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Worship Sound System Upgrade: On Rigging and Nexo Geos, Part 1

Oct 4, 2012 2:32 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.

At New Jersey’s First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens the membership has grown to over 6,000, and the sound system needed a substantial upgrade to handle the capacity. They called in Boulevard Pro to take out the old system and install the new one. James Cioffi is with us to tell the story on how it all got up and running, coming up next on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: James, welcome to the SVC Podcast from Boulevard Pro in Ridgefield, N.J. It’s been a while since your outfit has been on the podcast so what’s been going on lately at Boulevard Pro?

James Cioffi: Hi, how are you? Boulevard Pro is very proud to have been awarded the Sound Company of the Year from Front of House magazine for the northeast region of the United States, so we’re very proud of that and over the last year we moved into a new facility. We have a new warehouse, and we’ve consolidated all of our installation and production staff under one roof. That’s been really helpful over the last year and we’ve been doing design build jobs, and we just came across a really nice one that I wanted to talk to you about. It’s the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, N.J., and we did a very large upgrade on their sound system, and I guess we could talk about all of those things. [Timestamp: 1:39]

Yeah, the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens sounds like a pretty ambitious project. That church seems to just come a long way. I think it’s something like 6,000 members now. What was the tech situation at the church when they called you in? What did they need from Boulevard Pro?

Well, we were called in, they built a new sanctuary, and in the northeast, where we’re from, there’s not a lot of big super churches; this is obviously a very large church. It has 3,500ft., and it’s packed to capacity all weekend during their services, and they have a very robust music ministry, and when we got in there, they was a left right center array of between probably 8-9 years ago. And it was a wonderful system, but what happened was that their music ministry has outgrown the system that was in place. So we were called in by the tech crew to come up with just an installation idea what we thought would upgrade the space and we came in with a line array system and then we started working from there, but that’s where we started. We started in when there was a professional system of older technology put in the room, that’s really what we came into. [Timestamp: 2:47]

OK, and of course when you walk into a place like this, I guess if there’s any kind of sound going on you evaluate the situation. What was your impression of the acoustics when you first heard it?

The system was an older three-way regular standard like VA-type of sound system, a vertical array, and it consisted of a left/right center. In the left/right center were two three-ways and a sub, and it was not really super high powered but very, very good for speech intelligibility. It wasn’t really aimed in a great place because they put it into the soffit of the architecture of the church, so it really, given the place where it was, it wasn’t in a great position from the get go. But I think they did that so it could be completely concealed. It was behind grilles; you couldn’t see it, and with the new regime that came into the church, obviously they said we don’t mind seeing the speaker array and then having said that, is when they started the process of interviewing designers and sound install companies on their ideas and went out to bid and our design was accepted. [Timestamp: 3:55]

OK and when you started taking out the old system was there any part of it that you decided to keep or modify or work into the new one?

Well, we didn’t keep any of the old gear. We did use some existing rigging points that happened to line up to where we were. We did use the center array cavity to install the line array sub woofers and that was something that we came up on the job because there were conversation of where the subs were going to live and one of our technicians came up with a pretty ingenious rigging solution, and they got these two cameras up in the air and then it worked out great. So you can’t see the subs; you just see the line array left and right. [Timestamp: 4:37]

And that was Johnny Orth I believe who came up with that idea?

Yeah, John Orth; he came up with the rigging thing. Justin Spencer is the inhouse audio chief and a very seasoned live sound-touring engineer with a lot of name bands as well. So he and I were coming up with solutions where we were going to put [the subs] in the center of the room anyway, so they thought if we could do them in an omni configuration up in the ceiling that would work really well. And it just so happened that John came up with a really ingenious way of hanging them and he got them right in there with probably an inch on each side to spare. t was great; it was pretty cool. [Timestamp: 5:15]

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