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AV for a Worship Sanctuary and Overfill Space, Part 1

Nov 8, 2012 9:17 AM, With Bennett


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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 St. Thomas the Apostle, the seaside church membership almost triples in the summer and the church needed a way to handle the big summer congregation. They called in ACIR Pro to outfit its events center and connect it to the sanctuary. Bobby Harper is going to give us the technical details on the job coming up next on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: OK, Bobby Harper from ACIR Pro. That’s Atlantic City Instrument Rentals and we’ve got a big installation at St. Thomas the Apostle in Brigantine, N.J., to talk about, but first tell me a little about your outfit. What’s going on at ACIR Pro?Bobby Harper: Our company started probably eight years ago as a backline rental house owned by Ed DiBona and he partnered up with John Grasso, who is a lead audio engineer for the Sands for years in Atlantic City and John brought to the table the audio portion of the backline. So the two made a great partnership; they provided a lot of backline in audio rentals and then a few years after that Tom Young, sound engineer for Tony Bennett for the last 15 or 20 years, he became a third partner bringing even more to the tables. And with him came our installation division, which they’ve asked me to head up and what I do is I do sales and installation. Right now we’re a full production house. We also do some lighting, a little bit of staging, [and] we project manage concerts. We’re a growing company that is all encompassing and right now we’re going to be talking about, I guess, the installation side of it. [Timestamp: 1:58]

Sounds like you guys are busy enough. What sort of a church is St. Thomas the Apostle? It looks like its right there on the shoreline.

[It’s] right on the beach in Brigantine. [Timestamp: 2:06]

OK and they had a big renovation going and they called you in to do it. What was going on with them?

Well, the interesting part is at a time when the economy was going through a recession [the church was] at a point where they needed to expand, but still keep it in mind [it is] in a recession. They contacted us to do a design-build for them and what their idea was, during the summer they have all their summer crowds and the church just couldn’t handle all the quantities of people that would show up on a Sunday, so they figured if they had an overflow room they could maybe get some video and audio and broadcast the service and that would take care of it. Then they took it one step further and said look let’s build a nice room that will handle outsourcing—everything from weddings, receptions, PowerPoint demonstrations, overflow for the church, Monday night football, anything really—and also they wanted to renovate the interior of the church without having to expand it too much. Typically in Catholic churches they always have these naves off to the left and right of the altar, and this particular church had the space for them, but it was being used for other things. The architect that designed it redesigned those nave areas and made them seating areas along with the entire renovation of the church, but before they could do that they needed to get this other property built that’s attached to the church. They got that built, ACIR came in with a design to do everything for them, and to make that facility, so you can do what I said from 5.1. We started with overhead ceiling cans, typical JBL Control Series, and we turned it into a 5.1 using a Control Series again on all four walls. We put three audio panels on user walls and made I/O panels on them for everything from inputs to your outputs and Ethernet, video, everything, and we also provided some JBL subs and the JBL powered line. What they could do is they could have a band come in there, plug into the wall, it will go through their rack room and go right to the powered system, and actually perform and sing and do that whole thing with a nice pretty beefy little club PA or they could plug into that panel without the powered system and have it come out of just the ceiling cans for a Sunday church service. They could also plug in a DVD and Comcast is also hooked into this system, so they could either play a DVD and/or watch Monday night football and by setting up two subs out of the cinema sub outputs of the wall panels and they would be getting 5.1 with the subs. So that room is a huge success and they actually moved the sanctuary into that area for three or four months and performed all the church services, did some weddings, did some PowerPoint demonstration. We have a videoscreen in there; it’s recessed into the ceiling and it comes down via switch on the wall. It’s preset with a projector—front-screen projection so people can just come and either wirelessly do PowerPoint or they can plug their laptop right into the wall and do PowerPoint. So while the main sanctuary was being renovated, this whole thing was taking place and it was just really a huge success. [Timestamp: 5:35]



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