Fast-track Worship Install, Part 1

The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd had a brand-new 500-seat sanctuary and they called JC Productions to outfit it with a new sound and video system. 1/03/2013 6:08 AM Eastern

Fast-track Worship Install, Part 1

Jan 3, 2013 11:08 AM, With Bennett Liles

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Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd

The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd had a brand-new 500-seat sanctuary and they called JC Productions in Reno, Nev., to outfit it with a new sound and video system. Owner Scott Schmidt and Lead Technician Todd Rold are going to outline the project, coming right up on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: Scott Schmidt and Todd Rold, thanks for being with us on the SVC Podcast from JC Productions in Reno, Nev., and we’re going to be talking about a church install that you did at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, but before we get to that how about telling us about JC Productions in Reno. What kind of an outfit do you have there?

Scott Schmidt: We’re a integration company in Reno, licensed in Nevada and California. [We] started in the HOW market about 11 years ago and we’ve done lots of other public works, corporate AV, live events, but a lot of our focus has been on the HOW for the last 10 years. [Timestamp: 1:25]

OK and that’s a very big market with no shortage of competition. Probably lots of people they could have called in and in church AV it’s always interesting because of the all the different styles of worship and types of architecture you run into. So describe the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. What sort of a place is that and what kind of worship style do they have there?

Schmidt: They have three services on Sundays. Their early morning service is what they call congregational singing, so they either have a pianist or an organist. The second service is more of their contemporary style service. They have a band, which includes a drummer, couple of guitar players, bass player, and a keyboard player—keyboard bass. Yeah they don’t have a bass player quite yet. [Timestamp: 2:09]

And you’ve got to make it sound right for both the traditional service and be able to have the system accommodate the more contemporary live music service with a rock band and make both of those work in the same acoustic environment.

Todd Rold: That’s, yeah, traditional and contemporary—both.

How are the acoustics in the church? Is there any sort of acoustic treatment in the sanctuary? What was it like working with the existing acoustics?

Schmidt: This was actually an add on to their existing facility and so it’s a new building and we asked the architect in the beginning about doing acoustic modeling, which we normally do in our EASE modeling software. But he knew that the customer, which is the church, wanted a somewhat lively sounding room and they knew from the beginning they weren’t going to do any acoustical treatment. [Timestamp: 2:54]

Well, at least there is some advantage in getting in at the construction stage and knowing for sure where everything is and that it’s all been done right. Did you come in after the building was finished and start from there?

Schmidt: Actually we were part of the original engineering team so we were involved with architects, the structural engineers—everybody that was on the original design build team. [Timestamp: 3:13]

Alright, so you knew where everything was and how it was wired so you didn’t have to retrofit anything.

Schmidt: We specified our own electrical needs on our blueprints and then we submitted all that to the electrical engineer for approval. [Timestamp: 3:25]

Fast-track Worship Install, Part 1

Jan 3, 2013 11:08 AM, With Bennett Liles

OK and you mentioned they’ve got live music. It’s a rock band, so I would figure that you got a fair number of sound sources to deal with on the mixing and monitoring.

Rold: It’s a contemporary band, but we were actually pretty lucky in the fact that most everything is direct except for the vocals. It’s acoustic guitars that are direct. They have an electronic drum set that runs direct, and they have keyboards and they also run key base. So we didn’t have any amplifiers on stage that we had to worry about, which made it a lot easier to control. [Timestamp: 3:56]

That’s still a lot of sound sources if you’re dealing with a lot of volunteer help on the technical team handling sound, lighting, video and all. What did you do as far as a front of house mixer?

Rold: We went with the PreSonus mixer, the StudioLive 24.4.2. [Timestamp: 4:09] And why did you go with the PreSonus in particular? Did it have some features that were especially good for this situation?

Rold: There were quite a few reasons actually. Price was a factor, but there were features that they wanted. In the functionality, they wanted to be able to save scenes, which you can do with that console. They wanted to be able to record every service as well. Plus they wanted to be able to do remote mixing and in the price range of what they were looking to spend, this fit all the needs for what that they wanted. [Timestamp: 4:38]

How long are the cable runs? What did you have to do to get the sound signals from the stage to the mixer?

Rold: We actually ran a standard analog snake out to the FOH mixing platform. Distance wise it was about 75ft. [Timestamp: 4:52]

Well, in a distance of 75ft. there’s still plenty of room to run into lots of potential problems. So I would think that since this was a brand new building you didn’t have to deal with any grounding problems on the equipment installation.

Schmidt: Yeah, we actually specified what’s called an isolation transformer in our jobs and so we have a dedicated transformer that feeds our electrical panel, which also feeds all of our isolated ground circuits. [Timestamp: 5:17]

Oh, well, that’s great, so you don’t have any problems hearing dimmers that are halfway up or any of that hum generating fun stuff.

Rold: Yeah, absolutely no problem with that at all; we’re always separate from them. [Timestamp: 5:28]

And how did you accommodate the live band. They must have some sort of stage monitoring requirements.

Rold: Yeah, we went with the myMix system so that they could actually mix monitors for themselves. So everybody’s on basically in-ear’s. They used the myMix, which we split the direct out’s from the console directly into the myMix and so they have 16 channels on stage that they can choose from and create their own mixes, which makes it easier for the person that’s running sounds to not have to worry about that; he can focus more on the room and the band takes care of themselves and they were really happy with that. [Timestamp: 6:05]

Yeah, that always makes the musicians happy when they can have more control over their own monitoring and it really streamlines rehearsals and speeds things up, particularly when you may somebody different mixing at the front of the house from one week to the next. The music people always like to have it their own way through all of that.

Rold: Yeah, and that’s always the challenge in a church installation is the volunteers and making it as easy as possible for them so the consistency is good. [Timestamp: 6:28]

And they have, I guess, wireless mics or wireless in-ear stage monitoring? Rold: Actually their in-ears are direct from the myMix. They have a station at each of the mic stands, so their headphones come directly off that. There are some wireless headsets that are used for the pastor in that situation, but the band isn’t really going with any wireless. [Timestamp: 6:49]

Oh, so the pastors wear headset mics?

Schmidt: Yes.

Oh that’s great! Lots of times you can’t talk them into doing that, but when they do it, it seems to work out great for gain before feedback and so forth and really makes things easier on the front of house people. But a lot of the pastors are still old school and they like to wear lapel mics that are harder to deal with.

Rold: We were really lucky in this situation. They were really open to making the changes that they needed to make to get the sound quality that they were looking for. [Timestamp: 7:19]

How did things go when you did the installation? Were there any surprises or unexpected situations that came up?

Schmidt: No, no surprises. It was definitely a fast track project. We had to comply with the work schedule with the general contractor. We had to be out right before, I think, Easter, but everything just went smoothly. [Timestamp: 7:36]

Well, [it’s] fantastic when it all comes together that way. I guess you guys were there when the system had its first test run during an actual service. So how did things go with that?

Rold: Yeah, we arranged to be there for the first two to three weeks of the services and everything was really smooth actually. We didn’t have any issues and a lot of feedback on how happy they were actually. [Timestamp: 7:58]

Sounds good. The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd and a sound system for its new 500-seat sanctuary from JC Productions in Reno, Nev. Scott Schmidt and Todd Rold and in part two we’ll be talking about the details on the mixing capability, the video, and how they record things. Thanks for giving us a look at the project.

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