Oak Grove Baptist Church Advances with DiGiCo S21 Pt 1

Show 171, Part 1
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Show 171, Part 1

SVC Podcast – Show Notes – Show 171-1

In this edition of the SVC Podcast, Contributing Editor Bennett Liles talks with Shawn Turner, technical director at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Burleson, Texas regarding the installation of AV gear for their new worship space. Shawn selected a DiGiCo S21mixer for the main house along with optional Dante and MADI DMI cards and a D2-Rack. The musicians got a LiveMix monitoring system by Digital Audio Labs and PreSonus Audio StudioLive speakers.

 For Part 2

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This is the SVC Podcast from Sound & Video Contractor Magazine with Shawn Turner. Show notes and equipment links for the podcast are on the web site of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at svconline.com.

At Oak Grove Baptist Church in Burleson, Texas they got a new worship space but were faced with some tight budget choices on lighting and sound. Technical Director Shawn Turner crafted the spending to include a new DiGiCo S21 mixing console. He’s here to tell us how he uses that and the other new gear installed for the church. That’s coming right up on the SVC Podcast.

Shawn it’s great to have you with us on the SVC Podcast from Oak Grove Baptist Church in Burleson, Texas and that’s in the Dallas area I believe.

Yes, it is.

And as the Technical Director at Oak Grove, you’re all things AV there I would think.

Yes, sir, from video to lighting to audio.

Okay, and it looks like you got yourself a new DiGiCo mixer but before we get into the details on that I’m interested to know what your situation was with the church previous to the new equipment. What were you looking at and budgeting for?

The new mixer was brought upon with the new building so we had all new AV equipment to be supplied in the new building. Before we were running an old Mackie analog in our old sanctuary, our conditional sanctuary. And then we had a multipurpose gym that we were running a Presonus StudioLive board. So a little bit of mostly analog world but a little bit of digital touch with Presonus. [Timestamp: 1:39]

So you were all set to go digital on the house mixer.

Yes. We wanted to go digital.

I know there are numerous advantages to that especially in a tech volunteer environment where you can set something up, push one button and get right back to where you were with it.

That’s right. The recallability is very valuable in a digital world especially after events and then going back to a Sunday set. [Timestamp: 2:02]

And getting everything exactly back to the way it was and not having to write down or remember all the different settings. With a lot of tech volunteers EQ knobs for instance only turn to the right.

Exactly. Most of my EQ’s have dips and no peaks.

This was part of a much bigger upgrade I believe. What else was involved with the project for new AV equipment for the church?

We were 100 percent new in the building so we got new video screen front and back and new speakers, new lighting system. We went with a ColorSource for all the house lighting so we got RGB color mixing in the house as well as on stage so that gives a unique feel sometimes. [Timestamp: 2:43]

So this was a big, multi-dimensional project and that must have been a little tricky as far as spreading out the money and figuring how much was going to go where.

Oh, absolutely. It always comes back to that want versus need versus featureability of stuff. You know, instead of buying something that fits the budget maybe we’ll spend more budget here like we did with the mixer and then take away – we did house lighting, we took away from auxiliary mics, things like that and stuff we could purchase later. It was real tricky. [Timestamp: 3:12]

Well, I’m sure it always is.

We had it all set until DiGiCo announced this new board and it came in in the middle of a price point where we could make it stretch, but it had features that were on higher-end boards. So like let’s swing for the fences on this. Let’s see if we can make it work. [Timestamp: 3:28]

So where did you see it demonstrated? Did they set up something in-house or did you see it at a trade show somewhere?

I saw it at NAB. I had the opportunity to go to NAB in 2015 in Vegas and had the opportunity to see it there. They released it there and Frankfurt simultaneously. And so it was a prerelease software. They had some glitches with it, but I saw the potential of it and I was real excited about it. So I talked to Matt, the Director of United States Sales at DiGiCo and he said yep, they’re supposed to be on board in June. I decided that’s right about it and that’s the direction we needed to go. [Timestamp: 4:05]

So you went with the DiGiCo S21 and I know that the volunteers are probably excited to have something new to work on. Maybe a little apprehensive about going digital. So where did you buy the S21 and who did the installation?

We purchased it through Sight and Sound out of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Kris Johnson is our point of contact there, and he’s also the owner. I talked to him actually while I was still in Vegas and said hey, do you know about this? He says yes, I was going to talk to you about it. And I was talking to him and telling him that I was really excited about it and he was too, you know, to be able to install it as an integrator. And as an install guy you get excited about the equipment you get to sell, especially when it’s not the same thing everybody else is asking for. And he was more accommodating and he started the balling rolling. We got it in November of ’15. We used an X32 rack mounting system because all our inputs were set up to go to a rack mounted D2 rack in the interim before this board was here. [Timestamp: 5:06]

And in addition to this you got a LiveMix Personal Monitoring System from Digital Audio Labs?

Yeah. I saw the LiveMix. I think they announced it in 2013 at a WFX trade show. It’s more geared towards worship facilities and stuff. It’s a smaller trade show. But they speak Dante and that integrates into the system that we designed her perfectly. And I can change all the input names and everything and at the time they were the only ones on the market doing it at this price point. You actually have the names of each channel that you’re adjusting. You can have dual adjustability and the units are actually stereo when you plug them in straight into them also. So I was really excited about that. [Timestamp: 5:46]

It’s always great to be able to allow the musicians to handle their own monitor mix and set everything up just the way they want it.

Absolutely. You know, especially a seasoned musician. They know what they want to hear, what they need to hear, and we have some of our singers and praise team and they need to know what they need to hear but it’s really easy. You don’t need to hear this or you don’t need to hear that. And they’re able to clean their mix up very efficiently without a lot of input. [Timestamp: 6:13]

And you have in-ear monitoring?

Yes. Yes. I’ve got an IM system, a Sennheiser system. And a couple of them are hardwired into the live mixes like the bass guitar and the electric and drums because they’re stationery position. But everybody else has got wireless IM’s. [Timestamp: 6:29]

That gives everybody onstage a lot of freedom but it takes some getting used to if you’re coming from a floor wedge setup.

There is a difference, you know. All of a sudden it’s a closed-off sound that you’re not to it and that’s another advantage of the LiveMix. You can actually a little bit of ambient mic to it to make it not sound so closed off. You can add reverb to each individual mix unit. And again you can do that at every mix unit for every person and that adds ability. Because a lot of people, you know, they try to drop one ear and listen to the house, well then all you’re listening to is flash and your timing is off and it sounds like something is messed up. So with the ambient mic and the reverb capabilities is makes the transition from the live stage to in-ears a little easier. [Timestamp: 7:15]

And with in-ear you have to sort of jump off the cliff right into it.

Yep.

And you equipped the sanctuary with Presonus StudioLive speakers.

We did. It was at the advice of Kris at Sight and Sound and in the grand scheme of things Presonus is a lower-end and they’re not really a speaker company. They do have some nice studio monitors though. And I was really hesitant about it, but I’m really pleasantly surprised. I run an LRC in the room and the audio coming out of the Dante is really exceptionally clean. And it’s a pleasant surprise. I looked at some different speakers but I was mainly looking for something that would speak Dante and have a redundancy and back up the analog just in case the network went down. So pleasantly surprised. [Timestamp: 8:02]

Once you have a Dante system in place why not add Dante speaking components?

Exactly. Dante is a beautiful system and beautifully simple and it just works. And it’s clean. [Timestamp: 8:12]

When you get all of this put together and the people all corralled how many tech volunteers does it take to operate everything and how did they take to the S21?

Well normally we have somebody running the slides and the presentation words on the screen. We’ve got a lighting guy. We’re not running cameras right now. We’re set up for it. It’s just one of those things, need versus want in the budget. We initially designed the system. And then we’ve got one guy for audio. And sometimes I’m able to sit back and kind of oversee stuff – I’m mainly an audio guy – bring up and I’m able to either oversee all three or just do the audio. But our technical and our volunteer staff is exceptional. They love what they do. They see what they do as a ministry and not as a daunting job that they have to go to. And their heart’s into it. And we have some very talented volunteers. [Timestamp: 9:07]

Sounds like you’ve got a good setup there and now they’ve got the S21, the Presonus speakers and the LiveMix monitoring system. Great hearing about it and in Part 2 we’ll get more into the DiGiCo mixer and some of the displays that you’re using. Great having you with us. Shawn Turner, technical director at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Burleson, Texas. We’ll see you in Part 2.

Thanks to Shawn Turner for joining us on the podcast. Show notes and equipment links are on the website of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at svconline.com. Next week Shawn will provide more details on how he uses the new DiGiCo S21 mixer and how services are recorded at Oak Grove Baptist Church. That’s on the next SVC Podcast.

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