More Than a SANCTUARY

It has become increasingly common for modern worship spaces to have more than one primary use, such as hosting services while operating as a community-based
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More Than a SANCTUARY

Nov 1, 2002 12:00 PM, By Keith Clark

It has become increasingly common for modern worship spaces to have more than one primary use, such as hosting services while operating as a community-based athletic facility during the week. Covenant Baptist Church of Shepardstown, West Virginia, recently opened the doors on just such a facility, a large multipurpose room that's part worship sanctuary, part gymnasium, and even part dinner theater. The first phase in a major expansion effort, the facility is expected to be the primary worship space on an interim basis only.

At the same time, Covenant Baptist places high value on technical production elements to enhance many of the various activities held in the space. Worship services, in particular, are diverse, incorporating an interesting mix of musical flavors ranging from contemporary to traditional, bluegrass and southern gospel, and ample doses of the spoken word.

After exploring a number of systems proposals, the church chose to utilize the services of Environmental Acoustics. Based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, this consulting firm counts houses of worship among its specialties, and it designed and supervised installation of audio, video, and lighting systems on the project, which were installed by PAVL Systems.

“We came into this process after the project was under construction, which always presents special challenges because there are certain structural and infrastructure aspects that you prefer to discuss with the architect from the outset,” says David Still, who is head of Environmental Acoustics. “In this case, however, the church and architect did a good job of covering the majority of these issues to a satisfactory level, particularly given the size and scope of the project.”

STAGE AND ACOUSTICS

The multipurpose room, approximately 106 square feet, presents a relatively large volume of space and seats about 800. The footprint of the multipurpose room also includes a fitness room, hospitality room, and cry room opposite the stage platform area. Beginning at the sidewalls at a height of approximately 18 feet, the gypsum board ceiling gradually rises to a central height of about 26 feet to a square coffer that extends up another 30 inches. Acoustical tile covers the central portion of this square space, which somewhat resembles a pyramid with the top chopped off.

The lower portion of the multipurpose walls consists of painted block to a height of about eight feet, where it transitions to tectum panels up to the ceiling line. The floor is poured urethane, or a “sports floor” surface.

“The initial acoustics of the room had been developed by the architect, I believe with input from an A/V consultant,” Still says. “There are some minor standing waves, position-specific flutter echoes, and other anomalies, but they aren't really noticeable, particularly when the room is occupied with seating and an audience.”

The stage platform is positioned in a corner opposite the fitness and hospitality rooms. The location of the stage creates the now-traditional fan-shaped seating configuration (when seats are in place). Although it's the best option in terms of seating capacity and sight lines, this setup tends to complicate the acoustical and sound system design sides of the equation, especially for left-center-right configurations. The platform area is fairly developed acoustically, with Armstrong Sound Soak panels lining its back and sidewalls, extending up about 12 feet.

Above this area, the walls splay outward and serve as temporary transition surfaces for dual Barco projectors mounted farther out. Painted a matte white color, these surfaces are adequate for projection resolution but could be replaced by screens in the future.

DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING

Prior to Environmental Acoustics joining the project, consideration had been given to a stereo arc configuration for the main loudspeaker clusters that would supply sound reinforcement to seating within the room. The number of speakers required for this configuration presented the chief difficulty for the architect. Suspended throughout the ceiling area, they could interfere with athletic events like basketball and volleyball.

“We couldn't have a lot of loudspeakers hanging down,” Still says. “Additionally, once the new worship center is built, the room is to revert to its intended purpose: as an athletic facility and a fitness center. This factor had substantial influence on design issues, and as a designer, it's always a good idea to anticipate and consider the big picture to save your clients from potential problems both now and in the future.”

Instead, Still settled on a challenging configuration of three discrete left-center-right loudspeaker clusters for covering the wide fan-shaped space. Applied correctly, the left-center-right configuration is adept in presenting dynamic full-range music, with good spatial imaging, while achieving good voice intelligibility and localization, anchored to the stage, via the center cluster. (See the sidebar “A Model Room.”)

This center loudspeaker cluster, which receives dedicated center-channel bus information only from the Crest Audio X8 console, can best be described as the vertical center of the space. Due to the sloping ceiling configuration, Still flew the cluster as close to the ceiling as possible, just forward of the platform's front edge. The center cluster was designed to cover the entire room, which is especially important for voice program material.

The cluster consists of a top row of three Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) AS415 low-frequency loudspeakers, arrayed horizontally, topping three EAW AS460 two-way, mid-high loudspeakers, with their 60-degree horizontal dispersion patterns combining for 180 degrees of coverage.

Meanwhile, the loudspeakers are carefully aimed to place their dispersion fully on the audience and off the back wall, where reflections could potentially create acoustical problems. Dual EAW SB180 (single 18-inch loaded) subwoofers, placed on the floor beneath this cluster and concealed under the stage, complete the system's dynamic range.

The loudspeakers basically form a four-way cluster, albeit one with a passive mid-high section. (EAW recently released an E version with actively crossed mid-high section.) The cluster delivers uniform speech intelligibility throughout the space in addition to carrying programs typically panned to a center channel — for example, kick and snare drum.

“It's a pretty robust cluster for a room of this size,” Still says. “We had to design a lot of headroom into this system because we knew they would be putting some fairly substantial program material through that center channel. We had to design it to cover the entire room because we didn't want the mix operator putting voice in the left-right channels. This prevents alignment anomalies that can occur with three or more far-spread clusters in this type of fan-shaped space.”

Although the room has a large volume relative to its perimeter dimensions, it is wide (180 degrees) in relation to its depth. Each cluster has a maximum throw distance of 65 to 70 feet. By placing the clusters as high as possible, combined with careful speaker aiming and gain adjustment, differences in sound pressure aren't significant from the front- to back-row seats.

FIDELITY ISSUES

Left and right clusters, spaced equidistantly from the center, needed to be positioned a bit wider than preferred to keep them out of the athletic impact zone. As a result, they're angled inward slightly to adequately cover the audience area. Each cluster includes three speakers in a horizontal array made up of a single AS415 low-frequency loudspeaker splitting two AS490 speakers with a 90-degree horizontal dispersion.

With two mid-high boxes in each left-right cluster, gain control can be optimized and coverage maintained fairly well. Stereo coverage is attained by rotating each cluster's total 180 degrees of dispersion into the room, with the near-field speaker envelope and far-field speaker envelope matched for gain over the differences in distance.

“Because these clusters carry music programs rather than voice, some of the time offsets that occur are actually beneficial to ambience and special characteristics of the music programs,” Still says. “We're talking about milliseconds of shift here, and as long as it's kept below about 20 ms or so, the effect is not negative. In fact, it can be positive.”

The AS460 and AS490 are part of EAW's modular AS series of loudspeakers, all designed for small- to medium-size fixed-install applications. Both of these include the company's proprietary radial phase plug technology with 10-inch midrange woofers, with high frequencies supplied by 1.4-inch neodymium compression drivers on constant directivity horns.

“I found good speech intelligibility and definition, high fidelity with music, and exceptional performance under wide dynamic ranges with little or no perceptible distortion,” Still says. “They have the headroom and maintain clarity and continuity from lower to higher levels.”

Still says he listens to how well the boxes integrate with each other. “How smoothly do they become a cohesive-sounding unit when you put them together?” Still asks. “The ultimate goal is to have the individual components become a totally integrated, seamless, and smooth delivery package, maintaining uniform phase and high fidelity.”

FLYWARE

The loudspeakers are painted white to better match the aesthetics of the room. Flying hardware, or flyware, is comprised of a mix of stock and custom elements, the latter developed with the assistance of a local steel fabricator. The flyware for the center cluster is arranged a bit unusually, mostly because of the necessity to tuck the cluster as tightly to the ceiling structure as possible. The top row of three AS415 loudspeakers is actually sitting on top of the steel yoke that acts as a table for them.

Mounting holes were predrilled through the yoke, allowing structural grade hardware to secure both together. The array of three AS460s positioned beneath the structural yoke were mounted to match the pitch of the AS415s with the yaw (vertical) setting optimized for audience coverage.

This structure then attaches to the building's main structural beams. The outside left-right clusters, also flown with custom flyware, use custom sandwich clamps of rated steel to attach to the side of steel purlin supports.

“We often find ourselves involved with [preengineered steel building] structures of this type,” Still says. “They don't have theater-type [I-beam steel] supports but, rather, use Z purlins as intermediate steel units. We've spent a lot of time making sure things are safe, including investigations with a structural engineer to determining the safe load capability of these lesser support beams and how to most safely and securely attach to them.”

The process of flying the clusters, as well as most of the connector strips from the theatrical lighting system, was simplified because the ceiling area over the platform stage area is open to the roof structure. When the worship center is complete, much of the A/V and dimming equipment will be removed, and the ceiling of the multipurpose room will be finished.

DSP PARTICULARS

Single points of failure were minimized within the project budget. Twenty-eight channels of Crest CA Series amplifiers are housed in two 40-space Middle Atlantic MRK racks in an amplifier room behind the electronic control center.

Most of the amplifier channels are dedicated to the front-of-house (FOH) loudspeaker system, with six reserved for stage monitoring and foldback and two assigned to EAW MK8196 two-way loudspeakers accompanying a video monitor in the narthex lobby. A 70V amplifier handles a series of ceiling speakers throughout ancillary spaces.

Three BSS Audio Soundweb units handle all primary system processing. The network master 9088LL receives five channels in two input groups from the X8 console, leveraging additional digital signal-processing (DSP) power from two 9008 slave units through the network. The first input group consists of the discrete LCR mix outputs. Those are routed individually to each of the mid-high, bass, and subwoofer loudspeakers in the three primary clusters. Each channel of the DSP output addresses front- and back-end gain staging, crossover, equalization, and delay. Any required matrixing is done there, as well.

The other input group consists of the 2-channel alternate console outputs from the 40-channel X8 console. This feature variably sums the center-channel mix output with the left and right mix outputs to create a 2-channel output that also follows the master output fader settings. Final system timing and tuning is done with the assistance of the Gold Line TEF 20. Once the base system parameters were set via the TEF, they were secured from unintentional tampering inside the BSS. Other DSP preset programs allow changes to system operation. Presets that allow subwoofers to be mixed through aux sends were also available.

“After the primary system parameters are set and locked as presets, we don't typically like to provide access to them,” Still says. “There needs to be a known base case condition for the system to revert back to the original optimized baseline settings. The mix operator can build from there, but if multiple operators with different mix philosophies are accessing the console settings, there's always a good starting point, one that guarantees the system sounds just as it was intended. Beyond these DSP presets, there's plenty of outboard processing on the house console to work with for signal modification.”

Insertion of an analog compressor between the house console and digital processing is a staple of Still's design in systems of this type. “I like the sound of a soft analog device as an initial safety device in the stream,” he says. “You don't want to hear the compression, but know the protection is there for the downstream electronics. The analog device appears to be more of a soft-knee compression as opposed to most of the dynamic signal devices in the digital compression/limiting realm.”

DEFINING SPACE

One of Still's greatest concerns in the contemporary church environment is the level of knowledge and experience the technical staff has for operating the system. Often the technical staff haven't mixed on LCR systems or used some of the more advanced features many of the church services plan to use.

Specifically, with each project, Still tries to evaluate the staff's skill and knowledge level and their capacity to grow. Certainly, an open mind, a desire to learn, and patience are essential, but there's also the reality of understanding the technology.

“One of our key questions is ‘Who's going to be operating these systems?’” he says. “When we're done, we want to be sure there are an adequate number of people trained to use this equipment at a reasonable skill level. When you hear only one individual's name for operating audio, video, and lighting, you're likely in trouble. At this level, it's not a one-person operation. It's not uncommon to have three, four, or even more people heading up the technical side, with even more volunteer staff for support.”

So rather than a sound booth and all it connotes, Still establishes an electronics control center (ECC). It addresses the reality that these control spaces aren't just for sound anymore but are for a wide range of sophisticated consoles, computers, and control equipment for a variety of systems and subsystems. This dedicated space needs to be large enough to accommodate the gear and the reasonable free movement and access of multiple people.

In situations like Covenant Baptist with multiple systems, he wants at least 20 feet of width for the ECC. That space can be split into more than one location — for example, audio mix operator on the floor and video and lighting controls in the balcony; however, Still says it's best to keep them together. That's the case on this project, with plenty of room for everything to be positioned in a mezzanine extending from the wall opposite the front stage, and it even includes two wing spaces for the addition of follow spotlights and broadcast/IMAG camera positions.

The ECC should be located in a primary listening place so that audio operators have an accurate idea of what the sound system is doing within the direct coverage area. At Covenant Baptist, it wasn't practical given the multipurpose nature of the room — the equipment needed to be out of harm's way, thus the addition of a mix operator's monitoring system, which is timed, equalized, and gain structured as a mirror of the main system and provides a sense for the mix operator of what the audience is hearing.

“We design this mix operator's monitoring systems, when they're needed, to be more or less extravagant in nature, depending upon the room and situation,” Still says. “Some are basic, providing for things like EQ and gain, while others are at the opposite end of the spectrum with their own subwoofers and DSP processing. For this project, we kind of split the difference by using the console alternate outputs to feed left and right monitor speakers at the ECC.”

Totally open architecture defines the patching and routing capability not just at the FOH position in the ECC but also between it and the monitor system, including a dedicated monitor console at the stage. This infrastructure results in maximum use and flexibility from an impressive equipment roster.

The system includes 72 mic lines, all on three-way splits using active phantom power and DC blocks at the splitters. Eight transformer-isolated, line-level inputs and eight tie lines combined with 12 wireless mic system feeds bring the total to more than 100 input signals going into the ECC.

Forty channels are normaled through to the X8, with other lines routed to patch bays. The system includes six 2-by-24 patch bays. A rack at the ECC accommodates the 12 Shure U-series wireless mic receivers on distribution amps and linked through a network interface.

“The wireless network interface is important because you can check key real-time information on both the transmitters and receivers — whether they're on or off, battery status, RF signal strength, and overall level coming through the transmitter to the output stage,” Still says. “Wireless systems are either a blessing or a curse, particularly when you get up to a dozen or more systems operating simultaneously. So this diagnostic interface really comes in handy for a system this size.”

Other equipment racks are dedicated to outboard and digital effects units that can be patched into the house and monitor systems, as well as record and playback devices. Even more racks include lighting system elements such as DMX patch routing and an OptiSplitter and video processing and production equipment. (The ECC also has patch routing of video foldback feeds for video monitors at the platform stage and ancillary spaces.)

MONITORLAND

The stage monitor system is highlighted by a 40-channel Crest XMonitor console usually positioned stage right, as well as six in-ear monitoring systems and six more powered channels of audio foldback. To one side of the stage is a compact custom stage junction with EDAC multipin connectors that receive all splits from the mic and tie lines. The monitor mix operator then has the option of selecting which of the inputs will be plugged in to the monitor console. In other words, the client has access to all inputs running to the ECC.

In addition, the outputs of the monitor desk are sent through a multipin harness back to the plate, which in turn sends the outputs to the in-ear monitor transmitters or back to the power amplifiers. At their location behind the ECC, each monitor amplifier output connects to a Neutrik distribution panel, allowing as many as six monitor mixes to be routed to any one of 24 monitor positions on a series of I/O panels in floor pockets or wall plates while others can be used for rear channels or EFX returns during drama productions.

Typical floor pockets and wall plates include mic inputs, EFX return jacks for the powered monitors, video tie lines, audio tie lines, and production intercom jacks. All are engraved for durability, designed to Still's specifications and made of ⅛-inch aluminum that is black anodized with silver lettering.

The monitor console's outputs also run to the ECC patch bays; thus effects units can be used to supply effects to the rear channels.

The monitor console has 8 mono and 2 stereo buses or, in other words, as many as 12 mono buses. Six are used for personal in-ear monitors, and the other six are dedicated to powered monitor loudspeakers. The harness linking the console to the interconnect plate is about 30 feet in length, allowing the console to be moved around, even into the house, without losing access to the patching capabilities. As found with the main system, soft-knee analog compression is inserted between the monitor console and its processing units for protection.

CLEAN POWER

Not a fan of hanging choir microphones with contemporary Christian music programs, Still prefers to use large-diaphragm condensers that can be positioned optimally, depending on the choir configuration. On this project, several Shure and AKG large-diaphragm mics were evaluated to serve this purpose.

“I like the idea of mics in front of rather than over the choir,” he says. “The natural position is to sing straight ahead or with the head slightly turned down. So the acoustic center of the choir is going to be in front of and slightly below the physical center of the singers. Add in the ability to easily move [the mics] to compensate for changes in the size and configuration of the choir, and you have the best chance of getting a source signal with the most gain and quality.”

Still says there's the consideration of the relationship of instruments to voices. “In order for the human voice to compete with acoustic and amplified instruments, the number of voices must be much greater than the number of instruments,” he says. The general rule is a minimum of 10 to 12 voices for every one instrument, a ratio he's found to ensure a mix with a good blend and balance of music and choir sources.

The Covenant Baptist project includes another staple of Environmental Acoustics' projects: clean power for all A/V systems, including clean power receptacles throughout the stage area and at all ancillary powered devices such as video monitors. The A/V systems and dedicated clean power receptacles are automatically sequenced on and off by a LynTec sequencing load center panel activated by a keyed switch.

“Clean power can make or break any A/V system,” Still says. “We take great care to work with the electrical contractors on every project, supplying them with drawings to help further the process. With so many system grounds shared among audio, video, and lighting, it becomes vital.”

TUNING UP

Two steps make up Still's system tuning process, and he uses the Gold Line TEF 20 to assist. First, timing between all loudspeaker systems is addressed. On this project, that meant not only locking together the ECC monitors with the LCR main clusters but also time-aligning the lobby system with the mains. The house system can get pretty loud during worship services, especially when the lobby doors are open, so the satellite systems must be in sync with mains. Speech intelligibility is the focus.

After timing is set, attention turns to equalization. Still has curves he likes to implement for differing system operating levels. His goal is to have the EQ remain consistent as the system is turned up and down through a specified gain range. The DSP presets provide the mechanism to easily readjust the system for different program requirements.

“You can't go from nothing to infinity in terms of gain and still hold it all together,” Still says. “You should be able to achieve consistency throughout an acceptable range — in this case, a typical Sunday service.”

So at different nominal sound-pressure-level (SPL) operating ranges, his SPL curves take on different shapes. When the system operates toward the lower end of the SPL range, speech should be clear and well defined; when really loud, it shouldn't be uncomfortable but rather warm, natural, and present at full bandwidth.

During the design process, Still also attends the services or productions of each customer, evaluating the existing audio, video, and lighting systems and using that as a bridge to find out where the client wants the new systems to be positioned in terms of sophistication of futures, quality, and budget. With audio, frequency response and dynamic range is as wide as the system will handle, he says. “These are criteria that I use in selecting delivery components, and that's part of the reason for selecting the AS-series boxes,” Still says. “They have extended high-end response, and once you add the subs, the system can go very low. That helps with overall fidelity.”

That goes to the heart of his EQ philosophy, which is to create a big sound, taking advantage of the system's fidelity and wide dynamic range, using limited EQ to optimize the parameters to their fullest. He also compares the natural voice signatures of regular speakers in services. He then compares what he's heard, unamplified, with how those same voices sound through the system. The mantra is emulating the voices as naturally as possible given their original signature.

Once the system sounds correct, attention turns to gain structure. That is addressed front to back and then left to right throughout the room. Plenty of output channels are needed for sufficient leveling and smoothing out in this regard. The challenge is for every seat to have the same listening experience.

Still runs audio system signals hot at the console to help optimize signal-to-noise ratio and keep the sound clean. “Bad gain staging generates a lot of noise complaints, and sometimes that is mistakenly blamed on cabling and grounding,” Still says. “We're after plenty of headroom while maintaining consistent EQ regardless of level, and we built a preset into the processing to guarantee this, even when an outside console might be brought in for a particular show. The real test is when people play their favorite CDs. It should sound big, tight, and familiar. That's a challenge met with this project.”

Keith Clark is an independent writer for the pro-sound industry and has authored hundreds of system application articles.

A Model Room

Communication technology has become a vital component in the design of contemporary worship facilities. Expectations are high, budgets for implementing technology have increased significantly, and system designers are expected to achieve results that are consistent with ministry visions, both immediate and into the foreseeable future.

Achieving success calls for an experienced design team familiar with advanced analysis and design techniques such as acoustic auralization (the ability to listen to a computer-generated simulation of room acoustics and the proposed audio system from any location within the room), 3-D visualization techniques such as computer-generated models that can depict the theatrical lighting in a photo-realistic way, and a thorough working knowledge of stage and production.

“Successful results are predicated upon achieving the correct acoustical environment consistent with the intended purpose of the sanctuary envelope,” says David Still of Environmental Acoustics. “The range of desired ambience can vary, and careful consideration must be given to accurately defining the acoustic target — that is, how well speech will be understood. We can even introduce noise into the analysis to test the effect of HVAC systems on speech intelligibility.”

Most of this early modeling effort is put into evaluating the room design and the acoustics of the envelope, and once the room is behaving properly, it's relatively simple to drop the appropriate loudspeakers into the space with good results, Still says. “You make the room a partner rather than an adversary,” he says.

The company uses CATT Acoustic software for acoustic and electroacoustic predictive modeling. The software evaluates user-defined surface properties, which consider the absorption and diffusion characteristics of materials at bounding surfaces, with ISM and ray-tracing algorithms. Still considers robust analysis of diffusion particularly important within larger volume spaces.

Still says CATT is a robust room acoustics modeling tool that also offers the ability to test various loudspeaker configurations and designs within a space. “You can auralize loudspeakers within the space,” he says. “That means that through the computer, you can listen to how the loudspeakers will sound combined with the acoustics of the room at seat-specific locations.”

CATT's Directivity module uses measured loudspeaker performance measurements, such as EASE data, to predict speaker performance within the acoustic envelope. Further, the module allows assigning of source location and aiming location and can also assign equalization and test loudspeaker phase against the phase of the room. Also, the program's Auralization feature, in tandem with a Lake digital processor, provides a variety of options, such as listening to sources individually or combining them together.

Reserved mostly for larger sophisticated spaces such as performing-arts theaters, auditoriums, arenas, stadiums, and church sanctuaries, auralization of acoustical predictions transforms the analysis from an academic exercise of viewing the results to the real-world experience of hearing the results.

Using the predicted acoustic parameters from the detailed 3-D modeling analysis, acoustically calibrated filters are generated for the specific combination(s) of source(s) and receiver(s) within the envelope. The filters are then used to generate Windows-compatible WAV files at predetermined seats that can be listened to through a computer or calibrated playback system.

Another instance in which auralization analysis proves valuable is the cost-versus-benefit evaluation of acoustical or audio delivery system recommendations. Often the decision to use specific acoustic recommendations or sound system components is made solely upon cost and without the benefit of a listening alternative to weight the qualitative value of the recommendation. By using a listening test for a with-versus-without scenario, the additional cost of the acoustical treatment may well prove worthwhile.

Lighting

A combined architectural and theatrical lighting system was implemented at Covenant Baptist Church. The installed system offers plenty of current flexibility and several features that allow for future expansion. The lighting system components, manufactured by Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC), include two Sensor SR-48 dimmer racks with a capacity of 192 circuits and an Expression 3, 400-channel control console. The current system uses 96 circuits for stage lighting and 40 circuits for architectural lighting.

The Expression control console, located in the electronic control center (ECC), supplies three universes of DMX control for stage lighting, with each universe capable of controlling as many as 512 dimmers or attributes. To permit maximum flexibility, a DMX patch panel was installed to let the church route the DMX signal throughout the facility. DMX outputs were placed in the front of house and the over-stage lighting positions as well as in locations around the perimeter of the sanctuary to allow for the future addition of automated lighting fixtures, color scrollers, and other DMX-controlled devices.

“The intent of the system design was to provide the client with a fully functional theatrical lighting system with allowances for future expansion at little cost,” says Pete Neal, lighting system designer for Environmental Acoustics. “So with the distributed DMX system and the constant power circuits available in all five major lighting positions, as the church's needs expand, the capabilities of the lighting system can expand right along with it.”

The principle front-of-house lighting position has a 40-foot-long connector strip with 24 circuits and is augmented with two 6-foot side-fill positions, each with 6 circuits. Two lighting positions were installed over the stage with 20 circuits each, and four floor pockets are located at stage level, each containing four circuits.

These positions are supplied with a full complement of ETC lighting fixtures, including Source Four Ellipsoidals, Jr. Ellipsoidals, and PARs. The fixtures, along with a number of accessories, offer plenty of flexibility for worship services, meetings, pageants, and dramas.

Architectural lighting control is accomplished with an ETC Unison control system. The Unison system allows programmable entry stations positioned throughout the sanctuary and lobby to recall preprogrammed lighting presets.

The presets provide control of which lights are activated, the intensity of each light, and the speed at which the lights fade up and down. The Unison system also includes a programmable LCD touch screen, located in the ECC, which lets the lighting or sound system operator control additional lighting presets.

“We've programmed the capability for universal control of any light within the system from either the Unison preset stations or the Expression control console,” Neal says. “Our goal was to allow laypeople to easily turn on and off lights when and where they are needed and to allow a more accomplished user the ability to program a complex event with the lighting console.”

For More Information

AKG
www.akg.com
226

Armstrong
www.armstrong.com
227

Barco
www.barco.com
228

BSS Audio
www.bss.co.uk
229

CATT
www.netg.se/~catt/#catt_software
230

Crest Audio
www.crestaudio.com
231

Eastern Acoustic Works
www.eaw.com
232

Electronic Theatre Controls
www.etcconnect.com
233

Gold Line
www.gold-line.com
234

Lake
www.laketechnology.com
235

LynTec
www.lyntec.com
236

Middle Atlantic
www.middleatlantic.com
237

Neutrik
www.neutrik.com
238

Shure
www.shure.com
239

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