I was watching an audio guy recently who spent most of the rehearsal studying the console in front of him like the touch-screen held the answers to life. I wondered what amazing show I was missing – but I also wondered how the band was going to communicate with him when they needed to. (and when he was going to realize that a PAR can had started a small fire onstage)
I see this a lot (the sound guy, not the fire). And let me be clear. In my humble option, your head’s DEFAULT position should be looking at the stage. This kind-of goes back to my post around sources – but honestly, you can glean almost as much information about the mix from what you see on the stage, as from the blinking LEDs in front of you.
Once you get past the basics (sound and mixing 101), you should be thinking about if what you are hearing matches up to what you are seeing on the stage. Because lets be honest – that is the experience your congregation is having. Blame MTV or whomever you want – but music today is an AUDIO VISUAL experience.
When an electric guitarist breaks into a rambunctious lead, he often needs to be unnaturally loud in the mix, to compliment his appearance. 30-piece choir dominating the stage? It needs to sound like 30 people singing. Watching the band closely can also help in isolating potential problems before they became serious issues.
Sadly, none of these visual cues are available on the top of the ‘aux 3 master control’ knob!
Keep your eyes on the stage. Give it a try – I guarantee it will add a dimension to your churches worship experience.