Volunteers and Audio: Working With Digital Consoles, Virtual Soundcheck

One of the best gifts of the digital age is many of today’s digital audio consoles have a process for multitrack recording the band from stage, and recording it to a local computer.

Volunteers and Audio: Working With Digital Consoles, Virtual Soundcheck
Way back before digital consoles came along and virtual soundcheck came into being, we had (and some still do), analog consoles that were not capable at the flick of a switch virtual soundcheck. Audio engineers honestly practiced their craft as the soundcheck and event happened.
Volunteers and Audio: Working With Digital Consoles, Virtual Soundcheck
Way back before digital consoles came along and virtual soundcheck came into being, we had (and some still do), analog consoles that were not capable at the flick of a switch virtual soundcheck. Audio engineers honestly practiced their craft as the soundcheck and event happened.

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The single biggest question I encounter from most church worship leaders or technical directors is to how to successfully develop inexperienced volunteers into fully functional audio engineers.

Audio is often about identifying the bad, but it doesn’t mean how we work with those we are training needs to be as well.

The answer I give them is a lot of intentionality and a lot of hard work.

Earlier this year, I outlined a framework to get those volunteers into a process to become an audio engineer. in the piece, Volunteers and Consoles: Placing Volunteers In The Hot Seat.

Today, I wanted to offer some detail into the most valuable of all areas that will be your greatest builder to your audio team: leveraging the use of virtual soundcheck.

Way back before digital consoles came along and virtual soundcheck came into being, we had (and some still do), analog consoles that were not capable at the flick of a switch virtual soundcheck. Audio engineers honestly practiced their craft as the soundcheck and event happened. This made it very hard for engineers who were not the primary mix engineers to get practical hands on time. Which therefore made it even harder for the budding audio newbie to get real mix time on a console.

One of the best gifts of the digital age is many of today’s digital audio consoles have a process for multitrack recording the band from stage, and recording it to a local computer. Once you have that recording, you can then play back those recorded tracks through the console to simulate audio signal playing through the console. With no band being then required on stage, you have the room to yourself to take your time to listen back to the tracks and work with the audio console. No pressure from producers or band members to make quick mix adjustments.

This is your time now, just you, the console, and the tracks.

So now what do we do with all these recorded tracks?

Singers and musicians, often before their arrival to a rehearsal or performance, have spent hours already practicing their parts. Not only that, they spend countless hours weekly in general just getting better at their craft.

As an audio engineer, with virtual soundcheck, you now are able to practice your craft as often as a musician. If you are not employing virtual soundcheck on a regular basis to develop your craft, you are shorting yourself the ability to grow in your craft.

But you and many others might not know where to begin with this thing called virtual soundcheck.


More About Debbie Keough
Debbie Keough is currently a freelance audio engineer based in the Orange County area of Southern California. She has held FOH, lighting, media and technical director positions from the largest megachurches to smaller local churches. Additionally, she is an instructor at The Recording Arts Center in San Diego, California. She loves mixing and her heart is to teach, encourage and raise up the next generation of technical artists in the church. She can be reached on Instagram and Twitter @debbiekeough.
Get in Touch: debbiekeough1@gmail.com    More by Debbie Keough

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, November-December 2017
The November-December 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a review of the 49 New Product Award entries this year, as well as those entries up for Solomon Awards in 2017.


Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Team Management · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Team Development · Volunteers · Audio Engineers · Churches · Digital Consoles · Technical Directors · Volunteers · All Topics

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