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Crown Design Group Outfits New Building for Coastlife Church Pt 2

Show 155, Part 2

SVC Podcast – Show Notes – Show 155-2

In this edition of the SVC Podcast, SVC Contributing Editor Bennett Liles talks with Garrett Walker of Crown Design Group, a church AV integrator in Bradenton, Florida, about the sound, projection and lighting installation done in the new building for Coastlife Church. Garrett describes the worship style at Coastlife Church and he provides details on the sound and projection areas of the project. He explains the way the stage monitoring is derived at the FOH mixer and fed to the Shure in-ear system for the performers.

 For Part 1

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From Sound & Video Contractor Magazine, this is the SVC Podcast with Garrett Walker of Crown Design Group. Show notes for the podcast are on the web site of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at

The high-powered Coastlife Church in Venice, Florida called in Crown Design Group to install a lighting system for their new building. Then came sound and video and Garrett Walker from Crown Design Group is going to give us the details on how they got all of that installed, set up and running. That’s coming up right now on the SVC Podcast.

Garrett, thanks for being with us on the SVC Podcast.

Thanks for having me.

From Crown Design Group down there in the Tampa-Sarasota area of southwestern Florida.


There are a lot of churches down that way, and I’m sure you have plenty of work so this is the Coastlife Church where you did not only sound and video but also lighting. Today we’re talking mainly about the sound and video part of the project. This is kind of a powerhouse church with lots of live music. So let’s start with the speaker system and work our way back. What sort of speaker system did you install for Coastlife Church?

The church itself is a very young church, especially for Venice. And they do a very contemporary, upbeat, big, loud worship service. So we needed to pick a system that was going to be loud enough and articulate enough to kind of express their style of worship. So speaker-wise, we went with Renkus-Heinz. We did four CF-151’s, which is their 15-inch. We did the powered version. We did four of those for the tops just above the stage, and then we did two Renkus-Heinz DR-18’s, which are their dual 18 subs. They’re active as well. So between all of those speakers we really got the output and the horsepower that they needed to kind of get the party started. [Timestamp: 2:08]

And they have a lot of power to stand up to with all the live performances going on there. That’s main house so how do they do the stage monitoring for all of the live bands?

All of their monitors are in-ear monitors so they don’t have any stage monitors except for one for the pastor. The pastor likes to have a speaker just on stage so that he has a little bit of feedback, hears himself. He doesn’t have to feel like he’s yelling. But other than that, all the instrumentalists, all the vocalists are on in-ear monitors. We supplied them with Shure PSM series in-ear monitors, and they work great. They sound great. We haven’t had any issues with them frequency-wise. And it’s definitely a new thing for them because they went from four wedges to in-ear monitors during this whole transition to their new room. And it definitely came with a couple of learning curves, but overall it’s saving their ears. It’s a lot better sounding in the room, obviously, because you’re cutting down on all that extra noise, and each vocalist and musician gets a mix exactly like they’d like. So it turned out really great. [Timestamp: 3:21]

Yeah. A lot to set up and get right, but once you have it set up and just the way they want it, they’ll never know how they did without it.

For sure. For sure.

So what do they use for front of house and monitoring as far as the mixers?

Front of house they have an X-32, just a Behringer X-32, and they run all their mixes off that board. So they run mono for their ears, which just means that we go into a single transmitter. We go into a left and right, but you set the packs up to be focused on left or right pan. So really they get kind of two different in-ear systems out of one transmitter. So that’s the only way we could get all the mixes that they needed off of the X-32 because obviously the X-32 has 16 out and that’s it. So there was a couple of fun workarounds that way. Obviously we would have loved to get them all stereo in-ear mixes, but it just wasn’t in the cards or the budget for this project. [Timestamp: 4:17]

So you did everything wireless using Shure gear.

Yep. Shure in-ears and Shure microphones as well. Shure has a new line of digital microphones and these in-ear monitors. The microphones we used were the QLXD’s and kind of the cool thing about them is they come with these rechargeable batteries and these rechargeable battery docks where you recharge them. And the in-ear monitor packs and the speaker packs that they use for their headset microphone, they use the same rechargeable dock. It’s a great thing for the church. They don’t have to buy any more batteries, they don’t have to worry about batteries dying on them. Everyone has a place to put their microphone or their in-ear monitor pack. At the end of service, all they do is walk up to their recharging dock and put it in and they know it’s going to be recharging the whole week and be ready for them for the next week. So it’s a convenient little system that Shure has come up with and I know the church is loving it. When I was a technical director it seemed like I couldn’t buy enough AA batteries. It kept coming and I never had enough of them. So with these new rechargeable systems, it’s been a huge, huge plus. [Timestamp: 5:26]

Well, this was a big sound system to get installed and set up right, so how long did it take you to get all of that done? Was there a big time constraint with a tight deadline to have it all done?

There’s always time constraints. Obviously, when you’re the AVL guy you’re there at the end of the project. Hopefully it’s dust-free. Hopefully you kind of have the place to yourself. I’ve never seen this to be the case. And because you’re the last one in to do the install, you’re down to whatever little time the other contractors have given you. So in this case it was a bit tight, but we ended up coming and doing all that we could at certain points in the project and then we were waiting around for other tradesmen to do their part. So it was a long process. We’d do a week here and then we’d have to wait on electrical and we’d come back a week later or two weeks later and we’d finish up. Obviously once we got all the speakers and projectors and lighting bar mounted and rigged up and we had power, it doesn’t take long after that. Tuning the system was probably a day of ringing the room out and analyzing it and just playing reference tunes through it to make it sound good. Once it’s all up and lights are on, we’ve kind of got our systems down. We really strive to know what the client wants too, so we’re not going in blind. We know what they’re expecting. We know what they want out of the project, so it doesn’t take a ton of time after that. [Timestamp: 6:51]

And your partner Ben Graham and I were talking in Part 1 about the way they set up the lights, but the great thing is that although there was a lot to do you actually got in on this right at the planning phase of it, which is just a huge advantage in the long run.

Yeah, it’s huge because as an AVL integrator we oftentimes speak a completely different language than any other trade. And we have our eyes set on certain parameters or different items in a list of to-do’s for a building project that no one else does. And so if anyone out there listening is beginning to get into a building project, I would partner with someone right away. Partner with an AVL integrator that has your best interest at heart so that they can do the translation to these other builders; so tell them in their terms why you need conduit here, why you need power there. A lot of times they’re not very creative. They don’t see it the way we do. They don’t understand the new technology and everything. So it’s very important to kind of be the voice at the very start of these projects to be able to get the best outcome in the end. [Timestamp: 7:53]

I was going to ask you about the Symetrix DSP as well. You’ve got zones set up for it? How did you do that?

The Symetrix, we did the Jupiter 8. It’s a pretty cool little 8 x 8 DSP processor. We’ve gone through their training and everything and used it for years, so I kind of know my way around it very well. We use it for distributing the audio between all four speakers, the main speakers and the subs, and also a couple of different ins and outs that go to their foyer. So they have a foyer environment with separate distributed audio feed, a 70-volt system. And with that DSP, with that Symetrix unit, we give them like a little controller board where we preprogram it to be able to pick sources and do volume changes and all these different things. And it’s kind of an easy place for them to go and turn the whole system on or off or change the audio feed that’s going to the foyer. It’s a very powerful little unit that we use quite often. [Timestamp: 8:53]

And I believe you also installed a Hitachi unit for the projection.

Yeah, yeah. They got a big Hitachi projector on a 16’ x 9’ daylight screen. I think it was an 8,500 lumen projector we put in there. Obviously they’re very heavy in media. They have a lot of videos that they play and even during their worship they have moving backgrounds with lyrics so we want it to be a very striking part of their stage design. So we went with Hitachi, which are great units to use. They have one of the lowest return rates for projectors, which is huge because these churches don’t want to have to worry about a projector Sunday morning not turning on. It’s just not worth it. So Hitachi came out with a couple of great models that seem to work really well and great picture and obviously enough brightness in that room. [Timestamp: 9:42]

Yeah, when that single big projector goes down during an actual service that’s going to really change things. Sounds like you did it just right with a lot to get just right but this one is done so what have you got coming up for Crown Design Group?

We’ve always got a lot going on. We’ve been very blessed to have a lot of different people, different projects calling us up all the time. So we’ve got a lot going on. We’re working on some very large audio systems that we’re really excited about. We’re working on a couple of new building projects that have been in the works for a while. So right now we’re in some early construction phases on some of them. A couple of just design builds that are going to be buildings that are built a couple of years from now, but like we were just talking about, we got in on the ground floor and we’re working with them from day one. So it’s, once again, a great situation. But yeah, we’re extremely busy. It’s been great and we love it. [Timestamp: 10:35]

I’m sure the people at Coastlife Church can put in a good word for you with a project like this with sound, video and lighting.


Thanks for telling us the story. It’s Garrett Walker from Crown Design Group and the Coastlife Church in southwestern Florida. I know you’ll have plenty more like this one.

Hopefully, yeah.

Okay. Thanks for telling us about it. Always a pleasure.

Thanks for having me.

Thank you for being here with us for the SVC Podcast with Garret Walker. Show notes are on the website of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at Be back with us next week for the next SVC Podcast.

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