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Loudspeaker System Design for Worship, Part 2

Apr 26, 2012 10:34 AM, 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.

From Sound & Video Contractor magazine, this is the SVC Podcast Show 56 Part 2 with Jack Conners of Perfect World Studios. Show notes for the podcast are available on the web site of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at

The Immaculate Conception Church in Traverse City, Mich., needed an unattended sound system and gear that virtually disappeared into the sanctuary. Jack Conners is back to tell us about the mics, the mixer, and the choir reinforcements set up for the church by Perfect World Studios. Coming right up on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: Jack Conners from Perfect World Studios, thanks for being back for part 2 on the SVC Podcast and we were talking about the Immaculate Conception Church in Traverse City, Mich. We were saying that it doesn’t have to be a huge layout but this is something like a 300 seat sanctuary?

Jack Conners: Yeah.

Yeah, but you can still come up with some acoustic problems especially when you have to position equipment where they want a certain look for the place. We didn’t get into the more nuts and bolts aspect of this, but what would you say was the most difficult part of the installation there? Was it running cable or mounting speakers or what?

It was actually getting the cabling to the speakers. I fortunately had the assistance of the director of maintenance at the church, Randy O’Connor—no relation to me but maybe back in Ireland—but he was very helpful in getting the cabling to the speakers. These were powered arrays so we had to run AC cabling to them and then Cat-5 and then audio. The church building is stucco, but it has steel beams and concrete block behind the stucco. He had some drawings of the building, which unfortunately didn’t really show where the steel beams were. We found that they were almost right behind where we wanted to mount the speakers, but we were able to drill kind of at an angle and drilled a hole back through the block and then found a path back into the attic of the church and then he was able to crawl up in there and push the wires through, so once we got the wiring, the rest of it was pretty easy. The equipment was already back in the sacristy, so we ran the wires from there up to the speaker locations and then mounting the speakers on the wall was fairly easy. It was just put the brackets up and set them up there. [Timestamp: 2:30]

And then once you start the cutting and drilling and they hear the drills and saws going—that’s when the church clients start getting a little nervous.

Yeah, they do. They kind of kept away while we were doing that. It was pretty loud with the hammer drill drilling into the concrete. [Timestamp: 2:47]

And they do have RF mics there. What make and model of wireless mics did you put in and did you have any RF issues to deal with?

No RF issues. We have had some issue with the choir mics we had strung from the ceiling, and I guess the length of the wire on those were just right to pick up a certain air craft frequency and there was a landing that happened every day at around 12:10 in the afternoon and that pilot’s radio would come in over those microphones, but with some RF filtering, we got that out. But the mics, they had were Audio-Technica lapel mics, lavaliere mics, and we replaced those with Audio-Technica BP892 MicroSets, which are head worn sub-miniature microphone. Those work a lot better because they get the microphone up near the speaker’s face where it should be and then we also have a lot less problem with the rustling and the issues with the robes and stuff with the lavaliere mics. Those were a big improvement putting in the Audio-Technica MicroSet mics. [Timestamp: 3:56]

Yeah, that’s great if you can get them to do that. Sometimes that’s tough to get the priests to go with those. They don’t want to look like air traffic controllers, but the audio people just love it when they can persuade the pastor to go with a head-worn mic with the gain before feedback that it offers.

Yeah, there was some resistance to it for those reasons, but these are very small and they’re base colored so when you are more than a few rows back you don’t even notice them. [Timestamp: 4:23]

Like a little strand of linguini.

Yeah, uh huh.

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