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Preserving Acoustics and Design in a Historic Church, Part 2

Jun 20, 2013 12:05 PM, With Bennett Liles

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Editor’s note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.

When a modern sound system meets a traditional church, some skill is needed to make sure it’s a happy marriage, and Ohio’s Stage Right Productions made it work for St. Augustine’s Church. Steve Merrill is back to wrap up his story about how new mics and Community speakers made it work there, next up on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: Steve, thanks for being back with us for part two on the SVC Podcast, from Stage Right Productions and some challenges for speech intelligibility at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church. In part one we talked about the speaker system, the Community 200 Series speakers, you put in there. I think you also provided a wireless mic system. What was that, Audio-Technica?

Yeah, actually there was a current system in place, a 200 series that some member of the church had gotten for them. It was upgraded to the Audio-Technica BP892 TH, the head-worn mic. And again, the priests really, really liked that. They’d been demoing some different ones out and trying different ones, and this one allowed the board to run more flat. And so using, again, the current system stuff that was in place, we just added to [it] just a little bit better product on the other end to help that speech and intelligibility. [Timestamp: 1:40]

Yeah, that’s always great when you can get the priests to use head-worn mics. With some of them there’s a little push back on that. They don’t want to look like air traffic controllers or anything, but the gain before feedback you get really makes the effort to convince them worth it.

Oh yeah, yeah. The Father was very open to that. Like I said, we’d been trying some stuff and they just, you know, the product itself lent itself [to this application]. You know, other products, we were making too many changes on the board and sounds great. Like I said, you know, they’re right there on the spot like we got with the dual ear, and it sets over both ears and locks down and it just doesn’t move during mass. [Timestamp: 2:18]

I should have pointed out in the beginning, you’re coming to us from a very windy Ohio. The wind in the background sounds a little spooky. You mentioned before that you actually saved the church a good bit on this by using a lot of the existing gear that was in there.

Yeah. There was currently a system in place. They had a 70V system in play that we ended up using to tie onto, which were the Entasys lends itself is usually incremented in 8Ω; and 8Ω load or some of them come in a 16Ω load. Or you can tap it over; they’ve got the taps on there and you can run it 70V. So it lent itself to the current system so we were able to tap onto that and use some of the other church’s things in place. Again, the money thing. Some churches just have a budget and we have to try to stay within that, so in place of putting in a new amp for the main house system, we did use a 70V system there and some other mix boards and stuff that were already previously purchased by the church before we actually came in to help out. [Timestamp: 3:16]

Well, sometimes that’s where the real creativity comes in, when you have to blend a new system in with the existing gear. What features did the Ashly amps have that made them right for this particular project?

We used the Ashly KLR-3200 amp in their KLR Series, but on the back of the KLR Series, there are actually dip switches. There are switches on the back, filters, and you can roll off low end at two different points. And there’s also input sensitivity things on the back. So it lent itself; we were able to take it off the bottom end, which really rolls through the church. It just gets out of control quick. So the amp offered yet another aspect of keeping some of those lower-toned frequencies from getting out of control with the amp. So we maintained that and then we took everything else off the processor. [Timestamp: 4:05]

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