SVC Podcast – Show Notes – Show 123-2:
In this edition of the SVC Podcast, SVC Contributing Editor Bennett Liles wraps up his discussion with Mark Coble of Paragon 360 about the complete sound system overhaul performed for Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma. Mark expands on his selection of the BSS BLU-160 signal processor and describes how he tackled the under-balcony fill aspect of the new sound system. Paragon 360 also provided acoustic treatment for the new church worship center.
Links of interest:
- BSS BLU-160 Signal Processor used in the project
- JBL STX812M state monitors
- JBL STX828S Dual 18″ Bass Reflex Subwoofer
- BLU-BOB1Break-Out Box Output Expander
Download Podcast Here:
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.
From Sound & Video Contractor Magazine, this is the SVC Podcast with Mark Coble of Paragon 360. Show notes for the podcast are available on the web site of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at svconline.com.
The Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma had to start from scratch and redo the sound, lighting and acoustics of their worship center all at once. They called Paragon 360 to handle the project and Mark Coble is going to finish up his account of how it all came together. All of that’s right here on the SVC Podcast.
Thanks, Mark, for being back with us for part two on the SVC Podcast from Paragon 360 with the sound, acoustics and lighting upgrade at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma. Very diverse congregations with very different services there and they have a lot of touring groups so are these pretty much gospel bands or what type of live performances do they have?
Well Sunday mornings at this church consists of two services, one of which uses a large choir and a 25-piece orchestra with a smaller praise team out front. The second service is very much band led with no choir. The service is much more of a concert-style setup with higher SPL levels that are required for that. Also they’ll be doing a lot of the concerts, like we mentioned. They bring in touring artists and the church wanted to ensure that the loudspeaker system that’s installed would support the majority of the tech riders that were out there. Most recently Natalie Grant, who is a contemporary Christian artist, performed there just soon after the completion of the renovation. [Timestamp: 1:56]
So at the very least on the sound system you’ve got to have a lot of input capacity to accommodate whoever may come in the door.
Yeah. Right now we’re currently using two Yamaha M7CL consoles that are cascaded together. That allows them to have 80 inputs from the platform, and those 80 inputs are also split to another location in the church where they can mix audio for video separately. [Timestamp: 2:23]
Yeah, I was going to ask you about that because sometimes the stage monitoring can be a bigger challenge than the main house. And you also used some BSS gear?
Yeah we did, which is a natural extension to use in the Harmon line. We used the London BLU-160 for the processing of the main loudspeaker system. We also added a BLU-BOB to achieve all of the input and outputs that we need for this project. The BSS gear handles all the routing and distribution of the main PA and also takes care of the needs of four stage monitor mixes. [Timestamp: 2:57]
And we talked in part one just briefly about the speaking style of the pastor. With the sermon the central event of the service, he wants to be able to have a whisper go booming out to everybody and trying to work that in with the diverse congregations, it’s hard to come up with a sound system that makes all of that sound right.
Yeah it does present a challenge, and that’s where gaining control of the acoustics in the space becomes extremely important. The loudspeaker system can only play as good as its acoustic environment will allow it, so when the pastor wants to be able to whisper you really need to have really good control of the acoustics in the space to be able to accomplish that. [Timestamp: 3:33]
How long did it take you to get all of that in there and get the acoustic treatment done and have it all ready to go?
Well, again we’re talking about a project that spans all parameters of audio, video and lighting systems including our new modular choir riser systems, architectural and scenic elements including a drum enclosure, and a new custom ceiling panel that we installed. The project also underwent a lot of general construction changes up to the balcony areas. This project spanned from early January to September 1, 2014. Paragon 360’s portion of this installation work spanned about eight weeks, and it was broken up into two or three various segments. [Timestamp: 4:16]
With all of that to do you obviously had to hit the ground running and once you got it all hooked up and ready, how did the system testing go?
The system testing went very well, partially because we preassemble and pre-build all of our racks in our shop so we’re able to test these racks out and have most of the processing done before it arrives onsite. So when it comes time to commissioning, it definitely speeds up the process because we’re able to really get the acoustics under control in that space, and with good modeling techniques that we have it allowed for quick tuning and commissioning of the system. [Timestamp: 4:55]
Usually churches use a lot of volunteers so who is it that operates the new sound and lighting? If it’s volunteers, did Paragon 360 provide the training for them?
Yeah. This church is all volunteer led, as most churches are. However, they’re really fortunate to have some pretty talented engineers who are able to showcase the capabilities of this new system. As far as training is concerned, here at Paragon 360 we take a little bit unique approach to this. We offer standard training for the operation of the actual equipment itself, but we also provide a significant amount of education in regards to techniques, tips and tricks for live sound reinforcement. We’re always present for all the rehearsals leading up to opening and we’re there for the first use of the systems as well. It’s pretty common for us to help coordinate setup for rehearsals and actually operate the equipment for rehearsals and first use, depending on the level of comfort for the technical staff. Something else we do is we plan in advance a follow-up trip after new installation, usually about a month or so after commissioning for additional training. This allows the new owners to use the gear for a while and develop a list of questions in regarding operations or other questions that may have come up after some time of use. [Timestamp: 6:15]
Well, I know their tech people had a blast seeing that whole new system set up and then getting their hands on it to try all the things they wanted to do. But you had some tricky places to cover. I know you had an under-balcony fill situation to deal with.
Yeah. The main VerTec line arrays covered the majority of the auditorium, with the exception of the last two rows which were tucked up under the balcony. For this we used some distributed JBL AC25’s, and those were just to fill in the missing mid-high frequencies that the face of the balcony was blocking. With the addition of these delayed speakers we were able to maintain a very even sound pressure level from the front row all the way to the back. [Timestamp: 6:58]
Now where is the sound control point for this and what type of mixer do they use?
The front-of-house mix position is located on the main floor, just off center and out from the balcony area. The church previously owned two Yamaha M7CL consoles which we were able to repurpose for this renovation. They were very comfortable with these consoles and there was not really a need for us to replace them. The consoles run in a cascade fashion it allows them to have 80 channels of audio input from the platform. [Timestamp: 7:29]
Oh, well that’s a great advantage with their already being familiar with the mixer because the learning curve on that is usually one of the bigger hurdles you have on a new sound system run by volunteers.
It sure is. It’s pretty common. These consoles were just a couple of years old and their volunteers have gotten to be able to walk around them pretty well, so there was not really an advantage to this church to upgrade their consoles at this time, and having familiar consoles made the transition one step easier for them. [Timestamp: 8:00]
And where’s all of the rack gear? Where did you stash all of that stuff?
All seven of the in-ear monitor transmitters are located at the front-of-house mix position, while all of the processing and amplifiers are located on a second floor equipment room which was specifically designed to host these racks. The amplifiers are in fairly close approximation to the arrays, keeping the cable runs short, and the room is climate controlled to keep everything nice and cool. [Timestamp: 8:25]
Okay. It sounds like they got off to a good start and they’re rolling on familiar territory now even while balancing two different types of services. You got that all done, so what’s coming up next for Paragon 360?
Well, we are in the middle of 21 different projects right now in 10 different states that extend all of the way into the middle of 2016. These include major sanctuary renovations in Mississippi, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia and Oklahoma. We have new sanctuary renovations that will be completed by March 2015 in Tampa, Florida and Bakersfield, California, and we’re also finishing a project for Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia that includes audio, video and lighting systems in seven different rooms of a new children and youth expansion project. [Timestamp: 9:18]
Okay, and I’m sure you pick up a few more tricks of the trade on each one of these projects. Mark Coble from Paragon 360 in Springfield, Missouri and the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma. Thanks for outlining the project for us, Mark. Pleasure having you with us.
You’re welcome. Thanks for the opportunity.
Thank you for being here with us for the SVC Podcast with Mark Coble. Show notes are available on the website of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at svconline.com. Be back here with us again next time for the SVC Podcast.