Just a few weeks ago Lambda started a full AV install on a new building project! Over the last year we have worked to build designs, CAD, procure equipment, and test and program it all to work together in our design. Finally, all the behind-the-scenes work is done, and the install is in full swing! So, what are the first steps for Lambda when we come on a new site?
When I (Ryan) was in high school, I took a series of courses from D20 as part of their tech pathway. These courses were all about becoming a Cisco Certified Network Associate. These classes offered basic understanding of how to setup, design, and configure computer networks. Fast forward to post college with a degree in Broadcast Video Production that I never thought I would use, but today basically all our Audio, Video, and Lighting systems use networks and use them in advanced ways.
When it comes to networking today, the simple “dumb” switches, or switches straight out of the box, simply aren’t enough for demanding, time critical, AVL (Audio, Video, Lighting) events and systems. So much data is moving around in these systems that it is absolutely critical to have switches configured correctly for the protocol or service being used. In this case, Dante audio requires large loads of audio specific timing and multicast settings to make sure audio is delivered on time and the clock is never dropped.
A local D20 Elementary school approached us at the beginning of summer looking for a solution to improve their gym speaker system for the coming school year. At this point, nothing had failed yet, but the system was getting very old and was not well designed for how they now use the gym space. The gym, for the school, is where they hold assemblies, do theater productions, as well as have their normal PE/gym classes throughout the week. It was in desperate need of a redesign so the system could meet these needs.
When Rocky Mountain Calvary (RMC) first approached us about doing an audio system upgrade, one of the main areas of concern and they really wanted to focus on was improving coverage in their main worship space and adding intelligibility. We reached out to Danley Sound Labs to have them design a system that would provide just what the church asked for. They did a great job of understanding what the church was after and designing a system to fit that!
The main portion of the sound system was… 1 speaker! Yes, when we told RMC they responded with the same question I’m sure you are asking. “How could 1 speaker cover an almost 2000 seat auditorium?”
Many churches get to a point when growth, new goals, new building, or just equipment age forces them to think about upgrading. Everything might still be working reasonably well, but it’s harder to accommodate new asks or larger worship teams. Or perhaps the equipment is just old enough that parts are no longer available and your confidence in it lasting through a weekend just isn’t there anymore. If this is the case, where do you even start to make a plan? This is really where Lambda comes in. Rocky Mountain Calvary in Colorado Springs hit a point where their equipment was old, goals were changing, and budget was available to make some changes, so they reached out to us looking for an idea of what steps to take next.
When we met up with the RMC tech team, they expressed first of all wanting to upgrade the audio system. The tech team very much wanted a new soundboard and waves audio plugins. When we saw their building though, we noticed speaker system was more than 10 years old and had lost much of the fidelity from when they were installed. They also just didn’t fit the space as well as new technology could. So, we suggested upgrading the speakers first and then replacing the soundboard, integrating waves audio effects, and maybe even some new mics. This would ensure they would have good audio from the absolute start to the end. We met up with the team from RMC several times to build request lists, talk about dreams and goals, and even moving through older equipment talking about what new equipment is capable of. In the end, they decided on upgrading four major areas: Camera lenses and a video switcher, speakers, soundboard, and house lighting. We also discussed future steps such as led walls and staging pieces to add dynamic.
In order to maximize space for this business one of the things we could do was lean to a professional studio design and create a lighting grid. A lighting grid is a system of suspended steel pipes in a crisscross design for hanging lights and other devices from the ceiling. A typical grid has pipes spaced with 4ft gaps proving lots of spaces for mounting anything you would need in a studio. Before trying to rig up a grid in your space make sure to first consult a professional as these need to be set up safely and up to building code. A typical grid for a small space can weigh as much as 800lbs and needs to be anchored correctly to be able to handle even more load than you plan to attach. For this grid, we used special concrete anchors to hold one direction of the grid and another custom grid clamp to join everything together from our favorite people at The Light Source.
Green screens can offer a lot of versatility and open new doors of opportunity to create more content in your studio or gain more experience with your production skills. So, let’s take a look at some of the challenges and benefits of working with a green screen in your space! We recently were able to install a green screen for a corporate studio. Their needs presented a unique set of challenges and benefits to having a green screen in their studio.
So, let’s set the stage: The corporation had set aside a space for a video studio and had the goal to create quality video content to present to the rest of their organization and their network. What they didn’t have was a very large space and being a corporation, they also knew they needed to be able to produce content quickly for more immediate use. Knowing this, using a green screen sounded like a desirable way to get what they needed out of their studio!
Understanding the end goal and use case for any system is crucial to its design and success. Starting with a clear vision allows for figuring out what pathway and components are needed to create a solution that meets the end goal.
At Lambda we have a lot of fun working with clients across the county and if you know us, you know that we have a passion for helping people get the most out of their AV system! We are all about getting equipment that will serve your specific purposes for many years.
Usually, we show you fun gear and installs from our perspective, but we thought it might be interesting to show you things from another perspective. Questions you might be interested in when it comes to planning upgrades before you even begin working with us or just what other churches are doing. We will be showing you a few interviews over the next few months to hopefully answer some questions you might not have even thought to ask. We decided to do a quick interview with a long-time client to get their perspective on working with Lambda and how we were able to provide them with the tools they needed to grow! Summit Church is a mid-size church in Denver with a ton of life and energy. They did a major upgrade with us about a year ago so that the tech could really match what the church itself was already doing. Hopefully, this interview can give you a practical, realistic look at what it’s like to work with an AV Integrator for your business.
How would you describe your role at Summit?
“My job is to bring Pastor Rob Singleton's vision to life. I make sure the teams and processes are in place and moving forward in the right direction.”
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