On this edition of the SVC Podcast, Contributing Editor Bennett Liles talks with Gary Baria of Vision Integration about the total sound, video and lighting renovation performed by his company at the Mt. Hebron Church in Mobile, Alabama. Gary discusses the choice of the Martin Audio Wavefront Precision Mini speaker system, Allen & Heath d-Live mixer for front of house and Shure Wireless Workbench control and monitoring software.
Links of Interest:
This is the SVC Podcast from Sound & Video Contractor with Gary Baria of Vision Integration. We’ve got all the show notes and product links for the podcasts at svconline.com. Go to Podcasts at the top of the page.
The Mount Hebron Church in Mobile, Alabama is a very busy place. They needed all new sound, video and lighting with not much time to get it done. They called in local AV contractor Vision Integration for the work and now they’ve got a whole new look and sound. Gary Baria is here this week to give us the lowdown on the project coming up on the SVC Podcast.
Gary good of you to be with us from Vision Integration in Mobile, Alabama. Good to have you here.
Thanks, Bennett. It’s good to be on.
We’re going to be talking about a very big church AV upgrade project, but before the details on that, tell us about Vision Integration and what all goes on there.
We started this business, my business partner, Scott Daniel, and I started eight years ago as of October. We had worked in the industry. I’ve been in for like 25 years, Scott for about 15, working for other companies. And we saw a need to get out there and get a better-quality product and better installs into the area and things worked out to where we were able to do that. So we are a design, build, install firm. We have two Crestron master DM programmers here. All of us are capable on any DSP. We do house of worship, of course we do classrooms and higher education – just everything to do in the industry. [Timestamp: 1:57]
And I guess in a town the size of Mobile word gets around and it’s probably word of mouth that’s important to promoting your business.
Actually, it is. We’re always looking for great referrals, and we go out of our way to help our clients any way we can. This industry, especially in house of worship, it’s all ran by volunteers. So a lot of times we have to spend a little extra time, extra training just taking care of our clients. We’re slowing spreading and I think we’ve got a real good thing going on here. We’re all really enjoying it and working diligently and working extremely hard. [Timestamp: 2:35]
In this case, it was a local job. The Mt. Hebron Church seems like it’s got the same situation as a lot of others in that it’s out growing its sound system and even its facility. Are they more a traditional or contemporary church with a lot of live music and performances?
Yeah, they’re contemporary. The sanctuary now seats just a little over 900. They have an eight-to-nine piece band every Sunday. They rotate between having a choir, which is around 40 to 50 in their choir, and then when they have their praise team there are nine members of their praise team, including the worship pastor. [Timestamp: 2:15]
Okay, so a lot going on onstage. This upgrade you did for them was not just a sound system. I think you did considerably more than that.
Yes. We upgraded the audio, of course. We also upgraded the video and projectors, screens, switchers. We added some hand-held cameras, some PTZ cameras. Also we did a really cool thing in the baptistery. They had to seal up most of the baptistery wall except for a small window. So we ended up putting a basically lipstick camera in the baptistery itself and lighting and a microphone to capture everything in the baptistery. And that’s all sent back to the video and audio systems. [Timestamp: 3:59]
Sounds like a pretty busy place. If they’ve got three services going every Sunday that’s almost a week’s work right there in one day.
Also, they do their traditional Wednesday services too. There is a childcare center built into the sanctuary so the children also come into the main sanctuary and do videos. They do skits and do a lot of things in there. So it’s very multipurpose. [Timestamp: 4:27]
And to update the sound you gave them a Martin Audio system. Now what was the situation they had? What was the problem with the old sound system that required a complete re-do?
Well, their original sound system, which is what we replaced, was an exploding cluster of 12 JBL boxes. The exploding cluster was causing a lot of phasing issues and the intelligibility was just not there. So we were discussing line arrays with the church as an alternative and so we went with the Martins to give us what we needed in the sanctuary. [Timestamp: 5:01]
I would think that it made a huge difference in the sound intelligibility and for the performers. What was the extent of that work? Did it include any electrical or structural changes like new rigging?
We had to do some rigging, but the structure was there to do it so it wasn’t that much that had to be done, which helped out with the install. And of course the electrical was already in place except for a little bit of changing in the circuitry to provide for the lighting with the huge lighting update that we did. [Timestamp: 5:33]
Let’s see, that was a Martin Audio Wavefront Precision Mini system wasn’t it?
Yeah, the WPM system with the SX218 subs. Of course we used the K42 and K81 amplifiers along with the LE200 stage wedges. And then we used the small sixes for front fills and side fills. [Timestamp: 5:54]
Yeah, the CDD6. Those are passive two-way, really compact units with a lot of punch right there in the immediate area.
Yeah. It was funny because when we did the install there was certain issues with the hang because of the structure. We couldn’t get the speakers exactly where we wanted them, so we had to add the fills in but it actually filled up the areas perfectly. And it was funny because we were doing a demo with the pastor one day and we had just the front fills and the subs on, and the pastor walked in and asked us, “The main array sounds great. Can you turn the front fills on?” And we were like, pastor that is the front fills. [Timestamp: 6:36]
They really carry a lot of power and I would think that once the church people heard these they would be pretty impressed. It’s a passive system so where did you locate the amplifiers?
In the original install, of course all the conduit and everything was in place. Right off the stage in a back access room is where the amp rack is, so we just had to pull in new wiring to the speakers, of course. The electrical, like I said, was already in place so that was a cost that the church didn’t have to incur, of course, which kept them within their budget and made everything a lot easier for us also. [Timestamp: 7:10]
And those CDD6 fills that you put in probably make things a lot better on gain before feedback with all those live mics onstage.
Yeah. It’s so funny because there’s very little audio coming off the backside of the line arrays, so with all the microphones that are on stage, and of course with the band all being on in-ears, it keeps the stage level extremely low which helps out all the guys at front of house keeping the intelligibility and the clarity throughout the system. [Timestamp: 7:43]
In addition to the in-ear monitoring I think you’ve also got some Martin LE200 stage wedges up there, too.
Yes, that’s correct. So we’re using the stage wedges basically for the keyboard. The choir loves to hear the piano, so that’s what we’re using those for. And of course with guest speakers or anything else, we have four mixes on stage so we can scatter the wedges around wherever we need them and just basically do whatever the church needs as far as monitoring on stage. [Timestamp: 8:15]
On the mixer end of things you used the Allen & Heath dLive consoles. What was the particular attraction of those? Was it cost or just easier for fledgling tech people to operate those?
It’s kind of a unique situation there because the church has a separate room upstairs for their broadcast. We’re doing broadcast audio so we’re using the dLive as the main desk, of course, and then we’re breaking that out so all the inputs from the stage boxes are going to both consoles downstairs and upstairs to broadcast. So with the Allen & Heath having the ACE cards, we’re transferring all the information, all the audio, through the ACE to each desk and their both, of course, getting the same inputs. Then the guys upstairs are mixing broadcast and video audio from that desk upstairs, and then the main audio is being fed from the dLive downstairs. And with the cost of the dLive and the Allen & Heath in general working all together through the ACE cards, it’s just everything that we look for trying to give the church a good product at a good cost. [Timestamp: 9:31]
I’m sure that since pastors and others aren’t professional audio people there may be some demos and explanation to do. What I want to get to next week is the video recording, the projection and how you do the broadcasts. This has been great learning about how you pulled off the sound system changes. We’ve been talking to Gary Baria with Vision Integration in Mobile, Alabama about the sound, video and lighting upgrades at the Mt. Hebron Church. Sounds like a good job and I know you’re looking forward to outfitting their future facility. Thanks for being with us, Gary.
Thank you. I appreciate you having us on and look forward to our next podcast.
So at the Mt. Hebron Church they’ve got it going with new sound and video. They’re well on their way to a whole new and bigger facility coming up. Get back with us next week when Gary will tell us about their new video and lighting systems, on the next SVC Podcast.