In this edition of the SVC Podcast, SVC Contributing Editor Bennett Liles wraps up his conversation with Tim Pickett of Encompass AV in Chicago about the AV installation his company did for the Inspirational Deliverance Center Church of God in Christ with new Martin MLA Mini arrays, Elation lighting and a new video distribution network. Tim details the microphone selection for the church and discusses the lighting instruments along with the Just Add Power video system that distributes camera output to flat panel displays in the sanctuary.
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Nov 7, 2014 8:50 AM,
With Bennett Liles
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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 Tim Pickett of Encompass AV. Show notes for the podcast are available on the web site of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at svconline.com.
The 500-seat sanctuary for the Inspirational Deliverance Center Church of God in Christ needed the whole upgrade with sound, video and lights. Encompass AV in Chicago came in and got the job done. Tim Pickett is back to tell us about the lighting and video network they installed. Coming up next on the SVC Podcast.
Tim, thanks for being back with us for part two on the SVC Podcast from Encompass AV in Chicago with the big sound, video and lighting installation you did for the Inspirational Deliverance Center Church of God in Christ. I think they sometimes refer to it as the IDC Church, a 500-seat sanctuary that’s barely big enough to hold the name of the church. So, you guys did lighting in there, too. We talked about sound last time. What kind of a lighting system do they have? Does it pretty much stay in one mode and was that all installed by your people?
Glad to be back with you. Yes, so as far as lighting goes we put a lot of Elation products into this particular venue. They have really purple seating and bluish-purple carpet, but the ceiling is completely white. And so when we first started, we set out to light up the stage because eventually they want to be able to stream live or do videos on YouTube. So stage lighting was cheap because there was no stage lighting. There was a few regular track spot-type lights, you know, just standard electrical lighting that they had on stage, but it wasn’t nearly enough light for recording. The focus was to get the stage right first and there was quite a concern with the first two, so we spec’d out 14 of the Elation RGB fixture with an amber element too. And I believe it’s 14 watts by 5 per fixture, so that’s about 70 watts of LED per fixture. Nice fixtures. I had used them before. The amber really gives a nice color to flesh tones on the face. Still it’s bright, bright enough, and they actually had filters for them that would make them to 30-degree distribution angles because at standard I think they’re like 10 degrees. So we did 14 of those on the stage just for the basic – just to give them something to help with the video recording. In the middle of the project one of the church members stepped up – a very good guy. He used to be the vice president of Con Ed, actually, out here; one of the big power companies out here. He stepped up and he was able to put together the funding to do the entire sanctuary, so not only the stage, but to do – they wanted to replace all the old conventional lighting in the sanctuary with LED lighting, so we spec’d that out. We added another 40 fixtures from Elation, which are the Elation EPAR Tri and that fixture is the exact one used on stage except there’s no amber element in it. We spread the 40 fixtures out. We did about 20 facing down to give general lighting over the seating area and we did about another 20 facing up, doing uplighting on the white walls because you have this beautiful white pallet to work with so the LED looked amazing shining up on it. We used a Martin Light Jockey controller, a computer-based controller to control it. We incorporated a touchscreen panel system so basically they have an iPhone or an iPod Touch built into their wall mount and they operate it like you’d operate a wall switch. They walk in, they touch it, they say what color they want, they say what brightness level they want, and the whole thing shortly lights up. We also gave them an option to control it remotely via iPad. Their engineers can sit in the audience and control the lights. Yeah, what else did we put in there? Six Elation EX Tribars, which are also doing uplighting and that’s about it. There’s only about three different types of fixtures in there, but there’s a lot of them. I think all in all we have over 60 fixtures throughout the sanctuary. [Timestamp: 4:35]
Well, that’s enough of a job when you combine it with the sound and the video stuff. You know, I didn’t ask you about the mics last time. What all do they use, is it wireless mics and it looks as though the Leslie units for the organ even have their own mics.
Yes. We sold them a bunch of microphones. They have four wireless units, which are ULX-P units from Shure. They have four handhelds to go with those units. They have two body packs that they can swap out with those units. They have a Countryman microphone and they have a couple of Lavalier microphones that they can use on those body packs. That’s pretty much what we’re using for wireless. For wired microphones we gave them a bunch of SM58’s and SM57’s, the standard-type stuff to plug into their stage boxes. We also have a Shure drum kit mic for the drums, obviously. So there was three existing – I believe they were Audix microphones for the choir mics which we continued to use and then also we added on new Shure MX418s for the three podiums that they have – the lecterns or whatever you’d like to call them – for speech reinforcement. So that’s pretty much the microphone package. [Timestamp: 5:50]
And I’m sure all that stuff gets a good workout with the live music going on. Something that intrigued me while I was reading about this is the video system. You have a video network from an outfit called Just Add Power. How is all that set up?
We do a lot of sports bars and sports bar-type places – bars and restaurants, lots of video walls, lots of TV – and we’ve gotten into network video recently which has been just a Godsend. In the old days, these component video matrixes, obviously when you have 70 TV’s in a place you’re not going to buy 70 satellite receivers and have one behind each TV. It would be the most inefficient thing in the world. So we were using component video matrixes. We have 10 or 12 satellite boxes set up, a possible DVD player or PC input and we route it to the TV. We run CAT-5 or CAT-6 cable to each TV and you have the baluns on the other end. The component video is okay, but component video is pretty much being completely phased out of the industry. And you would have distance issues and electrical issues with it we always notice. We’d be getting weird interference from power lines, so on and so forth. So we were always looking for a digital solution, but the NCMI matrixes, for the amount of input and output they give you, were completely insane in pricing; retailing at $20,000.00 to $25,000.00 for a 16 by 16 matrix. When you have so many outputs and you’re not talking corporate, you’re talking about people that own bars and nightclubs, they have money but they don’t have the kind of money that corporations or entertainment venues can throw at issues, so they’re very cost conscious. They can’t afford to spend a hundred grand or $120,000.00 on an HDMI matrix. Network video came along and the Just Add Power Company that we’ve been working with, they’ve been great. We started working with them about 10 months ago, but it allows you to send HDMI over CAT-6 and your Cisco switch to route all of it. You buy a receiver for each TV which retails for about $500.00 and you buy a transmitter for every source, which retails for about $600.00, so you can build your system to what you need. You don’t have to have 16 inputs or 32 inputs or 64 inputs. You can build 11 inputs if you want if you only have 11 inputs. You don’t need to buy a 64 output matrix. You can buy 38 receivers. And in the future it’s infinitely expandable – infinite, at least, within reason. It goes up to thousands of inputs and thousands of outputs. So it’s very flexible for the client. It’s a little bit more – I’d say about 30 percent more than a component video matrix system is going to cost, but the quality is phenomenal and the control, the way it works, you can control it over IP. We use a control system called On Controls that’s a more commercial line. We developed the actual GUI’s ourselves, the kind of interfaces. That being said, network video has been great. We’ve been able to stream 1080p from our sources which are two Sony PTU cameras and laptop input and a cable input to any of our outputs, which the outputs are two 80-inch Sharp LED TV’s in the sanctuary and another 70-inch Sharp LED TV in the sanctuary and then down, they have another room below the sanctuary where we put two 60-inch Sharp TV’s in for overflow. So the network really worked out great. [Timestamp: 9:14]
And they’ve got a video monitor facing the choir? How do they use that?
Yeah, that’s the 70-inch Sharp that’s in the sanctuary. Basically that one is just so that the choir can see the face of the pastor. When the pastor is speaking up there and the choir is in the back, they can see his face and they can kind of see the front view even though they’re seeing him from behind. That’s what they wanted it for. [Timestamp: 9:35]
Alright. IMAG for the choir. That’s pretty cool. So have they got all volunteer tech people or full time? How do they crew that?
Everything there is pretty much volunteer. The church is very, very good about stepping up to the plate and doing what it takes to get everything right. The choir is not a paid choir. They’re not a professional choir, but they sound as good as any professional choir I’ve ever heard; absolutely amazing sound. [Timestamp: 10:00]
Well, I know this was a very big job doing sound, video and lighting for this church but you got it all done so what have you got coming up at Encompass AV?
Bennett, we have all kinds of things going on. We have a couple of venues downtown, live sound venues, country western venues. We have venues in Miami that we’re working on right now – or outside of Miami I should say in Boca Raton – and just stuff going on all over the place. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to upset any of my clients – a lot of this stuff is hush-hush – but a lot of live sound venues. We have a few more installs. One I can talk about, we have another church that saw this church. They took a pilgrimage, about an hour and a half drive to this church, and they immediately were on board with us. So we’re doing a very similar lighting system for them, an Elation lighting system for them, and I think after seeing the MLA Mini, they were already spec’d out for some entry-level Martin stuff, but they’re going to figure it out, find the money and get the MLA Mini too by the end of this year. [Timestamp: 11:00]
No better advertisement than a successful installation. Tim, I appreciate your time in telling us about this one, especially the video network aspect that you don’t always see in smaller churches. Tim Pickett with Encompass AV in Chicago with sound, video and lighting for the Inspirational Deliverance Center Church of God in Christ. You guys did a great job and I know they’re having fun with it.
Yeah. Thank you, Bennett. And a special thanks to IDC. They were great – a great church to work with. Special thanks to Martin Audio. Martin Audio is absolutely phenomenal, Elation – yeah, everybody who just came together on this project. I really appreciate all the support from all of our vendors and our clients, obviously. Thank you for this opportunity, Bennett. I really appreciate it and you can always visit us at encompassav.com and thanks a lot.
Thank you for being here with us for the SVC Podcast with Tim Pickett of Encompass AV. Show notes can be found on the web site of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at svconline.com. Be back with us next time for the SVC Podcast.