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Oak Grove Baptist Church Advances with DiGiCo S21 Pt2

Show 171, Part 2

SVC Podcast – Show Notes – Show 171-2

In this edition of the SVC Podcast, Contributing Editor Bennett Liles continues his conversation 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 discusses the DiGiCo S21 mixer’s Flexi channel feature and details the mixer placement, crew training recording of the services and the large projection display onstage.

 For Part 1

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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

Oak Grove Baptist Church in Burleson, Texas got the chance to equip a new worship space and Technical Director Shawn Turner saw what they needed. A new DiGiCo S21 mixer, LiveMix monitoring system and Presonus StudioLive speakers were installed and Shawn is back to tell us about how he set it up and where they go from here. That’s all next on the SVC Podcast.

Shawn, thanks for getting back with us for Part 2 on the SVC Podcast from Oak Grove Baptist Church in Burleson, Texas. You’ve now got a DiGiCo S21 mixer, Presonus StudioLive speakers and a LiveMix monitoring system by Digital Audio Labs. So how has the change from analog to digital gone so far?

The initial transition with the in-room board and the rack system was a little bit unnerving. We went to a complete iPad control system and there’s no tactile feel. And growing up in the audio world or anybody who has learned that route in the analog world in audio you learn to trust that tactile feel and it’s almost a safety blanket. It’s not necessary it’s just a safety blanket that you’re used to because it’s what you’ve always done. And going from that to the DiGiCo, trying to teach people the iPad interface versus trying to teach people the DiGiCo interface, the DiGiCo interface, especially when you go to a individual channel layout it’s from left to right how the signal flows. Even with the newest firmware update you can actually see when you engage a gate or engage a compressor or even engage an insert if you had effects or EQ-ing or something like that, it shows the route and it’s laid out exactly the way the channel flow is and you can transition somebody from an analog. Okay, here’s your gain knob. Everything is global from there. You can come down on a channel strip and this is left to right. It’s real easy for a lot of my older volunteers to understand how the signal flows. [Timestamp: 2:15]

Yes, it’s not all the sound. There has always been some feel to it with the analog systems. Depends on how you want to go and every church has its own personality.

Absolutely. And I’ve used several digital boards throughout my years and this one is very in tune with the transition from analog, the digital, because of the price point. I was a little hesitant about it because the SD series can be a little overwhelming to somebody who is just jumping into a digital board, but the software is very good on this. [Timestamp: 2:43]

And how do you use the Flexi channel design on it?

The Flexi channel works great in this environment. Since I’m shooting a stereo imaged room, whenever I add something that’s stereo I could just eat up one processing channel. I don’t have to eat up two, left and right from the computer. Because some people are hesitant because this is only a 40 processing channel board. But I’m not using all 40 channels and in the traditional world I’m using more than 40 channels because of the Flexi channels. I’ve got three computers running into it, an auxiliary, a stage input for remote presentation. I’ve actually had the choir mics in stereo image also. So when you look at the choir, if you see somebody on the left side of the choir singing, you hear them on the left side of the room. As an audio guy you kind of geek out about it because you’re able to stereo image the room really well with the Flexi channel. And I can pan left and right, and so. [Timestamp: 3:39]

You’ve got live music and a choir there. How do you do a recording of the services? Do you usually record those?

Yeah, we record them. The DiGiCo S21 also has the UB90, which is their output for USB. It can go up to 48K for 48 channels, so sampling rate of 48 channels. And I’m using a program called Reaper and I’m able to record those channels and it’s pre-fader. Everything just comes in as the signal comes in, so raw signal. So I can actually dump that signal back into the board and hit “listen to sources” on the board and it changes all the inputs on the board to listen to that USB channel. And I can do live sound check. I can do training. I can mess the EQ-ing up and say what’s wrong with this mix and it’s an awesome, awesome training tool. And then here you go again, the advantage of a digital board. When we’re done training I reload the scene that we just had before and it fixes everything. Nothing is messed up permanently. I don’t have to spend hours tweaking knobs or getting things back the way they were. [Timestamp: 4:41]

And clean the blood off the board where you’ve got some beginners.

That’s right. And one aspect we’ve also used with the record, we traditionally do a rehearsal and not everybody is able to make it to the rehearsal. So I can record the rehearsal and with the live mix being Dante and everything I can actually play back the rehearsal and make their channel live so they can play along, they can sing along, they can hear all the cues, everything else I talked about, just like if everybody was here. Now I’ve used it kind of uniquely, but it’s worked really well for people who can’t make a rehearsal. [Timestamp: 5:18]

Do you have that out in the center of the house or up in the balcony somewhere?

No, the board is actually in the center. We don’t have a balcony. It’s a smaller venue. It’s only a 500-seat auditorium so it’s kind of intimate. That enables me to get the LRC in here without any phasing issues and I’m out probably 12-foot off the back wall and into the room just a little bit; same level. [Timestamp: 5:37]

Well, you’ve got it in a good place. Sometimes they stick those mixers in a room off to the side of the balcony and it can be a real challenge to hear what’s going on.

Yeah. I was actually on the committee when we built this building and my input was very adamant about we need to not put the soundboard in a hole because it will affect us long term.

How do you mic everything? What kind of mics do you use for the services?

I use Audix mics for choir. I’ve got Audix drum kits. I’ve got DPA head-worn mics. I love DPA stuff and just can’t afford it across the board. That’s one of the things that had to get cut whenever we were looking at the DiGiCo. But I went with Sennheiser mics. So the mics I’m using for the vocals are the E945’s and I really like those. They’re open sound. For the wireless I’m running the Shure and I’m running the ULXD, which we spent a little bit more money on, but I had to let our committee know that this money was well spent. You don’t have to wait for the mic to come on. It’s on instantly. And also it integrates seamlessly with the Dante system. In fact over Christmas we had a performance in here and I rented eight more channels of the ULXD and all I had to do was plug into our receiver array for the wireless and then plug a CAT-5 in. So I had two co-ax and one CAT-5 and two powers and I was done. I just rerouted it on the Dante, selected the inputs and copied my existing EQ’s for the wireless and I was done. [Timestamp: 7:05]

I notice from some of the pictures that you’ve got a huge center video display upstage. What kind of display is that?

Well that is a blended dual 16 by 10 screen that is – I’m shooting two Sony 7,000 lumens laser projectors. And I’ve been really happy with them. The blend is really good and it’s really bright and punchy and able to penetrate the light on the stage. Actually when we have intimate settings, like a candlelight service or something that’s a little darker scene I actually have to turn the brightness down on those projectors. Normally you’re always turning the brightness up or turning the contrast and trying to get the sharpness right where the words pop. But this is really nice. It’s worked really well as a backscape for scenery and stuff if we did plays in here and things. [Timestamp: 7:55]

You put I guess song lyrics on it?

We use ProPresenter for the words and we use ProVideoPlayer, that’s another product that Renewed Vision provides and basically it’s a layering system. So I can basically – the dual-screen setup that I got blended, so the one large canvas becomes canvas that I can put layers on, keyholes. I can add things in the corner. I can add layers to it, move things around. And it basically just enables me to paint the canvas with any information on it we like. So it’s a very nice program. [Timestamp: 8:28]

And there are events going on in there other than Sunday services?

Yeah. We’ll have events time to time. You know, all your traditional church stuff is wedding, funerals, special events during holidays and Easter. And then we also will bring in guest speakers, or guest comedians to try to bring in the community. We’ve also had a couple of community events to try to welcome the community to use our facilities and not be just the church around the corner, to actually be a part of the community. We’ve partnered with one of the local schools and they actually have their conferences and their teacher in-services at our facilities to able to further engulf being part of the community and not just be in the church that’s just around the corner. [Timestamp: 9:14]

So you’ve made this move. The next time they give you some funding for improvements which direction will you go with the new gear then?

My lighting guy will tell me that I need to get some lights since I cut some of the lights from the budget to get the S21. But I think that’s what we’ll do is get some moving lights in here to be able to scene-scape the thing. I would also – and I’ve rented it before and I would also like to integrate environmental projection in the room. I think that adds a neat feel when the time is there. Last Christmas my projection, the whole entire room, and so we had several scenes where the room looked like it was snowing and that was a very neat effect. But I think the next thing would probably be some moving lights. And then after that I’ll probably expand the wireless and go ahead and purchase ULXD’s so we don’t have to rent every time. [Timestamp: 10:06]

Probably makes sense to go ahead and buy your gear instead of continuing to rent once you know the hardware works well. The lighting will be fun once you can get some moving lights on the live music. That should add quite a bit. It’s Shawn Turner, technical director for Oak Grove Baptist Church in Burleson, Texas. Congratulations on the new gear and you’ve put the money where it was needed.

That’s right. We’ve been very blessed.

Well, thanks for being with us.

Thank you.

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 Be back with us again next week for the SVC Podcast.

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