Role of an Audio Director: Setting Standards, Supervising, Communicating

Good relationships between the worship team and the audio team are so very important, and they smooth the way to achieving a great worship service.

Role of an Audio Director: Setting Standards, Supervising, Communicating
The worship team needs to feel like the audio team has their back, and the audio team needs to feel trusted and respected. A solid foundation here will not only yield the best performances from the worship team, but also lead to excellent audio all around.
Role of an Audio Director: Setting Standards, Supervising, Communicating
The worship team needs to feel like the audio team has their back, and the audio team needs to feel trusted and respected. A solid foundation here will not only yield the best performances from the worship team, but also lead to excellent audio all around.

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Technology Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.
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Many churches have a ‘technical director,’ whose responsibilities include setting the vision and operating standards for the entire technical team, recruiting and training volunteers, and generally making sure all things technical go smoothly for the church.

A lack of communication can muddle a working relationship in so many ways.

In a number of larger churches, though, the scope of this job would be unmanageable to have a single person tasked with all those responsibilities. In these situations, it’s not unusual for the technical director to have additional leadership roles under them, and one of those common jobs is that of the ‘audio director.’

Many of the responsibilities of an audio director sound similar to those of a technical director, but the primary difference is that the varied responsibilities for an audio director are focused specifically on audio. For example, one of the key components of the job is setting operating standards. In other words, the audio director is responsible for determining what the mixes should sound like, so that each audio engineer has a target to aim for.

Without an audio director’s leadership, each engineer might have an entirely different artistic approach to mixing a worship service, but that will only lead to an inconsistent experience for the congregation. Even with this guidance, of course, each person will have their own ‘flavor,’ but the mixes should be similar enough, in general, that the congregation can enjoy some consistency.

Keep in mind that, in many churches, the audio director will mix most of the front of house, or FOH, audio during worship services. However, he or she will still be setting the standards for any other engineer who mixes other parts of the service (monitors or broadcast, perhaps), and for those who might handle other church services or events.

The audio director will also supervise the entire audio team, whether paid positions or not, and this will therefore include recruiting and training volunteers.

The training component will, of course, involve a lot of technical understanding of the audio system, as well as general troubleshooting skills. This can be the most difficult part for some people (either the trainer or the trainee), simply because of the complexity of modern audio equipment.

However, it’s the artistic side of sound that can sometimes present the biggest training challenge for an audio director. From my perspective, having a good ear is not something that can be taught. Even those who are blessed with such a gift, oftentimes begin with it being a latent, undeveloped talent.


More About Brad Duryea
Brad Duryea is an audio engineer based in Houston, Texas, where he is the director of audio technology for Lakewood Church. He can be reached via Twitter: @bradduryea.
Get in Touch: brad.duryea@gmail.com    More by Brad Duryea

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.


Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Team Management · Budgeting · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Team Development · Volunteers · Audio Engineer · Audio Team · Leadership · Maintenance · Responsibilities · Role of an Audio Director · All Topics

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