Running a successful soundcheck for Sunday morning can be stressful. But, through my experience, I’m sharing 7 great steps to increase your time, capacity, and creativity.
There is value in systems, processes, to-do lists, and procedures. So often, creatives and those in creative ministry positions can be hesitant to put things in writing…in black and white. But, it’s in the black and white that you save time and add moments for your creativity and creative abilities to shine through.
I’m going to walk through “7 steps to running a successful soundcheck for Sunday service.”
Step 1. Communication
A great soundcheck begins before Sunday ever gets here. Communicate early (and as often as necessary) to get the info you need to be ready. (i.e. band, vocalists, tracks, etc.)
Step 2. Pre-Band Setup
This is all about you. Don’t just sit around drinking coffee and assuming everything is ready. Do as much prep as you can before the band hits the stage. Set mics, wedges, prep ears, label and patch your console.
Line Check – Soundcheck – Rehearsals – those terms are not interchangeable
Step 3. Line Check
Line Check is not soundcheck nor is it rehearsal. This is important for both you as the audio engineer and those in the band to know and understand. This is your time to run through each line to ensure all channels are patched correctly and all monitors are in the right spot.
Step 4. SoundCheck
This time is for you and the band. Get rid of any feedback issues and dial in monitors, etc. Your mix starts to come together, both in house and in monitors/in-ears. Ensure monitors are running properly. Again…a successful soundcheck is not rehearsal. Keep it simple and quick.
Step 5. Rehearsal
This is the bands time to get comfortable. It’s also your time to ensure the sound is clean, clear, etc. Check tone, ensure your mix is good. I like to mix rehearsals very hot. About 6-9 dB louder than I run it for service.
- This gives you the extra head room you will need if the room is full, to build energy, etc.
- You can get rid of feedback issues, etc.
Step 6. Pray
Spend time in prayer as a team. This is unfortunately so often overlooked, especially for those serving in the tech booth. There’s pressure to ensure house music is on, everything is ready, wireless mics have new batteries, etc. So there is often just no extra time to get together with the band to pray. Taking the time for steps 1-5 builds margin to pray.
Step 7. Follow-Up/DeBrief
Take some time immediately following each service to address any issues/glitches that came up and celebrate wins.
Time is precious, especially on Sunday morning. If the band isn’t ready, you’re going to be frustrated that you arrived early, etc. In the same vain, if you aren’t ready and the band is waiting on you, it’s going to be frustrating for them. Of course, things come up…cables go bad, connectors fail, etc. But, if you have an opportunity to be well prepared, then you can stay ahead of the game.
Limit the time…don’t need to over do rehearsal…but don’t negate the value the band/vocalists need. Understand the difference between line check, soundcheck, and rehearsal and communicate this effectively. You’ll save time, frustration, and effort week in and week out and allow your creativity to flourish!