Worship: A Tailored AV Bid for New Construction, Part 2:

In this edition, Bennett Liles continues his talk with Josh Jagdfeld,about the total AV upgrade the company performed for Hosanna Lutheran Church. 1/20/2011 9:12 AM Eastern

Worship: A Tailored AV Bid for New Construction, Part 2:

Jan 20, 2011 2:12 PM, 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.

Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mankato, Minnesota had to build a whole new sanctuary to house it’s expanding congregation and Josh Jagdfeld of Intermedia Systems Group is here to give us the details on how the company put in a new audio and video system for the church. That’s coming right up on the SVC podcast. Josh thanks for being back with me for Part Two and we were talking about the new sanctuary they have at the Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mankato, Minnesota. Tremendous system and 800 people I believe we were talking about can be in there plus I think another couple of hundred in the narthex. And we talked mostly about the audio last time and you’ve got a lot of volunteers running this thing. Did Intermedia Systems Group provide any training for the tech volunteers and if so does digital console help with that?
Absolutely, Intermedia Systems Group really focuses on making sure that the system that we’ve designed using the feedback of the church during the design element then can be translated into really effective and positive training sessions for all the volunteers who may not have been necessarily part of the design but are definitely part of the crew that is going to support the ministry or the programs that are happening in these churches. So what we attempt to do is schedule multiple training sessions, one immediately when the system is completed so that the volunteer crew’s up and running and ready to go for their first beneficial use and then the next training sessions are laid out a little bit so that they have some time to get their feet wet, come up with some questions and really get handle on the whole wiring scheme, the whole thought behind this system so that the next we sit down it’s beyond the basics and a little bit more into the specifics of the system. [Timestamp: 2:12]

Yeah that’s always a challenge. You’ve got lots of technology in there but minimum experience on the part of most of the operators and it’s a trick to make it go smoothly with people who may be there one week and not be there the next week. You were talking about wireless microphones, do the pastor’s there use any head worn mics?
Yeah they do actually. All the pastors in the church are using headset style microphones—a few different styles of headsets but they’re all wearing headsets. They’ve even got headsets for guest like preachers and then all of those wireless systems then get routed through an antenna distribution system which is housed up in the FOH area. [Timestamp: 2:52]

Well that’s going to spoil your audio people. They love pastors who wear head-worn mics. It makes things go so much easier.
Yeah the fidelity is definitely vastly superior to lavaliere style microphones or other microphone configurations like boundary mics, etc. [Timestamp: 3:07]

Yeah, especially for some of these churches now taking a little bit of a different approach when they top out in one place and they set up these satellite campuses and broadcast either live or taped to those. That’s where the headset mics really come into play in not having it sound so reverberant at the receiving location. You were talking about the mic antennas and how they were arranged. Have you had any RF issues there? I mean how difficult was it to coordinate the mic frequencies?
Well thankfully down in the Mankato area it’s not a very, very busy overly active RF environment—not like some of the major metropolitan areas around the country. They do have, obviously, some digital television stuff going on but the location of the church plus the distance away from the largest city in the state, Minneapolis, gave us some flexibility so we did end up integrating Audio-Technica 4000 series wireless microphones and all of the antenna distribution is then routed through the Audio-Technica DA49 antenna distribution system with a pair of the log periodic dipole directional antennas. [Timestamp: 4:16]

And where have you got those mic antennas located—somewhere near the stage?
The antennas are actually up nice and high in the room and they are spread apart by quite a ways probably on thirds in the back wall of the sanctuary and directionally towards the front and the middle of the sanctuary. [Timestamp: 4:34]

How trouble-free has that been? Have you had to make any tweaks to it as you were setting up or after the first couple of services?
It’s been rock solid. We used Audio-Technicas really great frequency selection tool to make sure that in the area by zip code that we were operating on known good channels and it’s been just awesome. [Timestamp: 4:52]

Now how do they do the stage monitoring at Hosanna Lutheran? Have they got in-ear monitors or do they use floor wedges?
They’re actually using a mix so there are six Aviom A-16/2 personal mixers for the music group and they’re using varied amounts of in-ear monitors that they’ve plugged directly into the mixers. A few of them have actually got hot spot style small wedges and I would say it’s about a half and half configuration. [Timestamp: 5:2]

Yeah I love the hot spots. I’ve used those for all kinds of things. You can just sling them around all over the place and they seem to live forever.

So let’s talk about the projection a little bit. It seems like you have a double stack system at the church. Is that what you’re working with there?
That’s correct. The double stack idea was really a multi-pronged decision. The church was looking to not break the bank on the projection system so we had to really be creative about how we were going to meet their needs and still come up with a good solution. A couple of the things that they had mentioned during the design process that were going to be really important to them was nice vivid imagery for the projection system—obviously something that would be assumed. Second though was redundancy because the way that the projectors are mounted and where they’re located is not quite as easy as their old sanctuary space where they could get to projectors with either a short step ladder or a tall chair to do any maintenance and filter cleaning, etc. Another thing that they were interested in was being able to possibly use the projector as one by one and if one malfunctioned then switch to the other without having to have any down time. [Timestamp: 6:30]

Worship: A Tailored AV Bid for New Construction, Part 2:

Jan 20, 2011 2:12 PM, with Bennett Liles

Yeah, that would be an advantage. So how difficult is it to get the images aligned with the two separate machines mounted?
Well thankfully the NEC NP-4100W’s are designed for staggering. I think that, obviously, the first simple prerequisite to choosing to do this but what’s up in the air, we had used Chief projector mounts which allowed for some really, really great minute adjustments. So really lining up the images between those minute adjustments on the mounts plus the lens shift it’s really not all that…it wasn’t all that difficult and it looked just stunning. [Timestamp: 7:05]

What kind of video format do you run up to the projectors?
It’s VGA from the back of their computer that they already had out to a VGA over Cat5 distribution system. [Timestamp: 7:17]

And what are they using that for—mainly just hymn lyrics and other graphical stuff?
Yeah, currently the church is using their PC to build PowerPoint presentations for hymn display, group prayer; things like that, the major components of their service. We do have some video switching in place that allows the camera system to be routed through to the projection system for IMAG, etc. So they do have that flexibility though a majority of the time they’ve actually just got order of worship and responsive type things up on the screen. [Timestamp: 7:52]

Did you go with the NEC 4100 right away or was there something other than the stacking capability that caught your eye on those?
Well the value for the price is really, I would say, the strong suit of the 4100W’s. They’re a great DLP projector that’s got good color, great feature set. We’ve had a lot of experience with NEC in the past and it’s been great. I think those paired with all of the video distribution equipment and then the draper screens that we chose really turned out to be a stunning system. [Timestamp: 8:22]

On that particular model, do you remember whether they have the lamp door on the bottom or on the top of it?
The lamp door is actually on the top of the projector and so when they’re inverted like they are, it’s facing the bottom so it’s easy access and easy cleaning. [Timestamp: 8:35]

Yeah, that’s what I always like. In fact I don’t recommend to my boss at work that we get any projector that requires you to get the projector down and take the mount off just to change the lamps.
It’s a day’s worth of work pretty much. [Timestamp: 8:46]

So you’ve got a Xantech touch panel in there. What can you do with that?
Well this is the best part I think and my favorite part about this system. You would instantly think that I would just love the great M7CL Console or the high definition projection but actually the flexibility of the Xantech touch panel system is really where I had the most fun on this project when I was doing the programming and the design. In particular, Xantech has got a product called the WIC1200 which stands for web intelligent controller and it’s a box that lives on the network and has the ability to output serial IR, PJ link network command and all this great stuff that we use to control these complex audio systems. And so we had the flexibility of being able to design touch panel control but outside of touch panel control a web interface so that all of the computers on the network, including the iPad that we worked into this system, has the ability to do all of the same system control that the touch panels which has been integrated physically into the space have. So no matter where you are if you’re in front of the computer, if you’re at touch panel or if you’re holding that iPad out on the floor mixing you have the complete ability to turn off projectors, turn them on, cycle the audio system on and off, etc. [Timestamp: 10:06]

Yeah that would be great being able to do mixing on the iPad because you can be anywhere in the house and see what changes in the mix sound like over the house sound system.
Absolutely. Especially with Yamaha and their brand new stage mix software for the iPad it’s awesome. It’s really great. It’s dedicated iPad control from Yamaha for M7CL. [Timestamp: 10:28]

Is there any kind of latency or lag when you’re using that or bringing channels up and down?
We’re using an 802.11n network so the bandwidth throughput is very, very good and there’s no latency. When we were testing the system out if you would drop down to like a G network it was definitely noticeable but on the N network that we integrated it’s awesome. [Timestamp: 10:47]

And when all this came together and you had the sound and video working, were you there for the first service and where they tried it and standing in the shadows with your fingers crossed? And how did the reaction go?
Yeah, absolutely. We try to make a point of attending first use of systems with Intermedia Systems Group and it’s sort of a big deal it’s like the kid taking their first step or taking the training wheels off of a bike and we like to make our expertise available not only as the system designers but as the contractor and the trusted individual who has taken the time to get to know all this equipment at a more intimate level. Being able to be on site for that first use is really something that can’t be described as far the benefit. It was hugely helpful, it was hugely successful. It’s a lot of fun to see members of the congregation just staring in awe at the huge divide technologically that they had crossed from their old sanctuary space to the new one and to get the feedback. Nobody knows who you are or what you do but on the way out to hear people talk about how much that technology has impacted their worship experience or how great the music sounded, etc. It just makes it well worth it and when you’re on site you can help navigate any issues that may arise. Thankfully at their first service we didn’t have any issues. [Timestamp: 12:05]

Yeah and if they know who you are and what you did on the thing they look at you as the big kahuna and its “Yeah, we’re bad. We’re bad.” Josh it’s been great having you on the SVC podcast to tell us about the Hosanna Lutheran Church project in Mankato, Minnesota with their new sanctuary and it sounds like you had a good debut on that. Thanks for being here to give us the details on it.

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