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Electrosonic Brings it All Together for Northland Church

Oct 18, 2007 8:00 AM


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Electrosonic Systems was the AV designer and integrator for the new sanctuary at Northland, A Church Distributed in Longwood, Fla., as it moved from a converted skating rink seating about 1,200 parishioners to a purpose-built sanctuary seating 3,000 and boasting classrooms for adults and children, a day-care center, cafe, bookstore, and offices. Platt Design Group in Sierra Madre, Calif. performed concept consulting design. A nondenominational distributed church, Northland streams its services online and coordinates with services held at other locations in Florida and across the globe.

Electrosonic project manager Tim Wilson says, “[The AV integration of the 160,000-square-foot facility was] a mammoth audiovisual integration job. In addition to the new equipment we provided, Northland brought half as much gear from their former location. With so many components, the level of complexity in bringing it all together was quite a challenge.”

According to Wilson, Electrosonic is well-known for ensuring that new and existing equipment plays well together. “It’s one of the things we do best. [In addition, we had] to integrate all the equipment while Northland maintained services at its old location,” he says. “Sometimes they brought us existing gear to test during the week then took it back to continue their services.”

As he says, “[Northland’s primary edict was] to make the new sanctuary’s audio the best it could be. Parishioners and visitors usually pick up on the impressive video systems first, but if the services sound bad that has more impact than most people realize.”

To that end, Electrosonic claims the first installation anywhere of Meyer Sound’s new Constellation electro-acoustical architecture. Constellation is a turnkey system centered on the company’s VRAS (Variable Room Acoustical System) technology that gives venues the flexibility to alter their acoustics instantly and meet the needs of multiple usages.

Comprising Constellation are 32 UPM-1P, 12 UPJ-1P, and 26 MM-4 loudspeakers and a pair of Galileo processing units. In the front of the sanctuary 18 Meyer Sound Milo loudspeaker clusters, six M3D subwoofers, two CQ-1, and two CQ-2 loudspeakers deliver the sound. RMS monitoring facilitates communications among the loudspeakers.

Meyer Sound microphones are deployed in the sanctuary, 10 channels of Sennheiser 5000 series wireless microphones, and 16 channels of Sennheiser EW300IEM systems are used on the stage and for performers.

A large broadcast control area is situated stage right in the corner of the new building. The front of house lighting and audio mixing station is in the back of the sanctuary, much like it would be in a theater.

Broadcast control is outfitted with a Euphonix Max Air 106-channel audio console, an 80-input Digidesign Pro Tools HD3 Accel system, Meyer Sound HD-1 monitors, and an NVision 416x384 audio/video router. The back area features a Yamaha PM1-D audio board with 128 digital in/out, 64 analog out, and another Euphonix Max Air 106-channel system. Effects for musical instruments are achieved with Lexicon 960L with two Lark controllers.

A 75ft. wide rear-projection screen located at the back of the stage displays ambient and scenic images as well as song lyrics. It’s flanked by two drop-down screens at mid-stage that often display live-camera IMAG feeds of the services.Electrosonic provided six Christie DS+ 8K projectors, four for the rear-projection screen, and two for the drop-down screens. A Barco Folsom HD video control board handles big-screen sources, including Ikegami HD cameras, DVD players, and computers, which generate text for lyrics.

Northland is linked by fiber-optic cable to other offsite locations where services may also be held or where musicians and singers may be performing remotely. Six RME ADI-648 digital snakes and two RME MADI bridges enable connection to these offsite venues. A Peavey Media Matrix Neon system permits audio distribution within the new Northland plant.

AMX touchscreen panels have been installed in Northland’s classrooms to control the volume of audio from the sanctuary or from background music sources; combo TV/VCR/DVD units offer video live from the sanctuary or from other sources.

WOW!Works in Clermont, Fla., and its CEO Bettina Buckley supervised and managed the vendors and general contractor for Northland during the project. Sean Borowski is Northland’s senior video producer/worship and Marty Taylor the creative media director.

“Electrosonic did more than just support us in design and integration of this project,” Buckley says. “They really worked with us as a partner from the beginning. Northland is very visionary in their thinking, and it was a huge asset to have Electrosonic there to grasp and execute that vision.”

At Electrosonic, Jane Hall lead the design team and Carl Hartzler was the project engineer throughout the project.



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