Posts in How-To

Mumble: Effective & Free Audio Communications for Small Church Production

Why do you need good comms? As soon as your church production crew grows beyond the bounds of a single booth, communication becomes a challenge. You can no longer lean over and chat with the audio guy, or yell over the music to lighting operator to make sure he hits that main preach front lighting cue. Good communication is key to a successful production anywhere, and with many small churches (including mine) launching or growing their live video production for streaming, I thought I’d share my own experience and the… Read More

Worship Pitch Correction with Ableton, and Waves Tune Real-Time: Part Two

In part 1 I talked about the basic routing setup you need to do basic pitch correction using a digital console, a Dante audio network, and Ableton. At the end of that post, I warned against simply tuning to a chromatic scale, which can lead to tuning “misses” that easily make your vocals sound worse than they did without pitch correction. In part 2, I’m going to show you how we use MIDI clips in Ableton to automatically set the tuning key for our tuning plugin for each song, making… Read More

Live Worship Pitch Correction with Ableton, Dante and Waves Tune Real-Time: Part One

As the main technical/production guy for a relatively small church, a lot of what I do has to do with squeezing every ounce of capability out of the little bit of gear we can afford, and I know I’m not the only one! Today, I wanted to share with you our simple live pitch correction setup we’ve begun using for our vocals during our sets. Integrating this into our existing setup cost us a total of $49.99 (the sale price for Waves Tune Real-Time). Like us, a lot of churches… Read More

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

Wait! Before you read this… Before you read this post, I’d like to invite you to a free, “church tech live” session I’m hosting specifically on computer networking. In this Zoom session, we’ll be talking about everything in this post and more in a visual, discussion-oriented session–which gives you the chance to ask questions along the way! So, instead of reading this, register for that! (or do both I suppose ☺️) Networks are everywhere, and churches are more and more dependant on reliable networks every weekend. This post covers some… 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