Worship: A Tailored AV Bid for New Construction, Part 2:
Jan 20, 2011 2:12 PM, with Bennett Liles
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Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mankato, Minnesota had to build a whole new sanctuary to house it’s expanding congregation and Josh Jagdfeld of Intermedia Systems Group is here to give us the details on how the company put in a new audio and video system for the church. That’s coming right up on the SVC podcast.
Josh thanks for being back with me for Part Two and we were talking about the new sanctuary they have at the Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mankato, Minnesota. Tremendous system and 800 people I believe we were talking about can be in there plus I think another couple of hundred in the narthex. And we talked mostly about the audio last time and you’ve got a lot of volunteers running this thing. Did Intermedia Systems Group provide any training for the tech volunteers and if so does digital console help with that?
Absolutely, Intermedia Systems Group really focuses on making sure that the system that we’ve designed using the feedback of the church during the design element then can be translated into really effective and positive training sessions for all the volunteers who may not have been necessarily part of the design but are definitely part of the crew that is going to support the ministry or the programs that are happening in these churches. So what we attempt to do is schedule multiple training sessions, one immediately when the system is completed so that the volunteer crew’s up and running and ready to go for their first beneficial use and then the next training sessions are laid out a little bit so that they have some time to get their feet wet, come up with some questions and really get handle on the whole wiring scheme, the whole thought behind this system so that the next we sit down it’s beyond the basics and a little bit more into the specifics of the system. [Timestamp: 2:12]
Yeah that’s always a challenge. You’ve got lots of technology in there but minimum experience on the part of most of the operators and it’s a trick to make it go smoothly with people who may be there one week and not be there the next week. You were talking about wireless microphones, do the pastor’s there use any head worn mics?
Yeah they do actually. All the pastors in the church are using headset style microphones—a few different styles of headsets but they’re all wearing headsets. They’ve even got headsets for guest like preachers and then all of those wireless systems then get routed through an antenna distribution system which is housed up in the FOH area. [Timestamp: 2:52]
Well that’s going to spoil your audio people. They love pastors who wear head-worn mics. It makes things go so much easier.
Yeah the fidelity is definitely vastly superior to lavaliere style microphones or other microphone configurations like boundary mics, etc. [Timestamp: 3:07]
Yeah, especially for some of these churches now taking a little bit of a different approach when they top out in one place and they set up these satellite campuses and broadcast either live or taped to those. That’s where the headset mics really come into play in not having it sound so reverberant at the receiving location. You were talking about the mic antennas and how they were arranged. Have you had any RF issues there? I mean how difficult was it to coordinate the mic frequencies?
Well thankfully down in the Mankato area it’s not a very, very busy overly active RF environment—not like some of the major metropolitan areas around the country. They do have, obviously, some digital television stuff going on but the location of the church plus the distance away from the largest city in the state, Minneapolis, gave us some flexibility so we did end up integrating Audio-Technica 4000 series wireless microphones and all of the antenna distribution is then routed through the Audio-Technica DA49 antenna distribution system with a pair of the log periodic dipole directional antennas. [Timestamp: 4:16]
And where have you got those mic antennas located—somewhere near the stage?
The antennas are actually up nice and high in the room and they are spread apart by quite a ways probably on thirds in the back wall of the sanctuary and directionally towards the front and the middle of the sanctuary. [Timestamp: 4:34]
How trouble-free has that been? Have you had to make any tweaks to it as you were setting up or after the first couple of services?
It’s been rock solid. We used Audio-Technicas really great frequency selection tool to make sure that in the area by zip code that we were operating on known good channels and it’s been just awesome. [Timestamp: 4:52]
Now how do they do the stage monitoring at Hosanna Lutheran? Have they got in-ear monitors or do they use floor wedges?
They’re actually using a mix so there are six Aviom A-16/2 personal mixers for the music group and they’re using varied amounts of in-ear monitors that they’ve plugged directly into the mixers. A few of them have actually got hot spot style small wedges and I would say it’s about a half and half configuration. [Timestamp: 5:2]
Yeah I love the hot spots. I’ve used those for all kinds of things. You can just sling them around all over the place and they seem to live forever.
So let’s talk about the projection a little bit. It seems like you have a double stack system at the church. Is that what you’re working with there?
That’s correct. The double stack idea was really a multi-pronged decision. The church was looking to not break the bank on the projection system so we had to really be creative about how we were going to meet their needs and still come up with a good solution. A couple of the things that they had mentioned during the design process that were going to be really important to them was nice vivid imagery for the projection system—obviously something that would be assumed. Second though was redundancy because the way that the projectors are mounted and where they’re located is not quite as easy as their old sanctuary space where they could get to projectors with either a short step ladder or a tall chair to do any maintenance and filter cleaning, etc. Another thing that they were interested in was being able to possibly use the projector as one by one and if one malfunctioned then switch to the other without having to have any down time. [Timestamp: 6:30]
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