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Preserving Acoustics and Design in a Historic Church, Part 2

Jun 20, 2013 12:05 PM, With Bennett Liles


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And you managed to convince the priests to use head-worn mics when they’re not always enthusiastic about that. How did they take to using the Audio-Technica mics for the services?

They really liked it. The priests really, really loved them. Like I said, that series comes with the dual-ear mounts on it, so like I said it fastens down to both sides. The problem when you do a single ear-worn, it has a tendency, when they’re running through their vestments, every time they move their head it wants to pull the microphone and eventually, by the end of mass, it’s up by their eyeball. But with the dual ear-worn, that Audio-Technia BP892 TH, like I said, it comes with dual ear and when we locked it in there and put it on the head it doesn’t move. Basically none of the congregation really do see it except the ones closer to up front. And the priest even wears glasses and it doesn’t affect the glasses or anything like that. So yeah, they really do like it. They bought a couple more for backup, the priests, so they like to be over-cautious and make sure they never were without. [Timestamp: 5:05]

Well, I know they liked the sound of it. That’s got to be a huge improvement especially in that reverberant an environment. Now what are they using for a mixer in there?

Like you mentioned before, we just had to leave in what the church currently had. They do have a Peavey 24-channel mixer. Again, that was purchased several years before we jumped in. The mixer’s quiet. I went through and listened to everything and made sure it was clean. So that’s back there in the back in the sacristy area there where the amps and everything are at, so it’s kind of a mix back there. It’s kind of a set-it-and-forget-it system. [Timestamp: 5:41]

Pretty much automatic? They don’t have a full-time audio op guy there?

No sir, huh-uh. No, it’s gotta be right so they can just turn it on any time during the daytime, whether you’ve got a funeral, a wedding, and you don’t have to have somebody on call all the time. We kind of—with the head-worn microphone and working with the one maintenance guy, Greg Owen, over there and who’s been there for years and is a member of the church--basically a set-it-and-forget-it system, so we had to make sure things were set up. We did go back and make a couple changes with like the choir loft, how much they were hearing, and a few things on the dSPEC, but beyond that, like I said, knock on wood, it’s been in since Christmas and we’re still getting reviews coming in of how well people like the system. [Timestamp: 6:25]

So you got everything hooked up and connected. How was it checking out everything initially? Did you just get on the mics and “check one, two, three”?

Yeah, and Greg is actually a person who actually does some readings and stuff in the church. He knows what has been problems in the past and so he would read like last week’s message or readings and stuff like that. Then I’d have to get up there and use my vocal – whee. But we’d just read through and listen to what the room was doing and then being what it was when the kids came in, it was like a time him and I stopped everything once we got the system hooked up when they were doing their worship things. We were running all over the church while they were practicing the mass, because neither one had to be behind the microphone and listen to what the kids were saying and get them intelligible. Again, some of them were rushing through the words really, really fast, so diction and clarity of the system and how it rolled itself off naturally, it was actually an anomaly that happened with the processing. And even though we delayed and had to delay times and stuff right, everything coming together in harmony, the system just really worked well on its own, too. [Timestamp: 7:38]

Yeah, the kids are going to be the most sure test. If it will work well for them, then it should work for anybody.

Oh yeah. You’ve got all sorts of dynamics going on there. You get some of them too fast, too slow, too loud, too soft. Yeah, just it works well. I mean I wish I could sit there and go over a bunch of technical things that we did and all these tweaks and stuff, but put a good product in and it does work for you. [Timestamp: 8:05]

Well, it sounds like it’s all working OK and you got this one all done. What’s coming up next for Stage Right Productions? What have you got in the pipeline?

I know we’ve got some gymnasiums we’re putting some stuff in, a couple of baseball fields, and production season is getting ready to take hold of us and keep us out on the weekends. So yeah, we’ve got that and a few sales when they come in through the door and stuff like that. Just again, helping out here in the community the way we can whenever we can. [Timestamp: 8:33]

Okay, and a job well done. This was the St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, Stage Right Productions and Steve Merrill up there in Ohio. Thanks for telling us about how this one went and taking the time.

Hey, no problem. Thank you. It was a pleasure and again, one of those jobs we got done, there’s satisfaction in work when you know you leave and somebody can hear that message, is the main thing. [Timestamp: 8:56]





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