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Allen & Heath iLive MixPad for Worship, Part 1

Feb 2, 2012 12:13 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.

The First Baptist Church of Altamonte Springs Florida had a patchwork of audio gear connected by various people at different times and not really doing the job for them. The church called Entertainment Arts to upgrade the whole system and John Williams is going to tell us what they did with an iLive mixing system and iPads for the whole band, coming right up on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: John Williams from Entertainment Arts, thanks for being with us on the SVC Podcast. And we’re talking about the First Baptist Church of Altamonte Springs, Florida and a big audio upgrade you did for them but first, tell me about Entertainment Arts.

Well, Entertainment Arts is a fairly small install design firm here in Orlando. We’ve been here for about 20 years, and we’re centrally located right in Orlando, but we work all over the state and, frankly, actually all over the country. We do a little bit of jobs here and there, but we work mostly for HOW. In fact, about 95 [percent] to 98 percent of our business is for houses of worship, and then we do some small restaurants and things like that. [Timestamp: 1:25]

Well, when you specialize in churches, you get to know people in that area and you certainly become familiar with the production requirements of houses of worship. What sort of church is the First Baptist Church of Altamonte Springs and what kind of worship style do they have?

Well, First Baptist Church of Altamonte Springs is a very mixed and diverse group of people, which is great. They are a Southern Baptist Convention Church, but definitely not your typical Southern Baptist Convention. Average congregation age, I think, is 40 below. It’s a younger group, but they do [have] some older congregation. But their focus is to impact children and their families in the greater Altamonte area, but their worship style is very much like more contemporary modern. Not traditional at all. In fact, there’s no piano and no organ, so when you think of most Baptist churches, you think of the traditional choir and things like [that], but this [is] not the direction that First Baptist Church of Altamonte Springs had gone in. So they play more of a modern-type worship. More Hill Song, Free Chapel, Israel Hooten—that’s their worship style. [Timestamp: 2:33]

Yeah, it sounds more challenging on the technical side because you’re dealing with more instruments and more vocals and a lot of live music. So when they called you in, what exactly did they want Entertainment Arts to do for them?

Well, the big deal with the church when we first got involved with them, their system was in a pretty bad state. They had been through many patches and fixes. They came out of being a portable church for a little while and moved into their facility and just implemented all of their portable gear into the facility without really truly installing it, and it was mostly done by the church members and things to make it happen in a short amount of time with no money. But those problems started to creep up when they started having speakers blow because of not having the correct amplifiers and wiring shorting out, and there’s time when the pastor would step on the stage to preach and there would be loud popping noises through the audio system because of bad wiring—just because of inexperience, really of trying to install the system themselves without professionals doing it. So when Entertainment Arts came in, the initial goal was really just to try to fix the system to the point of functionality. They had a SoundCraft 40-channel spirit board and a mixture of two SC amps and some EEW speakers. And Entertainment Arts, what they came in and did initially was just rewire the entire system, went through and made sure all the connections were good, repaired the speakers, made sure the sound board was fairly functional, and then attempted to tune the system with a system processor just to get it functional because, at the time, the church didn’t have a lot of funds to put into the audio system.

After they had made those changes, it allowed the church to start moving forward and recruiting more musicians because before the capability of the system was very limited so they couldn’t recruit a lot of musicians and they could do a lot more stuff in their live worship because they were really restricted on what they could do with their system being that in the state that it was in. So after they had everything repaired, most of the equipment they had was fairly old, so things began to breakdown and the preamps began to die on channels and things like that and they really had a hard time keeping the sound board sounding the same on a week by week basis because the room that they’re in is a multipurpose room, so it gets used for everything in the church. It gets used for youth, and it gets used for children’s ministry, and it gets used for Sunday morning. So the problem they were having was with their analog board is a bunch of different volunteers running it so settings would change very often. And they came to Entertainment Arts, and they knew they wanted to upgrade and they knew they wanted to go to a digital soundboard. So that’s when we chose the Allen & Heath iLive T112 for them. [Timestamp: 5:23]

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