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AV for a Worship Sanctuary and Overfill Space, Part 2

Nov 15, 2012 10:57 AM, With Bennett Liles

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Yeah, you mentioned before the wireless mics. What kind of wireless mic system did you put in there?

It’s a Sennheiser 300 series. I have four of them in the main sanctuary and four of them in the activity overflow room. And in the activity overflow room I am not using any antenna distribution. Actually I have a Sennheiser distribution in there, but I don’t have any remote antennas. I’m just using the whips that come with it and it’s in the closet and works really well. In the main sanctuary the control room’s a little bit further away so I took some Sennheiser omnidirectional antennas and mounted them in one of the naves and ran the coax through the ceiling and into that control room and it works really well. [Timestamp: 6:21]

Yeah, that’s the thing about wireless mic systems, you never know for sure what you’re going to get until you power it all up and test it all out. So you can have complete bliss or a nightmare.

Yeah, exactly, which really, this time it’s been complete bliss. [Timestamp: 6:37]

How do you use the Community dSPEC processor? Was that fairly easy to set up?

It’s funny because I’m looking for a processor. We’re big dealers for a lot people, but it seems like we sell a lot of Yamaha and we like the Yamaha; it’s got some of the best customer service you’re ever going to come across, so we push a lot of Yamaha. So I was thinking maybe I should put a DME in there; I wasn’t sure what I was going to put [in], and then I said, “Wait a minute, maybe Community makes a processor for their own stuff.” Sure enough I call them up and they make this dSPEC and it’s a single space processor, two in/six out, which is exactly what I needed. They said they would come up and they program it for us [and] they would train us and that was great. I said, “Sure let’s do it that way,” and then I played with it for about an hour and easily figured it out. I’m telling you, if I can do it, anybody can do it, so I would highly recommend it. I would use it on any system really, but it works well with a Community for a couple of reasons. Obviously it has delay, lots of EQ, systems drive, phase, all that so you can control everything, but what it really has is these speakers you plug into the model number of the speaker and the model number of the amp and you hook the amp up to the dSPEC then and back to the amp and it reads the input and the output sensitivity, programs the limiter inside the dSPEC so the amp can only send out so much level based on what speaker you tell it is going to be loaded on that amplifier output. So I did that for, I have three sets of speakers in there: the Varis, the MX, and the DS series, and I just plugged in those model numbers into whatever amplifier I said I was going to be using and it set the limiters for me—not that we’re ever going to need them, but again it’s got built in protection; it manages for you so you don’t have to guess or over compress or over limit it will do it for you and that’s really what I found to be probably the biggest advantage of using that piece of gear. [Timestamp: 8:48]

You were talking to the church people about what you were going to be doing in there. Did they have any special requirements or concerns about the project?

Yeah, they wanted the ability to have lots of wireless. They weren’t sure how exactly they were going to use it at all times but they wanted the ability and now they are using it. The priests wear lavalieres. A big thing with them was the look, everything needed to be low profile. We custom painted the speakers ourselves so it matched the architect’s paint and that was very important for them and it looked real good when all was all said and done. I mean more importantly, it sounded great—I’ve gotten a lot of referrals from it. [Timestamp: 9:29]

Did you have to come in and make any tweaks or adjustments after the first services?

I made a couple only because people went in there and did play; I don’t know why but they did. So you know we went back and tweaked it a couple times. But the first service it was mobbed and it probably could have used some more tweaking anyway, so when we went back we did exactly that—a little more EQ and changed the levels on some of the delays and they just had some kind of Catholic-type convention in there where they had guest speakers from different parishes—Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and I’ve been getting phone calls requesting quotes from these new parishes because they liked it so much. So I guess it’s all good there. [Timestamp: 10:18]

Well, that’s always great when the phone rings and you’ve got somebody who’s heard the system and wants the same thing for their place. So what’s coming up next for ACIR Pro?

Well, we’re still doing all of our rentals. We have a lot of rentals in Atlantic City and that’s all going great, whether it be backline or audio rentals and we’re still doing some small club installs. I just did a church down in Vineland, N.J.—Calvary Baptist, which I installed a system in and that’s working out great, but I got a project that I’m working on right now it’s for Exploring the Arts. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it its Tony Bennett’s wife heads up that program and it raises money to provide arts for schools basically, I guess, in the New York area and they partnered somewhat with Yamaha, I think. They’re putting in a, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of an AFC system, it’s an active field control. It’s a reverb enhancement system that if you build a theater and it’s too dry, this will add reverb to it. If you have a orchestra on stage and you don’t want to spend all the money for a band shell, this will simulate a band shell. So basically we’re installing a Yamaha Nexo line array system in their theater. We’re installing 31 Yamaha ceiling speakers throughout the ceiling and balcony, another 18 over the stage and four microphones suspended from the ceiling. This active field control, it’s controlled feedback and what this is going to do, you’re going to have your PA working, you’re going to have enhanced reverb in the audience, and if it’s an orchestra on stage, they’re also going to get enhanced reverb over the stage to simulate that band shell. It’s a big project. Yamaha’s really involved with it. We’re project managing and installing it and in about three weeks we have two engineers from Japan flying to tune this PA and it’s a big project. [Timestamp: 12:30]

Well, it sounds like this one turned out fine and they’ve turned their own people loose in there and they’re having some fun with it now. St. Thomas the Apostle with a complete sound and video overhaul. And Bobby Harper from ACIR Pro in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. Thanks for telling us about it.

You got it, Bennett. Thank you very much.

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