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Playing in Church.


Big Rich

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We run a QuMix. I was stunned at the option of 10 auxes when we got it. I understand now! We could get an iPad into another room and do it on that. This would mean 2 sound engineers. Tricky. Also "mixing for Zoom". Sometimes I wonder why we bother. It does horrible things to audio. Pianos especially. I know there are settings to change. That is my next job. 

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I use Qu you for my IEM using one of those 10 mixes. The digital desk can do two layers with different fader level at least for room and video. I jumped on the desk for a very small meeting and it was a bit easy to get confused??

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Qu32 here,  having seen @owen's setup and a few others. Great desk, but IEMs use up a lot of those mixes and groups!

 I use HD280 pro phones for live work because they shut everything else out really well and have an almost ruler flat frequency response. Which is actually really odd when you first hear it!

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43 minutes ago, owen said:

We run a QuMix. I was stunned at the option of 10 auxes when we got it. I understand now! We could get an iPad into another room and do it on that. This would mean 2 sound engineers. Tricky. Also "mixing for Zoom". Sometimes I wonder why we bother. It does horrible things to audio. Pianos especially. I know there are settings to change. That is my next job. 

it’s because it’s all dry… that’s why I am saying dump the channels into a DAW and do a live mix in there.

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19 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

it’s because it’s all dry… that’s why I am saying dump the channels into a DAW and do a live mix in there.

That is part of it, but there is also some noise supression/gating which happens in zoom which is really unhelpful. 

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Although I've been playing in church over recent weeks the congregation has not been allowed to sing.  I have missed the singing so much.  Today was the first time congregations could sing again and the attached video is of Keswick Convention this morning.  Keswick is only 45 minutes drive from my home and I love attending the convention but for various family reasons I am watching it on line.  When they started singing "Great is Thy Faithfulness" I joined in but after the first line, I completely choked up and cried.  It's so good to be able to praise out loud again.

 

Edited by LeftyP
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9 hours ago, owen said:

That is part of it, but there is also some noise supression/gating which happens in zoom which is really unhelpful. 

It's optimised for speech clarity. YT is better in that respect. There are settings to improve music over zoom, I think I have posted them here, or somewhere on BC,  before. I'll have a hunt.

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Thanks Rich, I have run into the settings but have never got around to implementing them. I do my best to avoid anything to do with Video and so forget to actually get the Zoom/Video bod to change settings. 

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4 hours ago, owen said:

 I do my best to avoid anything to do with Video

I sometimes wish I had, I may never get back to either FOH sound or playing bass. 😁

The lead singer in the band I occasionally played with took up bass during lockdown,  so I've lost that gig as she's married to the band leader and they practice together. I wouldn't mind, except she's an absolutely awesome singer, but not even up to my low standard on bass. I'm sure she will get there though. (But secretly hope not.... )

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@Richard R Suggest a rota, that's what we have in our church and it works. Our worship team has;

  • 3 lead singers
  • 2 guitarists
  • 4 keys players
  • 5 drummers
  • 5 bass players
  • 2 Flutes
  • 1 Violin
  • 6 backing vocalists
  • 5 on the PA Team  

That way everyone gets to play, either by taking it turns or playing when they are available.  Some people fall into several roles, I'm one of the bass players, one of the guitarists and one of the backing vocalists.  I'm a bass player first and foremost but I'm happy to play 6 Sundays of acoustic guitar to 2 on bass because I play where I'm needed, it's not about me, it's about Christ.  I'm just a vessel to be used to spread His word.

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1 minute ago, Big Rich said:

@Richard R Suggest a rota, that's what we have in our church and it works.

... I play where I'm needed, it's not about me, it's about Christ.  I'm just a vessel to be used to spread His word.

I definitely agree with the second part, and have concluded that God has a lower opinion of my musical abilities than my technical ones, hence back behind the desks where I do have some talent 😁.

I don't think the rota idea would work for us, as far as I know we've always had separate bands, and each has a quite different style.  People swap and dep in and out as needed,  but basically the style stays the same, reflecting the band leaders' musical leaning. We used to rotate sound engineers separately to the bands, which I preferred,  but now the sound guy is effectively part of the band as well. It makes for a high quality and tight band.  Rotating everyone would be more interesting, and allow more people to be part of the worship.

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@Richard R I can play 8 weeks running and not play with the same lineup twice, it's making me a better musician as I'm learning to play with different people and that can be anyone from a seasoned worship team campaigner to a bass beginner playing one note per bar (to use your words).

I must admit that after playing bass for 32 years, having to play acoustic guitar whilst someone murders the bassline with out of time, out of tune and over plucked `booms' is becoming more than I can handle, I've actually started to incorporate bass lines into my acoustic guitar playing to try to rescue the song.  I would love to hear what they hear in their head 🤣

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We don’t have such a big team, maybe 20 or so plus the techies, so a rota works well for us.  I enjoy playing with different folks each week.  A few are multi-talented, but there are still some weeks with for instance no drummer, although we’ve just had another join the team, so that might help.

But it was good to be reminded a few posts ago of why and for whom we are playing.

Edited by Baxlin
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4 hours ago, Big Rich said:

I must admit that after playing bass for 32 years, having to play acoustic guitar whilst someone murders the bassline with out of time, out of tune and over plucked `booms' is becoming more than I can handle, I've actually started to incorporate bass lines into my acoustic guitar playing to try to rescue the song.  I would love to hear what they hear in their head 🤣

An opportunity to mentor them and help them improve perchance?

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@TrevorR Trust me, I have been but I don’t think their passion is there, I won’t back down though and I’m going to continue helping them.  They’ve been playing for a couple of years and they’ve never used the D or G strings 

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48 minutes ago, Big Rich said:

I won’t back down though and I’m going to continue helping them.  

Thats the sort of missionary zeal we need!

51 minutes ago, Big Rich said:

They’ve been playing for a couple of years and they’ve never used the D or G strings. 

Tell them that the strings are named Evangelists Also Do Good, that faith without action is meaningless, so they had better start Doing Good!

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On 21/07/2021 at 08:10, Richard R said:

Rotating everyone would be more interesting, and allow more people to be part of the worship.

 

Allowing everyone to sing in the congregation allows even more people to be part of the worship . . .   !!

 

21 hours ago, Big Rich said:

@TrevorR Trust me, I have been but I don’t think their passion is there, I won’t back down though and I’m going to continue helping them.  They’ve been playing for a couple of years and they’ve never used the D or G strings 

 

I do wonder why people want to serve, yet don't seem to show a passion for excellence (or even, a desire for competency).   We had the same issue with musicians and singers who were coached and carried by the then-worship leader.  Ultimately, however, they did not understand the need to improve, and when the time came for a new worship leader, he could not use them. 

 

Sadly, part of the blame lay with the previous leaders - rather than telling people that they needed to improve,  they were instead turned down in the mix, and kept on the rota.  So, the message that they received was that they were good enough to be involved previously, but now, they are not.  

 

I wish that I had @Big Rich's patience with other musicians!  

 

 

   

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On 21/07/2021 at 20:21, Big Rich said:

@TrevorR Trust me, I have been but I don’t think their passion is there, I won’t back down though and I’m going to continue helping them.  They’ve been playing for a couple of years and they’ve never used the D or G strings 

Yikes! Keep up fighting the good fight. 

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On 22/07/2021 at 17:55, bass_dinger said:

 

Allowing everyone to sing in the congregation allows even more people to be part of the worship . . .   !!

 

 

I do wonder why people want to serve, yet don't seem to show a passion for excellence (or even, a desire for competency).   We had the same issue with musicians and singers who were coached and carried by the then-worship leader.  Ultimately, however, they did not understand the need to improve, and when the time came for a new worship leader, he could not use them. 

 

Sadly, part of the blame lay with the previous leaders - rather than telling people that they needed to improve,  they were instead turned down in the mix, and kept on the rota.  So, the message that they received was that they were good enough to be involved previously, but now, they are not.  

 

I wish that I had @Big Rich's patience with other musicians!  

 

 

   

It's the same in our church.  There's a couple of really good musicians & a load of people who put no time in whatsoever.  2 bassists who play root only, don't know when to not play & they still struggle with timing (the other 2 are fairly decent though), there's 1 really good guitarist, 3 reasonable & a load of dire guitarists.  There's 1 great singer, 2 who could be good &  about 50 who think they can sing, but obviously can't hear themselves (even with IEMs).

 

We did a songwriting workshop a couple of month's before lockdown.  The guy hosting it said to the singers "The musicians buy their own gear, you don't even buy a mic, so I strongly suggest you spend that money on singing lessons".  It fell on deaf ears.

 

Our church could have a great worship, if only they'd put in some time.  I play because I love worshiping God.  I just wish EVERY song didn't follow some dire 1,4,5,6 arrangement so it fits in a cardboard box.

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On Sunday, the beginner bassist pointed to their bass and said to me; "I don't even know what these knobs do" with no embarassment whatsoever, I calmly told them that 1 was the neck volume, 1 was the bridge volume and the other was for tone, their expression was one of total bemusement, I had to explain to them the different sounds that the neck and bridge pups make and what tone did.

 

They then stood in front of the bass combo with a lead in their hand and after a painful couple of minutes staring at it in silence, they turned to me and asked if the guitar lead goes into the input jack on the amp....they've been playing for 2 years.

 

During one song they said to me that they weren't sure what notes to play during a part of one song, despite it being clearly listed on the chord chart; A E Bm D, I went through the chord progression with them, pointing where they needed to put their fingers and in the end they chose......to play nothing, no bass for at least 2 minutes of the song, 3 of the 4 notes can be played on open strings FFS.

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33 minutes ago, Big Rich said:

On Sunday, the beginner bassist pointed to their bass and said to me; "I don't even know what these knobs do" with no embarassment whatsoever, I calmly told them that 1 was the neck volume, 1 was the bridge volume and the other was for tone, their expression was one of total bemusement, I had to explain to them the different sounds that the neck and bridge pups make and what tone did.

 

They then stood in front of the bass combo with a lead in their hand and after a painful couple of minutes staring at it in silence, they turned to me and asked if the guitar lead goes into the input jack on the amp....they've been playing for 2 years.

 

During one song they said to me that they weren't sure what notes to play during a part of one song, despite it being clearly listed on the chord chart; A E Bm D, I went through the chord progression with them, pointing where they needed to put their fingers and in the end they chose......to play nothing, no bass for at least 2 minutes of the song, 3 of the 4 notes can be played on open strings FFS.

are they 8 years old? 

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@LukeFRC No, they're in their 50's.  I might start a new thread just to list the questions I get asked each week.

 

Once I started to explain to them about harmonics and ghost notes, I thought their head was going to explode like in the film SCANNERS 😖.

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Tale against myself - we use MEI mixers with wired in-ears, and a couple of weeks ago when I was in the band, all had been fine throughout the service, until the last song, after the sermon, when I found I couldn’t hear myself.  I could hear the rest of the band reasonably well.  (We are on a ‘proper’ stage, with PA and bass sub out front)

 

To cut a long story short, I’d of course omitted to plug my ear buds into the MEI.  

 

But the embarrassing part was that the livestream guy had noticed , and kept the camera on me for lengthy periods, meaning that everyone watching saw my antics on the YouTube stream - pulling buds out, putting them back in between verses, adjusting volumes, etc, trying to get some sound, before I realised what I’d (not) done...

 

I suppose the upside though, was that for once, a bass player was in camera shot!!  (Even if he did look daft)👍👍

Edited by Baxlin
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1 hour ago, Big Rich said:

Once I started to explain to them about harmonics and ghost notes

maybe start with playing the root notes of chords and different rhythms!  

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