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

Introduction As one of the drummers for my church, it took me a while 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 to 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… Read More

Vista Lighting Remote: Getting Started

Thanks for picking up my Vista Lighting Remote for iOS! Before this little App will do anything worthwhile you have to do a bit of work to get remote MIDI control of Vista’s Byron:# 1. Setting up MIDI networking Mac OS X a) Opening Audio MIDI Setup To get started on Mac OS open “Audio MIDI Setup” which you should find under /Applications/Utilities. Once it’s open press Window->Show MIDI Studio (or press ⌘-2). You should see something like this: Double-click the “Network” icon. Now you should have the MIDI Network… 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

3 Keys for Making Your Volunteer Church Techs Successful

Here are a few simple keys I’ve discovered to help make your church’s volunteer audio/video/lighting/whatever team as successful as possible:## 1. Invest in Documentation NOW There is this concept called “technical debt” in software development. It refers to the idea that code written quickly or without proper documentation creates a sort of debt with interest. This is because the code becomes more and more difficult to clean up and properly document the longer you wait. Proper documentation of your audio, video, lighting and networking equipment is exactly the same. Right… Read More

Digitally Mixing Modern Worship Part 3: Life with the GLD-80

About four months ago I began this series on digitally mixing modern worship with a post about getting started with the GLD-80. I thought it was time for a short post on how “life with the GLD-80” has been over the last few months, so here goes:# Volunteer Friendliness Unless you’re working for a “mega-church” you probably don’t have staffed audio engineers. Neither do we. When considering a new console, friendliness to volunteer audio engineers is really important. I’m not always able to be the one behind the desk, so… Read More

Digitally Mixing Modern Worship Part 2: Rethinking Everything with Dante

As I mentioned in part one, my church just moved from an analog rig based around the ML4000 to a GLD-80. I’ve been really impressed with the whole system so far, but one of the most “revolutionary” aspects was Dante audio networking. 1. What is Dante Anyway? If you’re more comfortable in the old analog world then think about it this way: Dante is like having a bunch of 64×64 mixers all patched together. Each mixer has (up to) 64 inputs and 64 outputs. You can hook a cable from… Read More

Digitally Mixing Modern Worship Part 1: Getting Started with the Allen & Heath GLD-80

I’ve been mixing worship at various churches for about a decade now. I started on the Soundcraft Series 200SR, mixed on Mackie for a while, upgraded to the Allen & Heath ML4000 (love that beast), got my hands on the PreSonus StudioLive for a bit and now my current church is moving fully into the digital world with the Allen & Heath GLD-80.I’m going to be writing a series of posts covering our recent migration to the world of digital audio. I’m going to be talking a lot about how… Read More