start listening to each song. Have them write what they hear, levels, mix, instruments and anything else that jumps out at them. Have them write it all down!
After the 5 songs are over, talk about each one. Go back and listen and analyze what’s going on in the mix. What makes the song sound great, what they like about it, what they don’t like. Talk about it all.
Put in your input and talk about how to make your mix on Sunday more like the radio mixes. Most times, church mixes are bad because of the sound tech. It is important to have a sound tech that is highly involved in the music. It isn’t necessary that they are a musician, just that they have a passion for GREAT sound and great music! You do not need a tech that’s just interested in pushing buttons and watching lights on the sound board. This will get you by but will never produce pleasing results.
At the end, give your techs a CD of the songs and have them continue to listen on different system: in the car, in the sanctuary, on their computer…. Keep them listening to and involved in your idea of a great mix and use the pro mixes to demonstrate and encourage this type of mixing.
All great sound starts with the simple source material and then grows into an excellent mix that becomes great inspiring worship music. In order for this to happen, you must engage your techs in this type of training. Just think, you practice for hours each week on the music but most never spend the time to really tweak the mix.
I see my sound tech as a part of the band! Practice and communication are key for a tight sound team. I have used this exercise and it helps all involved! Let me know how your session goes.