Posts in How-To

Audinate Dante + Audio Hijack: a Match Made in Heaven

As Craig Groeschel says, innovation is often borne out of limitations, and as many of you know as volunteer audio/video techs for a small church: limitations abound. Hopefully, that has led you to find creative ways to stretch every dollar and squeeze every ounce of capability out of each piece of valuable equipment you have.This blog post is about how we use Audinate Dante ($29.99 per computer, plus a device that can function as a master clock) and Audio Hijack ($59) to allow a single early 2009 Mac Pro to… Read More

Computer Networking for Churches 101: Routers, Wireless and tons more

Networks are everywhere, and churches are more and more dependant on reliable networks every weekend. This post covers some networking fundamentals, and some basic tips and tricks to help you improve the speed and reliability of your house of worship’s network.Here is the deal, I’m going to start with some of my personal lessons learned, general networking recommendations, and troubleshooting tips. This will likely be the most helpful section for most of you. The second section will delve into a bit more detail around basic network components and definitions, which… Read More

Automating ProPresenter with Ableton Live and Network-based MIDI

Two programs that are becoming increasingly ubiquitous at churches these days are Ableton Live and ProPresenter. Here is a quick “how-to” tutorial on using an Ableton Live session to automate ProPresenter slide changes. At my church we use this method for sets with very specific arrangements, or special numbers that have very specific video timings. We still have volunteers that run lyrics for 90% of our sets, but remote control comes in handy on occasion.## Introduction First, here are a few things you’ll need to make this work: MIDI Musical… Read More

LED Pixel Tape Stage Design Part 3: Pixel Control and Mapping Software

Okay, at this point you’ve done your research, designed your wall, and priced out some components. You’ve installed your tape, wired in your control and powered it up. Now what?### Pixel Control and Mapping Software As I mentioned briefly in part 2, you’re most likely going to need a program that can map media and effects to your pixel tape controller, likely via Art-Net, sACN or KiNet. I’ll look into some specific programs to compare in a second, but generally these programs allow you to create a stage configuration that… Read More

LED Pixel Tape Stage Design Part 2: Installation Steps and How-To

Well, we just finished up our Christmas Eve service here at Harvest Christian Fellowship and I’ve got some free time to finish up this series on our LED pixel tape wall installation. If you missed it, this is based on the research we did in part 1.In the end, we ended up going with the following gear for our install: – 21 5-meter reels of Enttec 8PL30 tape (an extra reel in case we have issues, which we did…) – 8 Meanwell LRS-350-5 (300 Watt, 5V) power supplies to power… Read More

LED Pixel Tape Stage Design Part 1: Design, Research, and Pricing

We’re really excited to be pulling the trigger on a 3,700-light LED pixel tape backdrop this Christmas. We’ve been really happy with our stage looks recently, but it’s pretty clear that what we’re lacking is a good backdrop.I thought I’d write a few posts and how-to’s as we make our way through this project, especially since it seems like there isn’t a whole lot of comprehensive material on the subject. So here goes! – Part 1: Design, Research and Pricing – Part 2: Installation – Part 3: Pixel Control and… Read More

Controlling Jands Vista Lighting Cues via MIDI show control from Ableton

Building a beautiful light show can be great. But getting all those incredible cues to sync perfectly with the song just like you envision can be challenging at best. To achieve this, many shows are now utilizing SMPTE timecode or MIDI control to trigger lighting cue changes from software like Ableton, which allows a show to be entirely pre-programmed fairly easily–timing included.That all sounds great I’m sure, but making it happen can be a bit tricky, so that’s what this post is all about. Keep in mind that although I’m… Read More

Vista Lighting Remote: Help

1. “Why can’t your App do…” The Vista Lighting Remote for iOS is a very basic App. This is primarily because the App is based on the supported MSC lighting messages listed publicly here. As you can see, there are only a few features available via these messages, and there is no other public way to control additional features. If Jands decides to allow access to more features via MIDI messages I will happily add these features to the iOS remote App. For now, cues and cue lists are the… Read More

Using Ableton as a Drummer: Part 1

IntroductionAs one of the drummers for my church, it took me awhile to get used to the idea of using a metronome during live sets. My worry was that it would sacrifice the emotional, spontaneous side of drumming, and make me into a more robotic drummer. In reality, the only thing I’ve found it does is force the entire team to stay tighter, and I’m all for that! So when I finally caved and decided to throw myself into it and get myself a good click for the songs we… Read More

Mainstage 3 Synth: Optimizing CPU and RAM Utilization for Worship

Ever wonder why MainStage is running slow, or why you’re hearing weird pops or cracks, or why switching patches creates this terrible awkward pause in that awesome huge pad you were using to usher in the presence of the Holy Spirit? Yeah, me too. Here’s what’s going on:## MainStage CPU and RAM utilization Or “samplers versus synthesizers”… Your CPU is like the thinking part of your brain, and RAM is like the memory part of your brain. When you are trying to solve a math problem, your “CPU” is doing… Read More