Knowing these three things is key in achieving technical excellence in your event or in any production:
1.Know Thy Stuff
You need to make it your business to know all you can about the equipment that you use. For example, you should know from memory details like: the brand and model of each piece of sound equipment that you use each week (each mic, the console, each stage monitor, what speakers make up the main cluster, etc.).
You should know specifics about those devices (e.g., the polar pattern and bandwidth of each of your mics plus a sense of its frequency response. You need to know how many monitor sends you have available and you should especially know if those are prefade or postfade auxiliary sends. Learn the dispersion pattern and impedance of each stage monitor, the dispersion pattern and power handling of the devices in your main speaker cluster, etc.).
You should understand the signal flow of your sound system and exactly how the signal is carried from each piece of equipment to the next. At the very least, you should have these kinds of details written up in a separate document so that when you need to find that kind of information you can quickly locate it, rather than give up out of frustration from trying to dig it out of an equipment manual each time.
2.Fix Thy Stuff
Make it your responsibility to ensure that all of your cables ie. power cables,mic cables,speaker cables are in proper working order. Insist on an internal time limit, or your stuff will stay broken for months, even years. For example, make a commitment within your technical team that you won’t let broken cables stay broken longer than ten days. Be good stewards of the gear.
Make certain that broken equipment like headphones, mics, power amps, stage monitors and the like are repaired in a timely manner.Lamps/Bulbs should also checked regularly.Broken equipment represents a wasted investment and allowing it to stay broken indefinitely is fairly poor stewardship of that investment. If you don’t need it, get it fixed and consider selling it or giving it away to a church or community center that might need it.
Make certain that you have at least a one month supply of batteries for your wireless mics, your flashlights, and every other battery dependent device that you use on a regular basis. Don’t want to spend that much money? Well, it doesn’t cost any more to keep your car’s tank full than it does to keep it empty, now does it? it’s cheaper to buy in quantity anyway. Keep in mind that musicians often ask the organizer for replacement batteries wherever they go. Isn’t it amazing ,these guys virtually never have to buy their own batteries!?! Further proof that “the rich get richer”
3.Deal With Thy Stuff
Likewise, make it your responsibility to ensure that the relationship between you and the other production team staff, Artist,band Leader or anyone else on the team, is always at its best. Make sure that you quickly deal with any strife that comes up between you and anyone you serve alongside. Make sure that you treat everyone in each technical area and everyone in the production team as equal members of the same team with a single common goal,Technical Excellence.Only if you do this can you expect the same treatment and respect from them.
Okay, enough with that. It may sound like I’m jumping up and down on your feet, and I don’t mean it that way at all. Please take this as an encouragement, and just do your level best. I realize that we’re not dealing with brain surgery or the national defense, but quite honestly, if more people from the production team would take their service a little more seriously, we would all find that achieving technical excellence is not quite as elusive as we often make it out to be.
Go for it!