Posts

Lighting + Rehearsal Tracks + Garage Band

3 min read

*Dusted this one off from old archive post.

Awhile back when I wrote on my blog 3–4 times a week I posted a short article on how I use Garageband Rehearsal tracks to program lighting for each service/event. That post gained a lot of attention and comments. Who knew the simple post you think no one will care about ends up helping quite a few people. Well, I was hoping to repost it, but have deleted it at some point over the past few years. Now, even though I am not our official LD anymore at PC3, I do get the chance to program when Brandon (our Lighting Coordinator now) is out of town or when I just want to get myself behind the console again. So here we go… an updated post on Garageband Rehearsal Tracks.

The Gear

In both our of main auditoriums we have ETC Congo model (Kid & Jr) consoles, which I have come to love personally. This board however is built on linear queues, meaning I program a service from beginning to end, step by step. And 99% of the time this is just fine for us and has created a great “win” for our volunteers each week. Along with the board comes fixtures, which are: ETC (all conventional fixtures); Martin (moving fixtures); Chauvet (LED fixtures).

Processed with VSCOcam

The Process

Each week our Wilmington Campus holds band rehearsal on Wednesday nights for the upcoming Sunday. From that night our Audio Engineer uploads the rehearsal tracks to Planning Center for our entire production team & band to download/listen. On Thursday morning I come in and fire up the lighting rig, haze the room, download the tracks & open up Garageband. The band records the setlist back-to-back after getting ear mixes and rehearsing each song, including transitions which is very helpful. I take all tracks (3 for this weekend) and drop them in Garageband as three tracks side-by-side so it creates one continues setlist. This is helpful for transitions between songs for my cues.

And here comes the major & practically the only reason I use Garageband. The program has a simple loop tool that I use to repeat each section for the song I am working on. This allows me to build each scene while still listening to the section I am creating for. (listen below for the song transition)

So I start from the very beginning of the setlist and make my way through. I average still about 1 to 1 1/2 hours per song and I rarely ever use programming for a song twice. (more on that choice in a future post) I do create a lot of follows when I program, which is when you hit a que that then has a set time to follow to the next cue automatically. This is especially helpful for quick changes in the dark or transition builds in the music.

looptool

That is the whole simple idea in a nutshell. This one simple idea though has helped me speed up my program over the years by not having to keep finding where I left off in iTunes.

Well, that is my way of programming, but I would love to hear from anyone else on their style. Hit me up on Twitter for some tips or please feel free to start some conversation below in the comments section.

Cheers

What’s on the Laptop (Part 2/3)

5 min read

This is part two of a three part series where I am sharing hardware & software I have found very helpful in my line of work. Part one was “What’s in the bag” which was about what do I carry physically around with me for work. This post is about the software I use daily on my laptop. And the third and final post will be about the software I use daily on my iPhone. So enough of that, here we go:

Rdio – I have dropped Spotify since iOS 7 was released. The Spotify UI looks way outdated for me personally so I gave Rdio a chance since Ken Wilson has been swearing by it to me. Well, it one me over with three big Pros:

  1. BEAUTIFUL UI
  2. Collection function instead of just a bunch of playlist
  3. Setting albums for mobile sync from the desktop.

Two major Cons though are:

  1. No native desktop version (web app version only)
  2. No desktop offline mode

Calendar – I live minute by minute now with my calendar and Apple’s native app is my choice. The Mavericks update is a much nicer UI as well.

Evernote – I nerd out more about this app than any other app out there. (I will be posting a good in depth detailed post on how I use Evernote very soon). But simply put, everything goes in Evernote now. Meeting notes, sermon notes, journals, checklist, planning, equipment quotes, equipment manuals, etc. It all goes into Evernote.

BaseCamp (web only) – I run both the Media & Production departments at Port City Church with this project management web software. (I will also be posting an in depth look at how we use BaseCamp.)We are just now kicking into the next gear with BaseCamp, but we are moving toward it being where ALL communication goes during projects and ideas.

Safari – I know most geeks love Google Chrome & Firefox, but I stick to Apples native app here as well. Its great integration with the OSX & iOS systems make it worth the decision. And I have found all the extensions I need on the Safari platform as well. I do open up Chrome at times for testing sites & software.

Dropbox – If you are taking the time to read this you know what Dropbox is (except you Mom, hehe). The major place this app is in use is between all PC3 Production machines. We upload all weekend media content to Dropbox to sync between campuses and venues. Content includes all series graphics, title packages, baptism stories, title supers, pre/post services slides. We also use Dropbox for syncing Pro Presenter files across all PC3 Production machines.

Box.com – This is like Dropbox but on steroids. Our entire staff have individual unlimited accounts with Box. We are beginning to back our entire design server to Box.

Photoshop – Yep. Use it daily as part of our Adobe Creative Cloud.

Tweetbot – Favorite Twitter client. Very powerful and syncs perfectly with Tweetbot on my iPhone. 

Byword – I am using Byword to write this post actually. Byword is a very simple word processor that uses markdown & a very limited UI so I can focus on writing. I absolutely love this writing program b/c it syncs via Dropbox (as well as iCloud) with the Byword iPhone app as well.

Preview – I use this daily for my default PDF reader as well as resizing images for online web graphics if I need a quick fix.

Reminders – Used for my personal simple tasks.

iChat – Used for Google Chat instead of gmail interface as well as the oldy, but a goody… AIM.

Hootsuite (web app) – Twitter/Facebook client I use for Port City Church to keep up with our social media accounts.

DayOne – Wonderful journal that I have been using all year. This is where I have begun to journal my quiet times along with prayers. At times I put in key moments with photos to look back on. Journaling is a discipline I am currently working on and the Day One app is helping make it a reality.

Self Control – This is becoming one of my favorite apps now. A free download that gives you the chance to pick specific websites to be placed on a “blacklist”. Then you choose how many minutes Self Control will block this IP addresses. This allows me to really concentrate at times where I may wonder over on Twitter or ESPN.com.

Are there any apps you are using on your desktop that you think we would love? If so, please share with us below in the comments section below or on Twitter/Instagram what you may be using that we should be checking out.

What’s In the Bag (Part 1/3)

2 min read

I’ve seen this type of post on a lot of blogs and decided to do a quick update on “what’s in my bag”. I am actually in the middle of looking for a new office/work bag to use on a daily basis. I currently use a wonderful Swiss backpack that carries everything plus more, but is quite heavy just by itself. So I’m looking for a bag that will hold the following items plus one hardcopy book. Also this is part one of a three part series and you can now read part two, “What’s on the laptop“.

  • Apple MacBook Pro Retina 2.4 GHz – Light and the screen is gorgeous.
  • Apple iPhone 5 64 GB – My wife gifted me w/the 64 GB which is paying off big time with the offline Rdio library!
  • Evernote Classis Moleskin, Large Ruled – LOVE this new journal/notebook. Lays nice and flat and has a great Evernote feel and design to it. (still have not tried the smart stickers)
  • Evernote 15” Laptop Sleeve – I just got this a few days ago and love the texture and feel of this sleeve. Starting to leave my backpack at work and only using this now.
  • Pilot Hi-Tec-C Gel Ink Pen with Grip – 0.4 mm – Best pen in the world! This is the one area where I am a diva. I will only write with this 0.4 pen or its sister the 0.3. Must order from company in Japan though.
  • Kero Lighting Nomad Cable – Great little key chain iPhone cable for charging. I bought it from a small company who created it from a Kickstarter program.
  • Klipsch S4i In-Ear Headphones – Another piece of gear I can’t go anywhere without. The best sounding headphones I have ever listened to. I also own a pair of Image One Klipsch full size headphones not pictured here.

And other than a good book this is my main tools I use daily.

I would love to see what you may have tucked away in your backpack. Share with us below in the comments section below or on Twitter/Instagram what you may be using that we should be checking out.