Fast-track Worship Install, Part 2

The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd brought in JC Productions in Reno, Nev., to set up a complete sound and video system for its new 500-seat sanctuary. 1/17/2013 5:02 AM Eastern

Fast-track Worship Install, Part 2

Jan 17, 2013 10:02 AM, With Bennett Liles

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The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd brought in JC Productions in Reno, Nev., to set up a complete sound and video system for its new 500-seat sanctuary. Scott Schmidt and Todd Rold are back to wrap up their talk about the project, coming up next on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: Scott Schmidt and Todd Rold from JC Productions in Reno and the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. We were talking in part one about installing the PreSonus mixer, running the lines, and setting up the musicians to mix their own monitoring on the live music part of the services. Now the church tech people wanted remote mixing capability. How did you set that up?

Todd Rold: Yeah, they absolutely did. That was part of the features that they requested and because we went with the PreSonus, it has the capability that you can mix with an iPad and … comes with all of the software that you need to set that up. We added a Mac Mini through FireWire that the console talks to and loaded all the software. [Now] they’re capable of walking around with an iPad and making adjustments. [Timestamps: 1:36]

I guess that would help when you don’t have major control over the acoustic environment and you can walk around the room and hear it from whatever spot you need to—a big advantage.

Rold: Yeah, they were real happy with that capability. The FOH sound booth is actually raised up a couple steps from where everybody else is, so it’s nice for them to be able to go down and walk the room and be at the level with everybody else and listen to what’s going on. [Timestamp: 1:59]

Depending on the design of the place, it can really sound different between when you have an empty room, like when you’re just doing rehearsals and when the place is full of people during the actual service. Is there a big difference between the sound of an empty house and a full house in that church?

Rold: In this one, no, actually. It’s actually a really nice room and considering that they didn’t want to do anything about the acoustics, that they wanted to keep it as open as possible. The room has a nice light natural reverb to it that really suits well for vocals, for like a cappellas. So for the singing that they do it works out really well and there isn’t a huge adjustment. The only big adjustment for anybody running sound is there is, is once it fills up with people you turn the system up a little more than you would when it was empty, but the room essentially sounds the same. It actually came out really nice. [Timestamp: 2:46]

A lot of human bodies in there soaking up the sound.


Did they have any particular concerns over, say, the architecture or the appearance of the gear when you started talking to them about this?

Rold: I don’t think there’s any parallel wall, so that helped us and then one of the walls the architect actually pitched it at about five degrees and then the ceiling is vaulted as well, so he did a really good job at taking away as many parallel walls as possible. [Timestamp: 3:10]

OK and they record the services, so how does the recording system work and how do they use the recordings?

Rold: From the PreSonus; it comes with software. The Presonus is tied with a Mac Mini so that we have the capture software in there and through the FireWire they can multi-track everything that they’re doing through every service, which was very easy actually. I’ve dealt with a lot of platforms and the set up of this took almost no time and was really easy to teach their people how to use it. I mean you essentially, in the software, hit record and it goes. [Timestamp: 3:39]

What do they do with the recordings? Do they put those on CD or something for the members who couldn’t make it to the service that week?

Scott Schmidt: Yeah, it’s available. I’m not sure if they have it on the website, but it’s available if people wanted to have a CD. [Timestamp: 3:51]

Yeah a lot of the churches that have the traditional and contemporary services may have some of the older members who can’t always get to the church and younger members who just may want to have a recording of the band to listen to.

Rold: Yeah, well, the bonus of the way that this is set up is that it’s really easy for their engineer to mix the tracks back through the console via the FireWire to two track, and he can actually edit and grab out anything that he wants very quickly and burn it to disc or do whatever he needs to do. [Timestamp: 4:20]

That’s a great advantage.

Rold: It was really handy.

Fast-track Worship Install, Part 2

Jan 17, 2013 10:02 AM, With Bennett Liles

I think they have a projector and screen in there, so how do they use that? Do they put up song lyrics or use it for IMAG or what?

Schmidt: They use it mostly for lyrics during worship and then they can put teaching slides up there as well for the pastor’s sermon. [Timestamp: 4:38]

OK and I guess that’s front projection they’re using?

Schmidt: Yes, we did a 16x9 screen and we installed it in the darkest area of the sanctuary. We also made sure that the overhead lights were on a separate dimmer so that they didn’t wash out the videoscreen. [Timestamp: 4:53]

How do they do the song lyrics? What’s the source for that? Do they use PowerPoint slides or something like that?

Schmidt: Yeah, they just use PowerPoint right now.

So what kind of video signal format do you send up to the projector?

Schmidt: We came out of the Mac mini and we went through a Extron distribution system and then we converted everything to a Cat-6 using Extron baluns. [Timestamp: 5:13]

Well, that’s a good solid way to cover the distance. And who operates the source gear for the song lyrics? Have they got one person who just does that?

Schmidt: Yeah, we’ve got it set up so that the same person doing sound can run video. Everything’s real close by. [Timestamp: 5:26]

Well, that’s a good way to go, especially with sometimes having to deal with changes in tech team people on short notice.

Schmidt: Yes.

And you’re using NEC flatpanel displays on the back wall?

Schmidt: Yes, we built a videowall … NEC makes a bundle solution; it’s four 55in. LCD panels and we installed them on the back wall. The architect really didn’t want it a second projector hanging in the ceiling, so we used a flatpanel videowall. [Timestamp: 5:53]

And they use those for song lyrics as well?

Schmidt: Yeah, we’ve got it so it basically mirrors the projector on the front wall. [Timestamp: 6:01]

And I guess you feed the video to those the same way as with the projection.

Schmidt: Yes, we did everything over Cat-6 and everything’s full HD 1920x1080p. [Timestamp: 6:10]

Was there any other gear that you put in there for the church?

Schmidt: The only other thing is probably the speakers, the Renkus-Heinz Iconyx live speakers. Those are digitally steerable, and so we were able to steer the acoustical energy in the beams onto the floor where the seats are and then we used another device where we can change the presets. They wanted to have the ability, if they had a small little group of people kind of in the round, we actually have a second preset on those Renkus speakers that puts all the energy on the smaller area of the seating area. [Timestamp: 6:41]

Oh, well, that really helps out in the acoustical situation then.

Rold: The first half of the stage is actually portable, and it’s removable so when they decide to make it smaller they can remove that, but we can digitally steer the sounds up closer so that they can have a more intimate setting and it worked out really good. [Timestamp: 6:58]

So when you got all this set up and had all of the technical ducks in a row, how did the training go when you got people in there? How did they take to that?

Rold: The training was the easiest I’ve ever done actually. We didn’t have to spend a lot of time. I spent maybe 15-20 minutes with their house tech running through the basics of everything and then we went right into doing everything live essentially. We’ve never had a return phone call. They’ve never had an issue. We’ve never had a drop out. It’s been really consistent. [Timestamp: 7:30]

Yeah, when the phone doesn’t ring after the job most of the time that’s good news. Rold: With the console and the software, he already knew the video end, so it was pretty much just showing him how the video was routed. But with the console, with the recording software, it was literally 20-25 minutes at most. [I] ran him through it a couple times and he’s been fine ever since. [Timestamp: 7:52]

And that’s a great opportunity for some of the younger folks to get in there and get some hands-on experience working with up-to-date, front-line equipment. That’s one of the great things about being able to volunteer for a church crew. What’s coming up for JC Productions? Have you got any projects in the works that you can tell us about at this point?

Rold: We’ve been promoting our video podcasting services over the last several months and we did wire up this church so that they could do video podcasting down the road with robotic cameras. We do other things here in town—corporate AV, we do public works projects, training rooms, city council chambers—a variety of things. [Timestamp: 8:29]

Well it sounds like you’re staying busy and I really appreciate your taking time to give us the details on this project, guys. It’s Scott Schmidt and Todd Rold from JC Productions. Nice job on the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd and thanks for being with us.

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