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Emergency Audio for Worship, Part 2

Jun 25, 2013 10:43 AM, 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.

St. Lucy Parish, a church with both traditional and more contemporary services in an unusual layout. Its old sound system suddenly collapsed and they called for help from Zamar Media Solutions with a completely new sound setup. Mike Dow is back to take us into the front end of the new sound system there, coming right up on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: Mike Dow, back with us for part two here on the SVC Podcast with the St. Lucy Parish sound system upgrade. Not your average church sound installation. This one has lots of different kinds of services and a sort of in-the-round staging area. The last time we talked about the architecture and the speaker layout, but this time I wanted to get more into the front end of the system with the mics. I think part of that was your addition of some new Shure ULXD digital wireless mics . Why did you decide to go with those?

Mike Dow: Well as most metropolitan areas are subject to, there’s a lot of stray signals running around, especially living in Silicon Valley, which this church is right in the heart of it. So we’re trying to make as best as possible [to make] any new wireless purchases future-proof, and we believe the digital gave us the best choice of packing as many wireless into one space as possible so that they won’t be too much confusion with the extra stuff coming in. There are churches around them, within a block or two, which we also were concerned about, so the ULXD’s performed very well. We also went with the rechargeable battery system for them. We also installed some remote antennas to give them some rejection capability from outside signals, so they perform very, very well. And we’re also using the Dante bus, which has been quite interesting, to move stuff around. [Timestamp: 2:15]

Yeah, we talked a little about that last time. Another good thing about the Shure wireless gear is the support you get with that. They have no end of expertise in wireless mics that you can tap into whenever you need it.

Absolutely. We get great support from the factory as well as the local rep.

And you also went with some new hard-wired mics. You chose the Audix MG15 podium microphones?

Yes we did. We like those a lot. We believe them to have superior sound at an incredible price point, and they’re performing really, really well along with the Optogate mic mutes that we added. We also installed an RDL product called their mic compressor, which provides an interesting phenomenon where they compress at the microphone level, which is a very different deal than at the line level inside the mixer. What that’s does is the combination of those three products have given us the ability for virtually anyone at any height, any volume of their voice, any tone, to walk up to one of these microphones and be heard clearly everywhere in the room. So that combination has been kind of a little magic bullet for the typical podium that gets used by lay people who come up and are afraid to talk, afraid to stand up to the microphone. All of those things have been improved greatly by the implementation. [Timestamp: 3:33]

Lots of different speaking styles at this church, so you have to have something on the podium that works for just about anything, and I think you used the Audix condensers for the choir, right?

Yes. We’re very fond of those. They provide amazing gain before feedback, and tonal quality that matches microphones three to four times the cost. So they’ve been very happy with those. One of the things that as the groups who were testing the system during the commissioning and allowing us to preprogram their band mixer for them, walked around the room just listening to what they were hearing and they were like, “We’ve never heard the choir before.” And it was a combination of the microphones as well as the speaker implementation. [Timestamp: 4:13]

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