Tabl-Yes or Tabl-No! Why I can’t live without a tablet when running sound!

“There is an ‘app’ for that” is one of those catch phrases that was born in the 21st century.  And there truly seems to be an app for just about everything these days.  I read about an app that will help your candor in responses to your boss. Yes, you can use the app to see if your response to someone is “too harsh”.  There are apps for lots of things, and when you are a church tech person, apps can be your friend.

Let me start by saying there is no replacement for a good team.  Not only do you get the creative juices of more people than yourself, we were made to be in relationships and your team is a very important relationship.  It took too long for me to realize that the true measure of a leader is not the number of followers, but how many leaders he is producing. Let’s get plugged into leadership and see how a tablet might help you no matter where your team is at.

But there is a reality for most church technicians. The reality that we might not always have 3-5 people to concentrate on each element that is going on.  I remember a time well that we had an unexpected death in our congregation.    This person was a good friend, and well liked by most of the church community.  Because the death was so unexpected, the memorial service was quick, and because this person was so involved and well liked it was complicated.  I just didn’t have the man-power to pull together a team for the service that was happening on a weekday during the middle of the day.

What did I do?  I grabbed my trusty group of iPads and when to work!  I had an iPad that had the x32 app on it for the small worship team’s monitor mixes.  Most of the team could mix their own, but they relied on me to set gains and dial in EQs.  I had another iPad that was set up for ProPresenter. ProPresenter has an app that you can use to launch videos, change slides and more.  Then I had another iPad that I switched back and forth between the Front of House sound console, a Yamaha M7, and my lighting system computer.  I was using Jands Vista on a Mac and using Logmein app to call scenes.

Using the power of the iPad and its vast array of apps was the only way I could have pulled off that service.  When it came to choosing a sound console for our multi-sites, it was a huge priority for me to get ones that had a good, multiple users, many feature app.  I will grant that I might have sacrificed a small amount in sound quality for the usability of an iPad app.  That was something I was willing to do. If you aren’t, then that is fine.

I went with the M32 by Midas for Front of House, and the x32 Rack for Monitors. The price point for this type of system was right within our budget, and it gave me and the volunteer teams the flexibility by using iPads.  I love to be able to grab the iPad, and walk right over to the singer’s monitor and listen to just what he is hearing as I make adjustments.  It adds a level of “customer service” that most are not used to.  I found it makes them feel like you aren’t bothered by them asking and you really want their mix to be as good as it can. I also do this when people walk up to the booth and complain about the mix.  Just last week at an event someone came over, noticeably upset, and complained they couldn’t hear the speaker over the kitchen noise behind them.  I grabbed my iPad, walked right over to his table, and he was right!  I made a few adjustments and he was so pleased with the “service” I gave him.  In that moment I was mixing for just him, and he felt like a million dollars! The answer for me is Tabl-Yes!

Love them or hate them apps are helpful things!  If you are on the fence about a digital console I would suggest checking out the app, if it has one. As always, I would love to answer any questions you might have! Happy hunting.

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