The School of Church Music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) continues to turn to DPA Microphones for its annual ‘Keyboards and Carols at Christmas’ event. As with previous years, …
Mapleview Community Church Christmas Set Design 2015
by Michael Fess
Christmas 2015 began for us, like many other churches, in January 2015. As a staff we had decided that we wanted to something different and outside of the box. Little did we know that in our attempt to think fresh and different we would actually be putting ourselves back in the box, or should I say lots and lots of boxes. Typically I draw inspiration for my stage designs from a number of different places I have seen. I will take individual elements I have seen implemented well and compile them into a new design that is fitting for our context at Mapleview. This design however, came from inspiration I found in a completely unrelated graph. It was a 3D rendering of a bunch of blue bricks forming a floor. It was supposed to be like a cobble stone street with an even greater range in the depths applied to each individual piece. I really liked the way the light in the 3D rendering played of of each individual element. I liked the depth that it had and the texture that it added. My initial thought was “let’s get a giant print made up of this graphic”. I considered creating a 3D rendering of my own in Cinema 4D. Then I had the crazy thought “why don’t we build a wall of wrapped boxes for real and put Jesus at the centre.” I told our team my dream and they too agreed that it was slightly crazy. The time and effort would be huge, and the work would be tedious. All thing considered we decided we would rally the troops, get all hands on deck and make this dream I had a reality.
Clark, a full service design, engineering and integration firm specializing in Houses of Worship, recently deployed a Martin Audio sound system based on MLA arrays as part of an audio upgrade to solve late reflection problems on stage and ensure consistent coverage in the huge 5,000-seat sanctuary of the Calvary Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Calvary Church is known for having one of the largest pipe organs in the world valued at approximately $3.7 million with 205 ranks and 11,499 pipes, which presented a significant challenge for the integrators in terms of providing reinforced sound that wouldn’t have a negative impact on the organ and the room’s natural acoustics.
Houston Clark, principal and co-founder, describes the problem his team had to solve: “It’s a newer building that embraces both traditional and blended worship––regularly using its massive pipe organ. So the challenge was very unique in two ways: the church wanted reinforced sound in the room for speech, a choir, orchestral and modern instrumental music without negatively impacting the acoustics for the pipe organ.
Updating the audio and acoustics at a historical church while trying to keep its 1950s-era sound and traditional sanctuary charm intact is no easy feat. However, that’s exactly what SLR …
Valley Creek Church in Texas is currently seeking a full-time LIVE VIDEO PRODUCTION RECORDER.
The role of the Live Video Production Coordinator is to provide direction, technical support, and assistance for live production events at Valley Creek Church.
The ideal candidate is someone who has significant experience in live video production as well as in team oversight and development. It will be essential that this leader is gifted and committed to equip and empower others for ministry — building highly functioning volunteer teams while caring for and encouraging those involved. Significant experience leading innovative ministry will be important, along with evidence of consistent personal spiritual growth.
Bakersfield’s Valley Baptist Church provides three worship services every Sunday in its 1,800-seat Worship Center—two services with a choir and orchestra to appeal to a diverse age group, and a third with a praise band playing guitars and drums. As its congregation grew and more young adults with children crowded the center for the contemporary service, the church’s leaders decided it was time for an update of the hall’s technology.
A decade ago, the church had installed video projection screens, so the faces of the pastor and other celebrants would be very visible to everyone seated in the hall. The church also projects song and hymn lyrics on the screens, a feature that significantly increases the congregants’ participation in the service.
To kick-off the holiday season, World Outreach Church created “Give Thanks”, a celebration designed to repurpose this season with hope and thanksgiving held at the Bridgestone Arena. Filled with inspirational speakers, a musical performance by Martina McBride, plus an energetic percussion display by Stikyard, production designer Scott Moore, Go Live Productions, needed a video backdrop that could highlight the unique performances onstage, but also capture the essence of the message being delivered. So working with Nashville-based Elite Multimedia, a PixelFLEX Rental Partner, Moore created a truly unique video design using 140 FLEXCurve 8mm LED video tiles.
“I’ve been involved with ‘Give Thanks’ for the last three years, and each year the design process is entirely dependent upon what the programming material is going to be,” began Moore. “I knew I wanted to create a nice, clean aesthetic so that when we looked at the stage during the production it really felt like a piece of art. By using the FLEXCurve LED video tiles, we were able to accomplish a beautiful scenic design that accentuated all the elements of the production from the energetic 30-member Stikyard percussion ensemble to Martina McBride and the evening’s speakers as well.”
For Bayside Baptist Church, located in the small city of Superior, Wisconsin, just across a bridge from Duluth, Minnesota, there was no way to anticipate how rapidly their congregation would grow and change. In fact, with demand outstripping their sanctuary’s 250-person capacity, they began performing two services instead of one to accommodate all of their congregants. Meanwhile, worship was evolving to include multimedia and live performances with full rock instrumentation, placing even greater demands on their aging backline system. They realized it was time to invest in a professional audio solution that would deliver a seamless church-going experience. The church reached out to Caleb Dick of Excel AV Group, who overhauled their sound system with Powersoft amplification.
Faith Evangelical Free Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado has occupied its current three-hundred seat sanctuary for over a decade, but it never sounded as good as it does now, owing to the recent installation of Danley Sound Labs SH-60 loudspeakers and a Danley TH-212 subwoofer. “Finding the right loudspeakers for their blended contemporary/traditional services was a challenge because of the unique shape of the sanctuary,” said Kris Johnson, co-founder and chief operating officer of Colorado Springs-based Sight & Sound Technologies, the firm that handled the sound system renovation. “There are two huge beams separated by a twenty-five feet run from the front of the sanctuary to the back, and there’s a pretty dramatic slope down on either side of the beams. The height of the whole ceiling also changes, with the lowest height right above the stage.”
Johnson continued, “I like Danley’s approach to designing loudspeakers and subwoofers, and this seemed like it would be a good application based on the pattern control, phase coherence, and fidelity we needed. I feel like I have a pretty good gut sense of what constitutes great sound, and Danley has a good scientific sense of what constitutes great sound. I understand sound on a practical level, and it’s gratifying to have it matched up by Danley’s grasp of the underlying physics. To help Faith Evangelical Free Church make an informed decision, DarbyReps (Danley’s Colorado rep firm) came in and gave them an inspiring demo.”
Myriad terms have been used to describe live audio systems, but rarely has anyone chosen the word “inspiring.” But that is exactly the word that JP Dutton, Worship Director for the Valley Bible Fellowship used to describe the VUE Audiotechnik system recently installed in the house of worship’s main sanctuary.
The church recently turned to H.A.S. Productions to install a new system based around the VUE al-Class and moved its full-scale Pennsylvania-based competitor’s rig that had been in the room into a separate youth room. “This new system is so clear and present that it has changed everything for the worship team,” Dutton explains. “There has not been a single service where I have not been stopped by members of the congregation and told not only how great it sounds, but how clearly they could hear each individual instrument. I was so inspired to sound as good as possible that I even went out and bought a new guitar.”
The VUE rig is doing an audio miracle in a room that is not audio friendly. The building that Valley Bible Fellowship occupies was not designed as a worship space, unless the devotion is focused on footwear. Before the congregation moved in, the building was home to the largest shoe store in the Las Vegas Valley. While some acoustic treatment has been done on the sidewalls, it is more like audio first-aid than starting with a space optimized for amplified sound.