This blog post is a little different - it's a book review. And it's about a book you should probably get (if you don't have it already).
The book is called "Sound In the Gospel …for the knucklehead tech in all of us" by Magic Dave (Dave Wright), foreword by Matt Papa.
To be honest, it totally caught me off guard.
I found out about Dave through one of those random "friend of a friend" type of interactions a few months ago.
Dave was just finishing up the layout and editing for this book when we first connected. It's a book about church sound, so that piqued my interest!
I was really curious to check out Dave's new book, so he sent me a copy when it finally came out.
I read through the entire book in less than a day.
Even though the book was well written and easy to read, it took me a few days to process what I had encountered.
There are two parts to this book.
I expected the content in Part 2. I did not expect the impact of Part 1.
A quick aside: I don't go out of my way to do a lot of product reviews, and high praise is something that doesn't come naturally to me (I trend on the cynical side unfortunately), but I felt this book was an exception and deserved a review.
So here it is. My review of "Sound in the Gospel":
This guide is a must-have for church sound techs and teams. The author wastes no time in getting to the core of what really matters when serving in a church technology role: Attitude and Heart.
If you're looking for a basic guide to some solid audio fundamentals that you can apply to church sound, you'll get that.
However, the crowning achievement of this book is that you come away with so much more – the thoughtful admonishment to check your pride and ego, the real truth about burnout and how to fight it, and the encouragement to serve with excellence.
Can a technical guide be inspiring? This one sure was. In fact, I wasn't prepared for it. This really could be considered a tech team devotional.
Perfect for new sound techs. Excellent for team leaders and pastors. Mandatory for those at or near the stage of burnout in technical service.
The Good: This is an excellent introduction to what it really means to serve the church in a technical capacity. Helpful technical tips, examples, and explanations. Includes mixing tips, EQ and compression techniques, and a useful glossary of terms. Even as a 20-year pro audio veteran, I learned some new tips and ways of approaching a mix.
The Bad: The true technical section of this book if rather short, but that doesn't mean it isn't adequate for getting started. It is a perfectly fine introduction to live sound fundamentals. Those seeking more technical detail and nuance about running live sound at church can readily find many additional great resources on the topic to fill in any knowledge gaps if needed.
The Ugly: Self-righteous pride and ego are ugly, and they will absolutely destroy a tech team (even a team of one). This book confronts the pernicious "tech-savvy pride" that can easily afflict so many of us in this field. But it also inspires and motivates us to tap into the heart, spirit, and mindset that will help us fight through those control freak tendencies and temptations of ego.
Takeaway: Just get the book. It's worth it.
From the back cover page:
Who is this book for?
Anyone that serves as a tech at church, a burned-out volunteer, a seasoned tech, or the entire worship team, even mother-in-laws can get something out of this book!
What is in this book?
Part I: A guide to help techs recognize and deal with common heart issues and difficulties while serving the church. It outlines practical steps to combat burnout and joyfully serve the church again.
Part II: A technical primer on the basics of gain structure, equalization, and mixing. A glossary is included to help even inexperienced techs (especially those who don't speak Klingon) navigate these concepts.
My Summary (and a shameless plug)
So, here's my summary for this.
If you have a team, order several copies. It really is a useful tech team devotional, conversation starter, and training tool.
If you need a little more technical guidance and instruction, pickup a copy of "Great Church Sound".
Sound in the Gospel sets you on the right path.
Great Church Sound takes you to the next step.
And be sure to check out Dave's website at www.SoundInTheGospel.com
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