As with any project, the early engagement and consultation of stakeholders, particularly the AV integrators, will help plan out cabling requirements. In Clayton’s case, the entire building was wired with Ethernet ports in every room. Today, the AV patch panel of cables allows for each room to be easily switched from an input to output for AV signaling — via a Cisco SG200-26, 26-port gigabit smart switch.
Some early decisions were made even before the old church building was demolished. We acquired the Allen & Heath iLive T-114 sound desk/mixer and the ‘brain’ iDR-48 mix rack. As part of preparing to be mobile during the days at Huntingdale Primary, the iDR was housed in a mobile rack unit with wheels. The mobile rack also temporarily housed seven radio microphone receiver units. All of this equipment is now permanently located backstage, with the radio microphone receivers positioned on a high ledge.
The transition from Huntingdale back to Clayton also enabled the band to change from wired in-ear monitors to wireless units, with the wireless base units wired into their own separate rack next to the iDR-48 rack.
In early 2014, as part of the backstage reorganisation, the previously exposed amplifier – microphone signalling of the two electric guitars was given a permanent two-shelf cabinet, complete with fibreglass sound insulation. Two TV monitors were fixed to the cabinet wall, with their video/audio source direct from the iDR-48 rack.
The new stage includes seven built-in platform boxes, each with a mixture of inputs and connectors, which together with the iDR suite of ports, allow for quick configuration of any combination/variety of input instrument channel.
Two fold-back speaker wedges are located below stage to provide additional feedback. Up to eight musicians/vocalists have individual in-ear monitors with wireless packs. Where the full band has more than eight team members, additional wired in-ear channels are utilised.
At a given Sunday service, a total of six radio microphones are used for each of the four vocalists, the worship leader and service leader. The preacher will wear a separate headset wireless microphone.
As part of a feedback system, two wired microphones are permanently fixed on stage, for exclusive use by individuals assigned an “MD” role, where they provide vocal cues to the team. One microphone is positioned for the drummer to use, while the other microphone stand is located with the electric guitarist(s). These two channels are routed exclusively into the in-ear channels of the band plus the two channels available at the sound desk.
At the sound desk, the iLive mix controller occupies the front desk, and also provides connectivity to the computers (PCs/Macs). One Windows-based laptop currently receives audio signal, which is recorded as MP3 and later uploaded as audio messages on the church website. Since 2012, intermittent audio recordings have been made via direct LAN connectivity between the iLive controller and our Worship Coordinator’s Macbook Pro, using Apple’s Logic Pro X and Audinate Dante Virtual sound card. This virtual sound card is also configured on the Worship iMac (Apple QuickTime) and is used to record the digital audio signal of sermons. The first of these digital audio recordings was successfully performed for the sermon preached on Sunday 28 July; the final message of the My Cell is a Life Transforming Community message series. At interesting lesson eventuated the following week (Sunday 4 August) whereby the use of Quicktime as the recording software had defaulted the input channel to the in-built iMac sound card and thus the recording was not successful…
A number of additional output audio channels from the iLive controller have emerged throughout late 2013:
- Ethernet – Dante virtual sound card to Macbook for multi-channel recording
- RCA cable with headphones for use by the operators sitting in the rear desk area.
- XLR cable to the video camera, so that any direct recording on the camera has a direct audio feed.
Beyond the Chapel
Audio distribution around the building is via a single output channel from the mix controller. This audio signal is amplified and distributed to various locations:
- Ceiling speakers in the foyer with local volume control panel near the Room 1 entrance.
- Ceiling speakers in the cafe area with separate amplifier/mixer which provides for a single local audio input channel (wired microphone).
- Ceiling speakers with local volume control panel in the Cry Room
- Room 2 (utilised as a creche during the main service) draws its audio distribution feed via the projector connectivity (both video & audio signals)
- Separate mix controllers receive the signal in Room 1 and Room 3 as an input channel to the localised audio systems.
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