SVC Podcast – Show Notes – Show 193-1
In this edition of the SVC Podcast, Contributing Editor Bennett Liles talks with Art Reiger of Solsound in Galesville, Maryland about how he upgraded the sound system for the new and larger Lighthouse Church sanctuary in nearby Glen Burnie. Art discusses the choice of a Danley amp and speaker system and how some of the old sound system was integrated with the new one.
Links of Interest:
- Solsound in Galesville, Maryland
- The Lighthouse Church in Glen Burnie
- Danley GO2 8CX compact loudspeakers
- Elation LED fixtures
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This is the SVC Podcast from Sound & Video Contractor Magazine with Art Reiger of Solsound. Show notes and product links for this one and other SVC podcasts are at svconline.com.
The Lighthouse Church in Glen Burnie, Maryland outgrew its old location and moved into a bigger building. To outfit the AV system they called in an old friend. Art Reiger of Solsound in nearby Galesville designed a distributed sound system, installed stage boxes and mixed some of the existing gear with the new Danley system. He’s here to tell us how they got it all done. That’s all right here on the SVC Podcast.
Art, thanks for joining us on the SVC Podcast from Solsound in Galesville, Maryland. Great to have you here to tell us about the Lighthouse Church in Glen Burnie and how you completely outfitted their new home. Solsound has been around for quite a while and you’re certainly not newcomers to the Lighthouse Church. I think you’ve done quite a bit of previous work for them.
That’s true. First, thank you for the opportunity to be on with you, Bennett. Yeah, we’ve been working with Lighthouse Church about 8-10 years, and I connected with them through word of mouth. They were looking for a person to come in and assess their current sound system and give them some suggestions on possible upgrades and how to get them from where they were down the road nicely into the future. So we began working in, at the time, their current facility which is also in Glen Burnie, Maryland. And we did a little tuning of their existing system and then got them into an Allen & Heath GLD80 system. And that started their trek in upgrading their technology. That went on for oh, a few years. We kind of helped them out a little bit here and there. And then the next round they did a community outreach for Easter two years ago at the Baltimore Convention Center and we provided all the sound, the lighting, the projection, the camera crew for that event which seated a little over 4,000 people and went wonderfully. And then the time came for them to move into their current facility. Our name came up again, which we were very thankful for, and one thing led to another and we were on the project. [Timestamp: 2:41]
And it’s great for a church and an AV outfit to have a long running relationship because on those, when some work is needed, they all know what to expect from each other.
That’s very true.
Now, does Solsound specialize in church AV or do you have other types of projects?
Our main work is churches, for sure, but through word of mouth people found out what we do and so along the way a lot of folks who needed AV in their 9:00 to 5:00 jobs as it were referred us to do other things. So we’ve done some government facilities. We’ve done some corporate facilities, we’ve done a swimming pool complex, and actually a friend’s funeral home as well. So we’ve had our hands in a few things along the way. [Timestamp: 3:31]
Well, that’s a pretty wide selection of projects.
[Laughs] It is.
As long as you don’t get them confused.
Yeah. For sure.
So I believe Lighthouse Church has a lot going on. They’ve expanded to a few satellite campuses and it sounds as if they have the same problem as a lot of other churches where the congregation is growing beyond their physical capacity on the meeting space. They moved into a new 74,000 square foot building. Does the church sanctuary take up all of that space or is some of the building used for other things?
Some is used for other things. I’m going to shoot from the hip a little bit here and say that the sanctuary probably takes up 50 percent of the new facility. The rest is they have a really dynamic program for their kids which is wonderful. So they have quite a few classrooms and then a dedicated youth hall toward the back of the facility. Then they also have moved all their offices over to there so that takes up a little space. And then because they’re a real relational community church they dedicated a significant area for coming and going and congregating such that they put displays and speakers out in those areas to pipe the program out to those areas and also provided kind of a coffee bar, if you will, at one end of the front area just for people to kind of meet and hang out and again build relationships. So some of what we did covered those areas as well. [Timestamp: 5:13]
In one image I’ve seen of it the place looks like it could have a lot of hard surfaces on the floors, the ceiling and maybe the walls, too. What does it sound like in there? Is it reverberant or does it sound quite a bit different empty than when the whole congregation is in there?
Right when we started, oh my, it was reverberant. Yeah, cement floors, drywall walls and an open-corrugated steel ceiling. So it doesn’t take much imagination to understand what that sounded like going in. So the thing that helps kind of harangue that reverberation back into an acceptable level were (1) using a distributed system instead of a common line array approach that would have really energized that room way too much; (2) the church had a guy that goes to their church, a real nice guy, that has an acoustical paneling business – or that’s part of his business. So he teamed up with the church and provided a nice amount of covering on the back and two side walls with acoustical panels. Then also they put, I’m going to guess, 1,100 chairs in place and also some runners in the aisles. So between all those pieces it brought what sounded like an airplane hangar into a nice-sounding room. And they’re a contemporary church, so it’s not like a rock-and-roll-type church that we’ve had before and have as customers. So they don’t drive the room so hard that the reverberation is out of control. [Timestamp: 6:52]
You designed the sound system for the whole place and you went with Danley speakers and amps. Had you spoken with the Danley people previously about this project?
We did. The church approached us two years ago right before InfoComm. And I’d heard Danley speakers before a little bit, and I have a fellow integrator out our way that has done a lot of Danley projects in our area. And so we had actually travelled to InfoComm together and he said you’ve really got to go listen to these speakers. So I did and was really blown out of the water by the clarity. It was just, man, hard to describe. So of course that’s intriguing, but the next thing that really started pulling me that direction was I got to speak with Tom Danley. I got to speak with some of the principal guys in the company who were all, first, extremely approachable. Second, it was infectious, their enthusiasm. Not only for audio, but just for doing the right thing for their customers and their dealers and contractors. And that whole experience led into a couple of phone calls right after InfoComm and I got the same response from their designers. All their DSP guys were so welcoming and wanting to help and excited about being involved in the project. You know, we’re kind of a small business. They just welcomed us right in – hey, how can we help you? And between all those pieces of the pie it pretty firmly sealed up Danley being the right solution for their project. [Timestamp: 8:36]
So Danley speakers and amps and I think you’ve got some Elation LED lighting fixtures in there, too. The subs, I think they’re the TH118’s, can put out some serious vibration. Did you have to do anything to isolate the lighting instruments from being shaken around too much?
Well, we sure thought that would be a good idea because the whole down lighting in the sanctuary and stage lighting is all LED and they were all fastened through strut or rated hardware up into the trussing of the room. And so with the amount of low end that the Danley subs were providing, and we certainly thought we might want to take some precautions there. So we weren’t so concerned about the mid-high delay boxes or the out-fill boxes, but we were kind of concerned about the subs in the SH96 up front. So yeas, we did isolate those. [Timestamp: 9:33]
Okay, and I think you included the DNA 5k4C amplifiers with built-in DSP.
Yeah, since you were using the Danley speaker system and I think I saw that you had Vivitek projectors in there. Looks like two fairly big projection screens, one on each side of the stage.
That’s correct. We did two 12K DLP-based projectors and interfaced them through HDBaseT. They run the same program on both screens so we provided an Atlona HDBaseT DA at front of house, and so they dump their Mac output right into that and it goes off to the projectors and looks fabulous. [Timestamp: 10:13]
I’m sure that when that place is full and the projection comes up, from the size of those screens, that’s got to be a real attention-getter.
Yeah. I think you termed that really well. The days that we were finishing the positioning and tuning of that system every person that came through the door you could verbally hear them go, “Wow.” So that’s kind of the result you’re looking for, you know? [Timestamp: 10:36]
No problem seeing those at all. Do they use those just for hymn lyrics or do they use them for IMAG, too?
They started out just doing hymn lyrics and notes for the sermon in that, but they went into IMAG pretty quickly after that as well. [Timestamp: 10:51]
And I saw something on the list here that I don’t think I’ve seen before, the GO2 8CX small Danley speakers included here. Are those a fairly new product?
I’m a little bit of a newbie with Danley so I’m not sure how long they’ve had that box out. But they affectionately call it a go-to because it could serve a lot of purposes. And we used it for the outlying peripheral areas like the entrance – some folks call it a narthex, some folks call it a lobby – in this congregational kind of meeting area outside of the sanctuary is where we used all those. And they covered well. Their clarity is remarkable. And yeah, it just sounded great. [Timestamp: 11:32]
With a congregation that’s growing that fast, it’s got to be something really special for them and that’s a big step for a church to move into a completely new facility and get everything going. Every Sunday it’s all got to work.
That’s very true. That’s very true. You know, we got blessed on the project. It was a real nice work environment. All the construction crews were on board in terms of the team effort, which is not always the case, unfortunately, on construction projects. But it all came together nicely. [Timestamp: 12:02]
Did some of the church members supply the labor on that or was it all just contract?
Well, I would say on this project it was about 50/50. We offered them the opportunity to save themselves some money in different areas through the project and one of them was just some areas of assisting with labor under our direction. And they not only were all over that in terms of the possibility, but they provided us just really great people and it was fun. It was really fun working with their people. We’ve done that in the past with other projects and it’s interesting how it sort of builds ownership, if you will, amongst the ministry members who are going to be operating those systems long after we’re gone. So that ended up working out very well. [Timestamp: 12:48]
And with churches that’s especially difficult when things aren’t clicking well between the contractor and the church staff. Big relief that it all worked there. In Part 2 we’ll get into the sound control and how you put in everything, cable runs and getting sound and video running around the building.
Great hearing about this one. Art Reiger from Solsound in Galesville, Maryland and the Lighthouse Church with a new and bigger home completely AV outfitted now. Thanks for being with us.
I appreciate the opportunity, sir. Thank you.
Good having Art Reiger from Solsound with us today. We’ve always got show notes and product links on the Sound & Video Contractor Magazine web site at svconline.com. Be back with us again next week when Art will tell us about the mixer installation, speaker cabling and the projection at the Lighthouse Church on the SVC Podcast.