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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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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.

Perched on the New Jersey shoreline, St. Thomas the Apostle was a church with a growing congregation. During the sanctuary renovation services moved to the church’s activity center. Bobby Harper from ACIR Pro is going to wrap up the story on how the new sanctuary and the activity center were connected with video and sound, up next on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: Thanks for being back for part two, Bobby Harper from ACIR Pro. St. Thomas the Apostle church is right on the shoreline in Brigantine, N.J., and in part one we talked about the sanctuary renovation and the sound system you put in for them. They moved their services into the activity center while the work was going on and you did the sound systems for both. You connected the two. What video format are you feeding to the screen in the activity center? You’re feeding video and sound over there right?

Bobby Harper: Correct, and the camera itself, it’s a Sony pan, tilt, and zoom camera, and we came out of that into a little monitor in the choir loft so that the choir director could have a little controller because it has six presets on it. So I did a walk in look so the people in the other room, when they were walking in and sitting down, they could see the whole sanctuary and then as the mass started, the choir director could hit the second preset and it would go to zoom in on a priest and then he could zoom in on the cantor or whatever—it’s six presets. I had a feed going to that and I also had, [coming out] of the camera and into a video balun and converted it to Ethernet, set it to Ethernet over to the other room, converted back went into a Yamaha receiver, converted it into high definition and that’s how it got to the projector. [Timestamp: 2:10]

The activity center serves as an overflow area, among other things. The size of the congregation there varies widely by season.

In the summer it’s mobbed. In the wintertime it’s fairly full, so they really had to have an overflow and it worked out really well. You can go in the overflow area [and] you can see exactly what happens all the time and you can hear exactly what’s going on. You’re really part of the service. [Timestamp: 2:38]

So how is the video displayed over there in the Event Center?

There’s a daylight screen recessed in the ceiling and it automatically comes down to a preset level and front projection looks great. [Timestamp: 2:50]

They use that room for the overflow, but there are a whole lot of different events and you put the sound system in there first. So they can hold any kind of thing they want, watching movies or TV, anything they want to do?

Anything really. I mean they can watch Monday night football, like I said. They can watch a movie in high definition—5.1. The other fun thing is they do PowerPoint all the time in there and that Eiki projector is set up to do PowerPoint wirelessly. So you have your option if you have a laptop, you can sit anywhere in the room and connect and project do your PowerPoint that way or there’s one outlet behind the screen where you can plug in and pick up the projector that way. So they do pretty much anything they want there. [Timestamp: 3:36]

Yeah, it’s great that they have that room because that being a more traditional church, it would be tough to try do all those different things in the sanctuary. You chose Yamaha mixers for the sound control. What model of Yamaha mixers did you use?

What I did is I put three mixers in there. In the main sanctuary I have a 16-channel MG series mixer. It mixes everything that happens on the altar. It sends it to the main speakers, it sends it to the choir loft into their monitors, and it sends it to the overflow activity center. The second MG series 16-channel mixer is in the activity center and that receives the audio from the choir, from the altar, and anything plugged into the I/O panels on the walls including the receiver, anything going through the receiver—Comcast or wireless mics in there. And then the third mixer was a 24-channel MG series, which is up in the choir loft, which mixes the choir, the organ, a couple of violins, a flute, and a bass. We don’t really like the drums; they take the bass; they never really turn it on. That seat goes down into both mixers as well so you can control everything anywhere. [Timestamp: 4:56]

That looks like they have a very flexible situation there not only in terms of the space itself but for sound control as well.

The funny part about it is the musical director, her name is Mary Jane and her husband’s the drummer and they’re great people. And the funny thing about it is they’ve been learning how to become sound engineers and they’re getting pretty good at it. The phone calls to me have dwindled; they know how to go into any location and make it work with what’s installed, so that worked out really well as well. [Timestamp: 5:27]

Well, I guess when you get them started with a system like that, no news is good news.

Yeah, exactly.

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