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A Quick Worship Audio Set Up and Break Down, Part 2

Oct 16, 2013 2:59 PM, With Bennett Liles

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When the huge Bible study group Breakaway Ministries holds an event they use Reed Arena or the Texas A&M football stadium, Kyle Field. With a full band, the group calls in Puresound from Houston to set up a JBL VerTec sound system in only an hour. Wes Mathew from Puresound is here with the story on how they do it, coming right up on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: Wes, thanks for being back for part two on the SVC Podcast, from Puresound in Houston. You’ve got a task of setting up sound for a live band and a system to cover several thousand participants of Breakaway Ministries sometimes in Reed Arena, a basketball venue, and other times in the Kyle Field football stadium. You’ve got to have the whole thing set up in an hour. When it’s over, you and your crew have another hour to get it all out of there. You’re using the JBL VerTec line arrays. Now are there any special modifications that you’ve done to the gear to speed things up on getting it in and out of these places?

Wes Mathew: Not really any modifications. With these open fields and open arenas, we definitely have a problem with the low end, and so we experiment with the subs quite frequently. Sometimes we try to couple them all in the center and just have a huge, massive sub and sometimes I try to experiment where I do a left-right configuration with the sub, and that is sort of working out right now. We definitely need a lot more sub for this kind of big, open space because all the subs are omni-directional. You know, I lose a lot of it going to nowhere, you know, behind the band and everything. We’ve tried several experiments with trying to make a cardioid pattern of the subs using delay and some modifications on the BSS. Right now we’re still in the experimental stage on the subs, but yes, as far as that is concerned on modification, I think subs would be the definite change up every week. [Timestamp: 2:11]

What are the sound sources you’re dealing with? You mentioned a full band and then you have individual speeches or inspirational messages?

That’s correct, yeah. The band is definitely a full band. We have drums, bass, electric, acoustic, keys, vocals, loops, and so that’s an intense band. We do definitely have hired professional bands all the time—great-sounding people—and then definitely a speaker that gives the message for the night. And we do rolling videos and sometimes they bring in panels for live interviews and everything. We use DPA face mics. We have Shure wireless units that we use, the URs, which are definitely the best for our occasion. And then our antennas are RF Venue antennas. We definitely use this paddle with a combination of a whip paddle, it’s a new invention by RF Venue, maybe you know, for a few years now that we used. [Timestamp: 3:07]

And you’re just running 50Ω coax back to the receivers in a rack somewhere.

Yes. We have a monitor person right next to the stage and so we try to keep most of the wireless there at all times, and so they’re close. We’re probably, you know, 20ft.-30ft. away from all the microphones. And so that’s not far at all, but I always love full RF just to make sure I’m 100 percent bulletproof on any dropouts or RF interruption. [Timestamp: 3:30]

And in part one we were talking about this, but you’re using the JBL VerTec line arrays.

Yes, we have the JBL line arrays and he sets up right behind it, but there are no issues for that. But the line arrays have been the greatest increase in quality for us with clarity, intelligibility of the vocals, the fullness of the band, and just the way we can set it up. We can set it up as individual units versus groups of the stacks, and we can fly it. And so occasionally, when we have more people on the ground, we’ll rent an array truss tower. You know, we can fly the speakers and just the versatility, I think, has been the best thing; and the ease of it, the use, the putting it together. The fact that we can train volunteers is amazing, and I think all non-profits mostly are run by volunteers, and to have that ease of use and, you know, not have a higher learning curve on it, I think, is amazing. [Timestamp: 4:27]

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