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Know your gear…

We recently upgraded our analog monitor console that had an emotional breakdown for the last time. Earlier this year, just before rehearsal on a normal saturday afternoon, it began pouring out the magical blue smoke. This causing two of us to carry it, running across the stage to the loading dock trying to get it outside. Turns out it was still salvageable, and a few weeks later back into the mix it went.

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Life was fine through the summer, until again, during a Saturday rehearsal the board had another break down. This was proving to become a common occurrence for the 12-year-old console. The decision was made to finally replace it, and a week later the new and improved digital console was in. But that is not the point of this post.

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This weekend, through a minor configuration change, I manage to wipe the output settings to the band’s In-Ear monitors, not once, but twice. Sending me into an internal panic. See, I didn’t setup the board. I let one of my guys do it, so that he’d get experience and frankly he loves that kind of stuff. This left me out of the loop, which was my fault. Now with the band and vocalists looking over my shoulder, I had to keep calm and patch the board, all 32 outputs.

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Because of the great work Kyle did setting up the console. I was actually able to re-patch everything quite quickly. However, it got me thinking what a risky move it is to have gear that plays such a vital role in our weekend service and to not know it inside and out. As tech people, whether on staff or a volunteer, we must make time to learn our equipment. If you’ve been around technology for any length of time, you’ll know how frustrating it can be at times. Knowing how it’s supposed to work, will help move troubleshooting along when needed.

Take a lesson from my faux pas this weekend spend some extra time learning your gear inside and out. I know I’ll be cracking the manual of our monitor console at Northview.

Morale of the story: Know your gear.