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Worship Install From the Ground Up, Part 1

Feb 11, 2014 2:01 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.

In Fairmont, W. Va., the South Ridge Church was ready to install sound, video, and lighting systems in the new sanctuary and they wanted to do it just right from the ground up. Local AV expert Kevin Kuhn volunteered to help them and he teamed up with Northern Sound and Light to put in the gear. That’s all next on the SVC Podcast. SVC: Kevin, thanks for joining us on the SVC Podcast from what I think could be generally described as the Pittsburg area so tell us what you do in that part of the country, AV-wise.

Hi, Bennett. Good to be with you and I’m just below Pittsburgh, down in W. Va., here in Morgantown. And this last project I’ve been working with a church down in Fairmont, which is a little bit further south than me. They had asked me to kind of help them spec out some new gear for a building project they were in, and that’s kind of what got us started on what turned out to be a several-year-long project getting them up and running with a new building and all that that entails. [Timestamp: 1:28]

A new building for the South Ridge Church I think it was, and you teamed up with Northern Sound and Light for that project. I guess they provided a lot of the gear for that?

That’s correct. I’ve worked with Northern Sound for quite a few years on various projects, running sound for local bands, putting small PAs together for miscellaneous venues and whatnot, and I’ve used them in the past personally for a lot of my own gear and studio stuff that I do. I always had good service and no complaints with them. [Timestamp: 2:00]

Yeah, I noticed on their web site they have a lot of AV equipment and theatrical stuff so I would think that they had pretty much what you needed. So the people at South Ridge Church called you in. What kind of an outfit is South Ridge Church? What sort of a worship style or services do they have? I guess it does involve some live music at least.

Yeah. South Ridge Church is a church plant from Chestnut Ridge and similar worship style; so basically the non-denominational Christian Church. Basically contemporary or kind of today’s Christian music worship: full, live band, multiple vocalists, the occasional theatrical skit or something of that nature. So they’ve kind of got a well-rounded group; guitarists, electric guitarists, acoustics, drums, full keyboard, bass – the usual suspects. [Timestamp: 2:52]

And that’s a lot going on for some churches with mainly volunteer tech staff, limited budgets, and a lot of high-energy music. It’s a great draw, especially for the younger crowd, but the technical elements don’t always come together. What was their situation up until you helped get them going with the new setup?

Sure. So prior to this recent installation they were leasing space out of a community building in the area, so they had worked out a really good arrangement. The community building had actually been a former church as well, but it was kind of an octagonal room with wood ceiling and wood pews and a lot of hard surfaces. So it was a little bit of a challenge for them. They had, I believe, a couple of EV powered boxes up in the ceiling that was giving them basic PA capability, but that was about it. So when they wanted to move into the new building, so they literally started from scratch, you know, constructed a building on property. They kind of wanted to emphasize, or at least put a lot of attention to detail into creating an auditorium or worship environment that was easier on the volunteers and musicians, and then also provided them with kind of the next level of sound capabilities. That was kind of their goal moving into the new space. [Timestamp: 4:15]

Not always an easy transition to make. Who teamed up with you and NSL on this project? I think Acoustic Dimensions was in on it and Paradigm Acoustical Design, so this was a pretty big team effort.

Absolutely. I definitely played a small role in the big picture of everything that was going on. So the architectural firm was Paradigm Architects and a gentleman named Todd Christopher was the lead architect on this project. I got to know him and worked closely with him over the better part of a year and a half or so. It was great to be right in on the beginning of the project and would be my recommendation for any other organization that is contemplating some form of building project of this scale to get a consultant or audio/video contractor in from the get go so that they have input not only into what wires go where, but some form of acoustician or acoustic design as well would be key right at the beginning so that they’re not fighting remotes and other issues that just installing a PA won’t take care of. [Timestamp: 5:25]



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