The Mute Button in Worship

Chris Gill says one of the most powerful, yet underrated tools on a mixing console is the mute button.

One of the most powerful, yet underrated tools on a mixing console is the mute button. While that may sound odd, I’ve had more issues getting volunteers to use it correctly than just about anything else. At this point you’re thinking I’m a nit-picking, perfectionist nut job… and you’re right. So what’s the big deal? It’s just a button. You push it on. You push it off. That’s exactly how most church sound techs view it, and they’re missing out on the larger subtext. So I decided to create a list of mute procedures to help you grow as a sound engineer.

If the channel is not in use, make sure it’s muted.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve been in several situations where the music is over, the worship team has left the stage, but the channels remain open. There’s nothing harmful about leaving channels un-muted, it’s just not a good practice. If you have a worship leader, three to six background vocals, six drum microphones, a couple of mic’d guitar amps, area mics for the choir, plus an army of SM57’s and SM81’s for the orchestra… you have a LOT of sources capturing and amplifying audio that don’t need to be. Let’s say the pastor is speaking and something starts ringing. If the pastor’s mic is the only channel open, you won’t waste time wondering if it’s one of the other hundred microphones on stage.

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