Maximizing the Worship Space, Part 2

The First Free Church in Rockford, Ill., did a complete revamp on their sound, lighting, and projection system and they called Brent Hayes with SVL Productions. 1/28/2014 5:45 AM Eastern

Maximizing the Worship Space, Part 2

Jan 28, 2014 10:45 AM, With Bennett Liles

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The First Free Church in Rockford, Ill., did a complete revamp on their sound, lighting, and projection system and they called Brent Hayes with SVL Productions. He’s here to tell us about the new projection and LED lighting system, coming up right now on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: Brent Hayes from SVL Productions in Cherry Valley, Illinois welcome back for part two on the SVC Podcast talking about the sound, video and lighting upgrade at First Free Church near there in Rockford. Now, on the lighting system did you replace the entire lighting system with LED lighting or did you just touch up what they already had there?
We replaced most of it. They did retain some of the stuff they had originally from their prior lighting system was heavily laden with PARs, to say the least. There was something like 200 and some fixtures up there, Par 64’s, and the majority of those came down and were replaced with LED fixtures and some ETC lekos. [Timestamp: 1:25]

And what did you decide to go with on the brands and models on the LED lighting?
We did some ETC lekos with various degree lenses depending on the location. They ended up with some Chauvet Colorados up in the ceiling doing some front washes, and then we added uplighting for the entire back of the stage, and that’s all bundled with various instruments. Some of them are Chauvet strip lights that actually are working fantastic. And then they move them around as the backdrop and set needs changed. And that install was over they’ve added some – a few moving fixtures and the plan is to continue to add some more over the next couple of years. [Timestamp: 2:05]

I would think that a lot of that project was just getting the old stuff out of the way. How much of a job was it to get the old system components out and get the new ones in?
The church is actually very fortunate. They’ve got two full-time tech guys and we worked very closely with them, so they helped with a lot of that; some of which was to save cost, and too because they obviously wanted to be very involved with this process since they have to deal with it day-to-day. So moving the fixtures out and they took care of the majority of that as well as hanging the new lekos and aiming them where they wanted them. They actually took care of all of that side of it. We helped get the new cable, get the structure in place, and anything that we could do to help support them get it up and running. [Timestamp: 2:42]

And where is all the lighting control located in there?
They got a new Jands Vista L5 that’s currently running everything, house lights and all the theatrical. [Timestamp: 2:52]

So if they’ve only got two full-time guys to handle all of that I guess they augment them with volunteers from the congregation.
It’s just the two guys, so they’re definitely augmenting with volunteers. They have teams that rotate in on both audio/video and lighting. [Timestamp: 3:06]

Maximizing the Worship Space, Part 2

Jan 28, 2014 10:45 AM, With Bennett Liles

And that means continuous training going on. Did they rely on you for that initially or is it the two key members training volunteers?

We did a few initial training sessions on the Vista console. They’d used it before. They’d rented some of our consoles in the past, but we went a little bit more in depth, spent time with them as well as some of their volunteers. And then they’ve been taking it from there as they’ve been getting more and more of the volunteer team trained on it. Once they got everything initially dialed in and set up, it’s fairly easy learning curve on that console. [Timestamp: 3:36]

And I think they’ve got three pretty big projection screens in there?

Yes. We actually replaced all three of those with the new center-motorized dropdown screen and then two side screens that are permanently on the walls. Those are all lit with Panasonic 16K (PT-EX16KU) projectors. [Timestamp: 3:50]

Did they want the Panasonic especially or were those projectors just part of your initial spec on the job?

I’ve used those before many times. The church and I had a few conversations about it and they were very happy with some of the Sanyo projectors they’ve had in the past and so now that Sanyo is part of Panasonic, it just seemed like a natural fit. And so far they’ve had no issues. The projectors work well. [Timestamp: 4:10]

What sort of video signal format do you use to cover that distance all the way up to the projectors?

It currently is a DVI signal over a Cat-5 balun system. Some of the budget got caught on the video side, which is going to be an all-new control room. We weren’t able to do all of that, so the plan is to change that to an HDSDI signal in the future, but right now it’s a DVI feed over Cat-5 balun. [Timestamp: 4:33]

Well, any fewer boxes and connections the video signal has to go through to get all the way up there, the better.


Where do they handle the video control? They’ve got cameras and they’ve got projector feeds to control. How many cameras are they using on the services?

Well right now they do have cameras but they’re just using them for the shut-in video and recordings that they produce. They’re not using IMAG for the service. I believe there’s 40 right now. The plan is there will be four eventually and they will do IMAG. But like I said, we’re waiting for the control room to get refreshed. [Timestamp: 5:03]

Do they have live camera operators or is it remote control PTZ?

The cameras that they have currently, two of them have live operators and one is a lockdown shot.

Okay, so they can upgrade that as they go and as the budget allows. Sounds like you have them on the right track. The new LED lighting takes the improved sound and moves the atmosphere to the next level.

Yes. They’ve been very happy with the installation so far and everything that they’ve wanted to do, the system’s done it. The videos they’re working on, slow but surely we’re nibbling away at the control room and cameras as they can. They’ll be there shortly. [Timestamp: 5:37]

And I figure they’ll call SVL Productions to help them out with that when the time comes.

Yes, sir. We’ll be there.

Alright, Brent Hayes from SVL Productions in Cherry Valley, Illinois. It was great having you here and thanks for telling us about the video and LED lighting parts of tech upgrades at First Free Church.

Thanks for having me.

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