Sounding Off

Hello Faithful Blog Readers,

What a Sunday it has been already.   My morning had enough drama in it to last the week.  I’ll start out by setting the scene.

I run sound at my church.

Rephrase that.  I run the sound board at my church.

Well…. more accurately, I sit at the sound board as it pits itself against me, thinking up new designs each week with which to test my sanity and my patience.

Today’s issue (which has been sort of ongoing the last few weeks) was a 60 hertz hum coming through the main speakers.  At least that’s what they told me.   “They” being the 5 engineers that decided to fill me in on what they knew about the consistent and constant buzz that filled the auditorium.

Who knew we had so many men in our church that can hear a noise and know that it’s a 60 hertz buzz.  Really?   Although, I would have been more impressed if they could have told me what key it was in. (E flat, anyone)   I’ll be even more impressed when they get it fixed.  I’m not angry.  I really do appreciate their help.  (I ended up Googling “60 hertz hum” just to know what they were talking about.)

The sad part is that no one notices the sound people except when things go wrong.  Then you have people craning their necks to see if I’ve fallen asleep on the job, or, I don’t know, mucked things up somehow just for spite.  Not so, churchgoers.  If you hear a problem, keep your eyes forward.  You don’t want to see how gruesome a crazed battle with a sound board can become.

Very rarely (though it does happen) will someone come up to me on a good day and say, “Hey, things sounded great today.   Thanks for your service to the church.”  Not that I mind not being thanked.  I “run sound” (or it runs me), because it’s a great way to volunteer to assist the body of Christ.

As I started writing this post, I didn’t even think of a spiritual application, but it just came to me.  Ba-da-bing!

How does the Lord feel when we don’t have any major trials, but we never say, “Thanks, Lord, that things are going well”?  But when something happens in our life – a loss, a sickness, a trial, suddenly we say “Why are you doing this to me, Lord?”

On the whole, my life is rather cushy, so I’m gonna close out this post now, just being thankful to God that I have a working computer, my belly is full, and the day is cool, crisp, and beautiful.  Just to let Him know I appreciate the down time before the next character-building trial.   After all, I have next week in the sound room to look forward to.

7 thoughts on “Sounding Off

  1. You crack me up!! I’m going to have check this more often. I’ve got a friend at church, and I’m going to send him this. He’ll know exactly what you’re going through.

    1. Thanks for the good blog. I enjoyed it and want to share it w/ our “sound men”. I know they’ll appreciate it! Don is having me read your book out loud to him! He and I remember you fondly!! Love, Cheryl and Don

  2. After recording and “running sound” since the early 1980’s, I can tell you that there are a million ways you can get 60 Hz hum in the system. 🙂 Doesn’t matter how much experience you have, it’s always a trial to rid yourself of it. Still, there are some major reasons you can check to start with. Your sound system and ANYTHING that plugs into it or is connected to it should be on the same power source (outlet) or phase (set of outlets) and separate from other power hungry devices. If something that connects to any part of your sound system (be it a projector with an audio connection, guitar or synth that’s plugged into it) is plugged into another AC power outlet on another phase, you have potential for hum (there is a ground potential difference in the two outlets, and they try to even out THROUGH YOUR SOUND SYSTEM! The “evening out” is actually the AC line voltage (at 60 Hz, of course) going through your electronics! We all know that AC – alternating current – is just a well organized form of audio – so it’s a hum, or note, instead of complex wave form like, say, a word). Simple, really.

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