by Ricky Perinchief

From its small beginnings in a high school auditorium just over a decade ago; to purchasing the former world headquarters of Strang Communications/Charisma Magazine, packing out it’s 300-seat banquet room up to five times on Sundays; to recently building one of the most creative and cutting-edge auditoriums in the country, Lake Mary Church has continued its unprecedented growth, reaching well-beyond the Orlando suburb.

Say What about the Budget?

When I first met Pastor Shaddy Soliman in early 2022, they had already started construction, yet did not have an integrator. He had so many outside-the-box ideas I knew our firm, Proton Global, would be the perfect fit. We had to get started right away to make sure all of the conduit runs and AVL needs made the plans before construction commenced. When I asked his budget, he replied, “The moment I give you a number is the moment I put a ceiling on your creativity. We serve a BIG GOD, so bring us your best design and we’ll figure out how to pay for it!” Never in my 25+ year career have I had a pastor tell me that. So my design team and I worked diligently to take pastor’s crazy ideas and find ways to deliver – without breaking the bank. We presented our design package late summer of 2022, and they not only signed off, but they also added even more technology and upped our budget!

Knowing the ongoing post-covid supply chain and chip shortages in our industry all-to-well and hearing horror stories from other churches having to go with their fourth or fifth choice of gear; we advised Lake Mary Church to let us invoice right away, so we could order and secure everything in the design, keep in storage, and not have to settle for second best. Happy to say that’s exactly what happened: from the moment they opened in April 2023, every piece of gear was their first choice from the original design, without substitution!

The Cool Stuff

Entering the expansive lobby, you’re greeted with a gigantic curved LED video wall from our partners at Imagine Screens. At 67’ wide and 6.5’ tall, with stunning 4K imagery filling the screen before and after services, splicing into 5x different screens for IMAG and digital signage during services, you will never miss any of the action from anywhere in the lobby.  The two large support columns are wrapped with custom 360-degree LED video screens that show custom-wrapped graphics.

The 1200-seat auditorium features LED video screens similar to what you’d find on the set of The Voice or American Idol. Versatility was key here, so Imagine Screens Variant Panel was used. Set looks can be changed quickly and often. Six one-ton motors allow three sets of center screens to move up and down individually, while a custom track system allows each of those screens to move upstage or downstage at the touch of a button; this is a massive amount of torque, moving a lot of weight with such ease! Two large IMAG screens flank the stage, giving a clear view for every seat in the house. Apple’s Mac Studio runs Resolume Arena and Pro Presenter software, using Sonnet’s Echo III with twin Blackmagic Decklink 8K Pro’s outputs to all of Imagine Screen’s exclusive Colorlight processors.

A first-of-its-kind LED video floor was designed for Pastor Shaddy’s circular preaching stage, allowing their creative team yet another display to help bring the sermons to life like never before. Finally, even the rear stage display is a large LED video wall showing countdowns, lyrics, and cues for those on stage; in between services it switches over to digital signage so everyone leaving the auditorium can see important announcement slides.


For lighting we once again turned to our friends at Chauvet. Sixteen Ovation Reve E-3’s were used for key and back lighting, staggered with five Maverick Force S Profile fixtures that provide gobo wash on-stage and on side walls, and we made use of its motorized shutters to spot out different vocalists. Ten Maverick Force S Spots provide aerial and floor texture, with five of the new Color STRIKE M’s for strobe, blinder FX and eye candy. All lighting is mounted on eight of The Light Source’s Mega Battens, with plenty of open slots for growing room. Sixteen Rogue R1 Beam Wash’s help provide color and dimension to the band and line the front of the stage for crowd texture. We stuck four Strike Array 4s on stands behind musicians for some added warmth and blinder effects. Under the large center LED video wall, eight of Chauvet’s PXL Bar 16’s are used for uplights, and do an incredible job at adding movement and color changing texture behind everyone on stage. Ovation CYC 1-FC’s are inset on the circular preaching stage and used as face lights. The Pea Soup Phantom Hazer enhances all of those effects which absolute brilliance. Our riggers came down from Broadway NY, (best in the world!) and hung everything in about a week.

We were also able to incorporate some cutting edge technology I saw on Broadway recently. For that we called our friends at Environmental Lights, who made us custom pixel-mappable LED Neon that we used to outlinw the entire front of the stage and wrap ten giant architectural squares on the sides of the auditorium with. Rather than tie the LED Neon to the lighting system, we chose to use ArtNet to connect it to the Resolume Arena software, so video content drives it. This was a game changer for the space and quickly became one of the most iconic features of the entire room.

Lighting is controlled by Vista’s Chroma-Q software and a Vista MV Controller, with all DMX terminating at the LumiNode 12 by Luminex, with Chauvet’s RDMX Splitter 8. RGBW house lights were tied into our system with Chamsys QuickQ Rack and SnakeSys 10Scene Wall Controllers at main entry points, which takeover once the console is off.


Our acoustical and speaker designer hit it out of the park on this one! Three large Fulcrum Acoustic AH296C boxes were flown and provided even center channel coverage to the entire floor, with FL283T Line Array’s flanking the extreme sides, providing true stereo imaging at every seat on the main floor. We used a Fulcrum CS218L dual 18” passive cardioid subwoofer flown above the center channel for timing, with CS118 single 18” passive cardioid subs flown above, and 4x SUB118’s under the stage. Arena seats are covered with two Fulcrum FH1596’s. Acoustics First provided all of the acoustical treatments and were installed by our team. Crown DCi amps were used with a BSS Soundweb London BLU-160 processor. The room sounds even and warm, yet powerful!

Allen & Heath’s dLive S5000 with DM64 rack was brought in at front of house, outfitted with Dante & Waves cards. The band uses ME-1’s for their personal monitor mixers, and the vocalists use the iOS app and dial-in their mixes on an iPad during rehearsal. A Waves Extreme Server allows for a touchscreen experience at FOH, bringing an elite level of industry-standard plugins to the vocal and drum chains for the live mix, plus a second Waves license simultaneously goes to broadcast via Avid’s ProTools. Apple’s Logic is also used at FOH and records all channels for virtual soundcheck, so tweaks can be made to the mix during the week in an empty room, as if it was live.

They selected twelve Shure ULXD systems for wireless mics and eight Shure PSM300s for wireless IEMs, RF Venue for all wireless antenna distribution, and five wired talkback mics for the band and FOH position using OptoGates.


Broadcast was a huge priority for Pastor Shaddy. Blackmagic Design’s ATEM Constellation 8K switcher with ATEM Advanced Panel 1/ME is the backbone at master control. Five URSA Broadcast 4K Cameras were used; two at FOH on custom steel camera poles with Libec H45 heads, two on PTZ heads from Kessler, and the last one on a custom 40’ rail also from Kessler. This allows for full remote capabilities for all three Kessler rigs, using their kOS software on a single Mac mini in the control room, providing keyframe precision and programmable moves, plus live control using a simple gaming controller! While most PTZs are overpriced, clunky, and never look quite right, this design allowed us to use the same Blackmagic URSA Broadcasts with camera control and full tally capabilities; plus full lens control of the Fujinon broadcast lenses.

The 40’ custom rail cam uses a festoon pulley system for cable management, which quietly and safely pulls our custom fiber optic cable, to connect the camera feeds to the switcher. It also features an embedded 120v plug to power the Kessler rig and URSA Broadcast; that saved us from having to rely on batteries and another expensive wireless video transmitter system. A special Canon HJ11eX4.7B ultra-wide angle lens was used on this rig.

Blackmagic Pocket 6K’s with bidirectional 12G converters allow for strategically-mounted angles such as rear stage, ultra-wide rear corner, and an overhead shot of the circular LED video floor, all with camera control and tally. We also integrated a Pocket 6K on a wireless rig, using a DJI Ronin RS2 with double handle accessory kit and v-mount battery powering the rig, camera, and the Teradek Bolt 6 XT 750 12G Wireless Transmitter. This camera can go anywhere in the auditorium, on-stage or even in the lobby, providing a silky-smooth and versatile perspective of the space. The band features four Marshall CV420-30X 4K 12G-SDI Box Cameras mounted on mic stands so they can be moved anywhere on-stage.

The control room and broadcast rack is located under the arena seats with two 75” LG TV’s as 4K multi-views. All video, including camera feeds, graphics, digital signage, etc., throughout the entire campus is routed through the ATEM and monitored in master control. All video wiring is 12G SDI and fiber to handle the church’s desired resolution of 2160p at 60fps, with Blackmagic Optical Fiber 12G converters used, and ATEM talkback Converter 4K and 12G fiber modules on the rack side. Unity Intercom is how the entire tech team communicates. BoxCaster Pro handles the streaming duties to all platforms.

In Conclusion

Going from such a small 300-seat venue with very basic technology, to this amazing 1,200-seater loaded with the latest tech; training and automation was the highest priority. Though construction was delayed, our team worked miracles to install, integrate, and train Lake Mary Church’s new recruits before the Easter grand opening. So much automation was used in this job, we actually don’t have time to cover it here; but in short: with Q-Lab software, Streamdeck running Companion App, Control4, and Lyntec, we can pretty much automate the entire campus using time of day triggers with manual overrides. The system effortlessly turns on and off without anyone in the building, using AI. This saves so much time and stress for the tech director and is faster and more accurate than a human could ever be. The future is now!

I could not be prouder of our entire team at Proton Global for working tirelessly to get the job done on time and with laser focus. And for the dedicated team at Lake Mary Church, looking at how far they’ve come in such a short time, performing at such a high level and with such excellence-this was no small feat…it was indeed a GIANT LEAP!

Ricky is a 2-time Emmy® winner with 25+ years in broadcast television, consulting, and systems integration; and oversees technology for his father at NOW Church in Ocala, FL. His company, Proton Global Media Group, is committed to helping ministries of all sizes achieve technical excellence, affordably.

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