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Audio Analysts Upgrade AV at Parkway Christian Church, Part 1

Feb 2, 2011 2:30 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 Parkway Christian Church in Surprise, Arizona in Surprise, Arizona recently added new buildings and needed top grade sound and lighting so they called in Audio Analysts of Colorado Springs. Preston Smits is going to give us the details of how they pulled off the complete performing systems upgrade with Vaddio cameras and a FOR-A switcher coming up next on the SVC podcast. Preston thanks for being here for the SVC podcast from Audio Analysts in Colorado Springs. Audio Analysts, a big name in AV integration and more. What all does the company do now?
Sure, well we’ve been around since 1968 doing sound reinforcement for tours. We started off in Montreal and L.A. and then moved to New York and eventually settled down here in Colorado Springs, Colorado. And in about the mid 90’s the company evolved a second branch of the business doing commercial installations for performance venues and churches and over time the commercial division has developed strong skills in performance video and lighting to supplement our original audio focus. We have a third division that is our fabrication shop and both the touring and install divisions benefit from the ability custom fabricate equipment and hardware for specific needs on the job. [Timestamp: 1:35]

OK and of interest here is the Parkway Christian Church in Surprise, Arizona where you put in a FOR-A switcher and some Vaddio cameras. How did Audio Analysts get into this project?
Well that’s actually one of the most interesting parts of the project. We came on board a little late in the game as the original contractor was apparently not performing adequately for the rest of the contractors. The general had some problems in the church and so the church ended up moving on, looking for someone else and they got in touch with us after the tech director had done a tour of our installation at Lakewood Church in Houston and liked what he saw there and ended up giving us a call. [Timestamp: 2:17]

OK so you did Lakewood Church, I’ve talked to the people down there a few times and that’s a really big outfit.
Yeah that was a really interesting job. [Timestamp: 2:24]

What kind of church is Parkway Christian? What kind of worship style do they have there and what was their goal for this upgrade project?
It’s a fairly contemporary church. The worship there is energetic. It’s got a

comfortable atmosphere. The building style is fairly modern, a little bit of an industrial look to it. It’s a neat place. The church was building a couple of new facilities on the campus and needed a audio and video as well as lighting systems for each of these as well as a video production room for providing Telepresence, services and distribution to the LCD monitors around the campus and such. [Timestamp: 3:02]

Now does that church broadcast or stream its video of services or any other kind of events they may be doing?
They don’t currently stream over the internet yet although that is something I have been talking to their tech director a little bit about but they do provide broadcast to other sanctuaries within the campus. [Timestamp: 3:2]

OK, I understand they have a 360 Systems video server there. Where do they have that?
Yes, it’s the Maxx 1200HD and it’s currently in the video production room and they use that for a variety of different items partly for playback of material during services for different venues. It’s linked to a couple of the different venues so they can control it despite its central location and then it also records the Telepresence sermons for either immediate playback, like a DVR system, or it can be used for playback later in the day. [Timestamp: 3:52]

And I would think they have lots of other things going on that keep them busy between Sunday services.
Absolutely, yes— it’s a fairly active church and at the time we were there we saw people there throughout the day every day. [Timestamp: 4:04]

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In this edition, SVC contributing editor Bennett Liles completes his chat with Preston Smits of Audio Analysts about the sound and lighting upgrade done by the company for the Parkway Christian Church in Surprise, Arizona....

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And how’s the audio picked up for that? Have they got separate mixing for video or do they just take a feed off of the FOH mixer for that?
To some extent they do, as of now the audio feed receives a direct line from FOH up to a mixer within the video production room where they can add in their own sources and then they send back down audio from video to FOH from there from that mixer. [Timestamp: 4:28]

Obviously there’s zillions of different ways churches can do that. So I understand they had a FOR-A HVS-300HS video switcher, those seem to be popular with churches especially small ones. Why did you decide to go with that one for the installation?
Well I can understand them being popular. I like them a fair amount as well. FOR-A makes, from what I see, high quality and reliable equipment and the HVS 300HS was the unit we used and was able to pack so much punch and at a very reasonable price point. The extra BUS’s and scaling in addition to the program preview and multi-viewer outputs made it possible for us to do all of our switching needs within the sanctuary plus feed the video server plus all the distribution devices throughout the campuses. [Timestamp: 5:13]

And they do a lot of projection in there. Is that primarily for IMAG and so forth?
Yeah, they do a lot of IMAG as well as content on…they also use projection to set room moods along with lighting. The main screen in there is a 22ft. wide 16x9 screen that serves as a backdrop for the stage and it can be used, again, for either a background image for the camera shots or for mood setting or you can also use it to show content as well using picture-in-picture or DSK and keys from the switcher. Then you have two large side screens providing IMAG at some points during the service sometimes it’s content and again, mood-based material can be on those screens as well and then they have a third screen on the rear side of the sanctuary that anyone on stage can use as a fall back and emergency information showing the clock—anything that the people on the stage might want to see. [Timestamp: 6:16]

Well it sounds like they’ve got a lot of projection things going on in there.
Yeah, absolutely.



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