Sunday Serving Positions for Our Audio Team
Every week, our church comes together to gather around the truth of God’s word, the beauty of corporate worship, and the power of community. Central to our Sunday experience is our Audio Team—the men and women who give of their time and talents to serve our church and enrich our time together. This is a team that is near and dear to my heart, and in today’s article I want to give you a breakdown of the roles that make it happen each weekend. Here are five essential Sunday serving positions for our Audio Team.
At VOUS, the courtyard is the first environment people walk into when they come to church, so our Courtyard Tech plays a key role in their first impression and initial experience on any given Sunday. This servant leader sets up equipment and monitors levels throughout their scheduled block. Speakers must be placed securely out of the way of our guests and cables must be clean and organized. Music can make or break this experience, so our creative team prepares a playlist to set the tone—updated seasonally—and our audio team ensures that levels are just right to create a good vibe without drowning out conversation. If we do our job correctly, people will feel comfortable and receptive as they make their way into church.
FRONT OF HOUSE ENGINEER
The Front of House (FOH) Engineer controls our in-room experience. Their task is to deliver a consistent experience across the room, making sure every seat sounds and feels good. Audio shouldn’t be too quiet or too loud. Of course, standards for what that means vary from place to place. For us, we tend to run FOH at approximately 98dB-SPL. (We may run slightly lower at a morning service and slightly higher at an evening service.) The important thing here is that the FOH mix carries the energy of whatever is happening on stage—worship, live speaking, or video playback. The mix must be effective, meaning people must be able to hear the right things at the right times. Our FOH engineer must know the service flow well and pay careful attention to cues and transitions for each moment in our service.
Another crucial element of our worship experience is our Monitor Engineer. This servant leader focuses exclusively on the in-ear mix for our worship team. Each vocalist and instrumentalist has a wireless pack and a dedicated mix. The Monitor Engineer’s first task is to ensure that all team members can hear what they need to hear. But, more importantly, their aim is to make our team feel connected to the in-room experience, rather than isolated in their own environment. The more connected our team feels to what is happening in the room, the more they will be empowered to respond to what God is doing and to lead our church in worship.
The Stage Tech role exists to assist the Monitor Engineer with any on-stage needs. This includes providing worship team members with mics and in-ear packs, checking levels and replacing batteries as needed, running connections on stage, and troubleshooting and solving any problems that may arise. The Stage Tech is available to the Monitor Engineer and worship team for whatever they need throughout a given serving block. They offer support and assistance and are flexible to solve issues as needed.
Lastly, our Broadcast Engineer has the most technically challenging role of all of our Sunday audio positions. Their job is to translate the in-room experience to our online audience—no small task. Essentially, the Broadcast Engineer is building a studio mix with a live band. What usually requires hours of post processing is done in real time. The biggest challenge we have encountered with this position is translating the energy of the room to the online space. (We have found that crowd mics are absolutely essential to a good broadcast mix.) In addition, our Broadcast Engineers have to consider that people attending church online will listen through a variety of devices—phones, laptops, TVs, AirPods, etc. While this is our most challenging position, it is probably also the most fun.