Once the initial excitement of working in audio production wears off, it leaves one with a few unfortunate realizations. I’m not saying audio work stops being fun. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I still have fun. I only wish someone would have cracked open the secret envelope and let me see the truth before being up to my knees in XLR cables.

This post reveals these “secrets.” At the end, I’ll explain what can be done so everyone is back to having fun, albeit a lot wiser.

What They Don’t Tell You About Church Audio

1. Worst-case scenarios really do happen.

If it can break, blow up, catch fire, power down or in any way outright fail at the worst time possible, it will. I’ve had a mixer blow a fuse. Just last week, a wireless mic battery failed mid-service for no apparent reason. Green light to DEAD—no red warning light in between.

Worst-case scenarios can force the tech to learn parts of the audio system normally left untouched. Mix engine reboots, digital mixer configuration settings, understage cabling, whatever is normally taken for granted will eventually fail—usually during the church service.

2. Audio production is hard work, and mixing is only part of it.

For some, this is a big revelation. Mixing is only a part of audio production. Stage setup, battery replacement and cable maintenance are all part of the job. And if that’s not enough, see point #1. Oh, did I mention it requires working with people!?! (Only sort of a joke for some of us.)

Mixing isn’t always easy. For example, the church has two guitarists and a singer. That’s all they’ve had for years. Next weekend, they will have their first full-size worship team. Time for a new mixing strategy. This isn’t impossible, but it does require learning amp miking, drum miking and a new way of mixing.

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