How to Run Basic Sound Operations at Heart of Junction




This Instructable is for whoever's job it is to run sound/computer operations at Heart of Junction in Grand Junction, CO when I, the main sound/techie guy, have to be gone for some reason or another. I apologize if it is long, but I'm going to try to cover everything in one shot. Bear with me, it's not too complicated, I promise.

Step 1: Turn on the Power

Beneath the table is a bunch of wires and two power strips with lots of stuff plugged into them. To initiate everything, turn on the power on the smaller of the two strips. This should turn on the sound boards and the computer montior. You can tell if things are on if there are lights turned on.

This is also a great time to plug in your laptop you will be using. The outlet I use is highlighted in the picture.

Step 2: Boot Your Computer and Connect the External Monitor/Projector

If you haven't done so yet, plug in your computer, and turn it on. Look on the side or back of your laptop for an outlet like the one in the first photo. This is where you attach the monitor to. Go ahead and attach the monitor cable. Don't worry if nothing comes up on the screen, we'll fix that next.

Optional: Tighten down a screw or two if you have any worries about the cable coming unplugged. (I usually tighten one just in case.)

Step 3: Setting Your Computer for Dual Monitors.

I will assume you are running Microsoft Powerpoint today. I may write an update for later, but for now I'll use powerpoint.

With your computer connected to the monitor/projector cable, and on and running, Look at the Function ("F") Keys above your number pad. Usually they will have some sort of "other" symbol besides their F number. What we want is the one to give some power to that monitor on your right.

On my Acer, you hold down the Fn key (next to control on the left side) and press F5. This brings up a little menu. Keep holding down Fn, and press F5 again. This will set your computer a'talkin to the other monitor. (Look at the pics for a better explanation.)

Take a quick break, cause now we have to set up the "Extended Windows Desktop!...."

Ooooooo. Scary!

Step 4: How to Extend Your Destop Over TWO! Monitors...

Notice that what you have on your laptop and what is on the monitor are the same. This is great, if you want everyone to see what you are doing. Now, if you want it to look nice while you work, you have to use that extra monitor as extra space. Here's how you do it.

Minimize any programs you have open. (Why do you have programs open? I never told you to open anything... Bah.)
Right Click on a blank part of your desktop and choose "properties".
Click the "Settings" Tab.
Highlight the right square (with the 2 on it). This represents your secondary monitor.
Check the box that says "Extend my Windows Desktop onto this monitor"
Click Apply.

Congrats! You did it! Move your mouse outta your screen and right onto the extra monitor!

Take a break... Get a drink, then come back and we'll talk about that monster on your right, the "soundboard."

Step 5: Open Your Powerpoint.

Open your show... Run it. Powerpoint should automatically put it on the right screen. If not, check the help under "dual monitors" or "multiple monitors" to make sure it works...

Turn on the projector. Hold the Power button for a couple of seconds... You should hear the fan kick in.

Adjust the settings... Hit menu->settings and turn the contrast and brightness up to about 85-90 so everyone can see the screen.

Also, turn off your screen saver, or the projector resets its settings.. I hate it when I forget that.

Now don't turn off your computer, we have to come back later and set it up to record this weeks podcast.

Step 6: Set Up the Sound Board.

This is really easy once you see it.

Here is a list of the used channels and where they should be:
1 - Wireless Mic - about 5/6 of the way up
2 - Kevin's Mic - same as wireless
3&4 - The girls Mic's (I don't know which is which, it doesn't really matter.) - slightly less than Kevin

Skip 5-9

10 - Kevin's guitar - Same as Kevin's Mic
11 - Keyboard - Slightly less than the guitar
13/14 - Sound from laptop (we're getting there) - Adjust based upon what is coming out of the computer.
15/16 - Usually sound from CD player - Same as laptop sound... adjust as needed.

The far Right sliders are the master volume... if it's too loud or soft in general, move these. Up is louder, down is softer.

Don't worry about all those knobs. I can teach you about those later.

The other soundboard power the Monitor Speakers (the ones on stage). Unless the master and #'s 9/10 & 11/12 are all the way down, don't mess with it. If they are, move them up about 3/4 of the way.

Make sure the needed sliders are unmuted. (look at pic 2)

To make sound from your computer go through the speakers (like for a movie or video):
make sure the red and white connectors are in 13/14 at the top (pic 4) and connect the other end into the headphone out on your computer (pic 5).

Now, on to recording the speaker....

Step 7: How to Record...

Great job! You're through the music and the speaker is getting set... Now, you need to do some wire moving (just a little, it's not too bad.)

First, move the stereo cables from 13/14 to Rec Out (see the photo).

Then move the other end from your headphone jack to your microphone jack.

Thats really it... All the technical stuff is done. Now for some software magic...

Attached is a Open Source program called "Audacity" and a lameMp3 driver... download these to your computer then install Audacity. Unzip the .dll into the folder you installed Audacity in. We'll use this in a minute.

Go ahead and open up audacity. It should look like pic 2. We need to make a couple of adjustment to the setting so our file fits the podcast site.

Open Edit -> Preferences.
Here is where we need that .dll file... click the "File Formats" tab. Then click Find Library. Find that LAME mp3.dll file and select ok (or open.. I forget which.) Now, set the bit rate to 64, and open the Quality Tab.

Here make sure your settings are the same as the pic, then click Ok... You're all set to record now!

To record, make sure your input is set to microphone, set the level to .1, then hit record to start, pause to pause if you need to, and stop when it's all done.

Step 8: Export the Mp3!

Its all done! Yay! Now, just get it to mp3 format and send it to me for posting when I get back.

Click File->Export as Mp3

Name the file... I usually go with Title - Speaker - Date.mp3 Click save.

Fill in the info again. Title = Title, Artist = Speaker, Album = HoJ, no track number, year = this year, genre = Gospel

Click ok, then you're done... Either email it to me at heartofjunction [at] or save it on a flash drive or CD and give it to me when I get back.

Hope this helped! Thanks!

And be sure to check us out online! Podcasts are located at, or search for Heart of Junction on iTunes! Keep it real!



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    8 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    ooo after seeing this i might make a lil' instructable on using a sound desk :P should i?...


    12 years ago

    I had to learn all the super basic stuff the hard way, by playing with the sound board... Most manuals expect you to know things like "Each slider runs one channel" and "Unless you have a good reason, don't play with the knobby things." Maybe my next Instructable will be "Sound Board operations for those who know nothing about sound board operating."... or something with an equally long title.

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Those who know nothing about sound board operating should be kept as far as possible from the board. No sound company wants to replace many
    thousand in speakers/amps. It's supposed to be hard. That's why they call us 'engineers'. Leave it for the pros!
    (or let 'em 'play' with the light board ;)


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    That's not the hard way, it's the fun way. :) I have one complaint about Lame (though I still use it). Exporting to mp3 from a 70+minute recording takes too long, about 30 minutes or so, while Cool Edit takes only a few minutes. Does anyone know of a faster mp3 encoder that Audacity can use? Or a fast wav-mp3 converter?


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I think your lesson is vary helpful. I just bought a 26 channel mixer at the pawn shop to help my kids start a band. And picked up books on it (even a for dummy's book no help)and reading all of them made my feel dumb.Don't let people criticize you,for guys like me it is very helpful. Thank you.


    12 years ago

    I have been doing this stuff for about 3 years, adn i started in the 7th grade =) Yea i had tutors, your soundboard is beast small though. i used one 3x that size. Have you used intelligent lights or a light board?


    12 years ago

    also, if any of this is your bag, I highly suggest picking up a copy of the Yama Sound Reinforcement Handbook (or "Bible" as it's called in pro sound). It'll usually run about $20-30, and you can always get it in a package deal at amazon.


    12 years ago

    This actually kinda helps a bit. In a week, I'll be starting my senior year in HS. My first period class is a multimedia class where I'll help run the school's announcements (video and audio). I've worked in the tech lab for the past two years extensively, but to be frank, I tried to stay away from the audio equipment and stick to the back with my computers. Now I understand why that switchboard is so big - different lines! d'oh.