Tech, No Babel: Live production cameras

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Because of a lack of funds, most churches don’t ask, “What do we need?” but “What’s the least we can get away with?” This sometimes yields some interesting results, but the truth is when you start by asking what the least is, you’re actually asking the wrong question. You need to be able to do the job, not save money by buying equipment that won’t do it.

Ideally, you’d use a bona fide production camera. This type of camera can be modified to operate in a studio configuration. What this means is that all color and exposure settings can be run from a remote device, called a CCU (camera control unit), it has pan-bar mounted zoom and focus controls, a viewfinder, and a motorized zoom lens.

Unfortunately, these cameras are pricey. So, what’s a church to do? Here are a few things you shouldn’t do.

Don’t settle for a webcam. With webcams coming in 1080p, you might be tempted to go this route. Don’t. These cams are designed for running up close. That means they have wide lenses, so unless you get close to the pastor, he/she will be very small in the final image.

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Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Gen5 System Enhances

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2016-01-07-11-42-1The Northeastern U.S. offers many beautiful churches, from Gothic-style buildings to old fashioned meetinghouses. But a true European-style cathedral like the stunning Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury, Connecticut, is a rarity. Because it’s an architectural gem, explains Peter Scandone, Jr., president of New Haven systems integrator PASCOM Sound, Inc., the aesthetic challenges of installing a new sound system were even greater than the acoustical challenges.

The demanding aesthetic and acoustical requirements were key reasons Scandone chose a Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Gen5 IC32-RN digitally steered line array as the heart of the new system. “I’ve been working in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for more than 25 years,” Scandone begins, “and when we finally got a chance to put our own system in place, a Renkus-Heinz steerable array was clearly the best choice. I’ve used Iconyx in the past, and the Iconyx Generation 5 speakers are a great product. There’s no other loudspeaker I would have chosen for the basilica.” Scandone sourced the system from Cardone Solomon & Associates, Inc., of Northport, New York.

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