Upgrading Improperly Installed Audio at St. Nicholas, Part 2
Nov 2, 2011 2:59 PM, with Bennett Liles
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A highly reverberant church sanctuary, an antiquated sound system, and unintelligible sound—that was the story at St. Nicholas Church in Tarpon Springs, Fla. but Christian Sound Installations came to the rescue and now, every word is heard and understood. Paul Garner from CSI will wrap up his talk about how they fixed it; coming up next on the SVC Podcast.
Hi Paul, thanks for getting back with me for Part 2 on the new sound system done by Christian Sound Installations at the St. Nicholas Church in Tarpon Springs, Fla. This was a very formidable situation with acoustics and you didn’t have any of the old sound system that you were going to use because of a pretty primitive existing system they had there. One thing we didn’t talk about in Part 1 was the crew situation. What sort of a tech crew do they have at St. Nicholas Church?
Well this church doesn’t actually have any but if you ask Father Michaels, he said—quoting him: “Everybody’s a sound tech at their church.” So that’s one of the reasons why we chose to go to an auto-type mixer in this installation. [Timestamp: 1:3]
Well, that sounds fairly dangerous and they’re saying that everybody’s the tech guy that sounds like it was pretty open access for a lot of home-styled sound folks.
We have actually mounted the Protiva 8800 in a wall-mounted rack in the back in Father Michaels' office which is to the back of the church, approximately 50-60ft. away from the main PA, and that’s where everything is located is in his office. But their having that Ashly Protiva and being able to control it through a computer and not have the typical sliders and knobs that you would find on a normal mixer that anyone can walk back in there because even with a lockable rack it just seemed like they would just find the key before. And with using the Protiva ne8800 basically solved that problem where we don’t have to worry about anybody coming back and making adjustments unless they’re authorized to. [Timestamp: 2:32]
I would think that most of them would take a look at that and not even know what it was but when you’ve got an open mixer back there, everybody becomes an expert of the moment.
What’s the microphone situation in the church? Do they use a lot of mics? I think you said in part one that it’s a fairly traditional service they have there.
It is, but for the microphones there’s several different units that they are using. We re-purposed four Sennheiser units with wireless patch and outfitted them with new Galaxy tool gear headsets to get the microphone up off of their chest as they are using lapels and actually get that headset on there, so you get a much better thought-out quality sound. And then we switched the choir over from what they were using to the new Audix 5050 MicroBoom switch. I’ve used several situations on choirs and they do exceptionally good job. This church also has chanters, which are a type of choir. They basically do the chanting of certain verses and things and it’s done typically by three males on the opposite side of where the choir is so we used something very similar from Audix—same type of capsule, it’s a 1250 capsule on a 12in. flex shaft setup like a pulpit mic. So that basically they have the same microphone that the choir’s using but not on a big boom now it’s on the front. It’s the pulpit mic. [Timestamp: 4:03]
Wow, head-worn microphones. That’s a real step forward. I mean that would solve just a whole host of problems.
Yes sir, and for the Greek Orthodox it’s a major step ahead because they for years didn’t even typically like wearing any microphones at all and as you well know lapel mics can be an absolute nightmare in a live sound situation. [Timestamp: 4:26]
Yeah, they sure can and some people still insist on those for a more traditional look and it gives the sound people a big challenge on gain before feedback in those reverberant environments. I was curious though about the Ashly ne8800 DSP. How did you do the initial setup on that?
Well the initial setup obviously we did that through our laptop with the Ashly software. All of the programming was done on the site because its really architectural of the ne8800 is pretty straight forward and simple to build your architecture of the things that you would need on each channel from limiting gates, EQ’ing—you name it—it’s pretty much a drop and drag type of situation. So we did all of the programming on-site. We did set everything up the way we wanted to get it the way they wanted before Sunday service. So we got all those settings ready to go and then that way we can make changes later down the road we can make them with…once they get the internet installed to the church we’re going to be able to log on and make any minor adjustments to them from our office which will save them costly service runs out to the site. [Timestamp: 5:37]
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