Volunteer Recruitment: Where to Look For Audio Engineers?

Searching for a volunteer audio tech? The drummer might be your best choice!

Volunteer Recruitment: Where to Look For Audio Engineers?
So, what sort of raw materials should we be searching for in a person who might be made into a capable audio tech? What type of person will have the best likelihood of developing into a great sound engineer?
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Volunteer church audio engineers are made, not found.

Need one? Searching for a ready-made volunteer audio engineer will not produce results.

Experienced, capable audio techs sitting in the congregation wanting to volunteer their time and energy (for free!) are as rare as idiomatic hen’s teeth.

Certainly, a prospective volunteer should be a sincere follower of Jesus and have the willingness to serve.

So, what sort of raw materials should we be searching for in a person who might be made into a capable audio tech? What type of person will have the best likelihood of developing into a great sound engineer?

You might feel that willingness and a warm body are the only essential prerequisites.

Someone … anyone (!) who is willing to drop themselves behind the mixing console will do.

I get it.

On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve seen quite extensive lists produced by team leaders for larger churches that describe all the essential qualifying skills that any prospective audio tech volunteer must possess. Invariably these include high tech, geek-attracting requirements like, “Knowledge of or willingness and ability to learn digital mixing consoles (specifically the Superdesk XYZ-1234), personal mixing system (ABC-5678), computers, software, outboard racks, microphones …” and so on.

Certainly, a prospective volunteer should be a sincere follower of Jesus and have the willingness to serve. But beyond that, the tendency seems to be to find someone who has an existing affinity for technology.

But maybe the best audio tech volunteer is actually in the band, showing no natural tech geekiness at all.

Especially if you are in the enviable situation of being several players deep in any band position, consider approaching a musician to enter the training to become your new audio tech!

I believe that it’s musicians who make the best audio engineers — especially for live music. I’d prefer to have a musical, artistic person — even if they are somewhat technically challenged, than a tech-head, who doesn’t like music behind the mixing console any day of the week, especially Sunday.

And in my many years of involvement with live music, it’s been my experience that drummers often make great audio engineers. Yep! Drummers. And I’m not a drummer! My history is as a bassist and vocalist and, in recent years, playing acoustic guitar.

Drummers? Really? Why?

My theory: The abilities and skills of a great drummer match many of the abilities and skills of a great audio engineer.

Here’s what I mean:


More About Grant Norsworthy
A Grammy-nominated, Dove Award-winning musician, Grant Norsworthy is also the founder, owner, content developer and principal instructor of More Than Music Mentor, helping to equip church singers, instrumentalists and technicians for artistic excellence and authentic worship.
Get in Touch: me@grantnorsworthy.com    More by Grant Norsworthy

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Article Topics

Team Management · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Team Development · Volunteers · Audio Engineers · Drummers · Dynamic Control · Frequency Range · Musicians · Volunteers · All Topics

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Comments

By Audiodude on March 22, 2017

I love the description of the balance of musical and tech savy ness well done. Now we need a follow up of the pitfalls of using volunteers instead of audio professionals.


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