It truly is a great feeling when the time comes for the first event for one of our customers after an install. It is the culmination of weeks, months, and sometimes even years of planning and work; not just for Lambda, but for the group themselves.
Cross and Crown Church has worked with us for many years now and has been faithfully planning, saving, and dreaming about what this day might look like. On January 1st, 2023, we got to see that vision come to life. A well finished project is what we got to see for Cross and Crown (C&C). It is our firm belief that technology should not distract and should instead contribute to upholding the primary mission of the organization and its events. With C&C we got to see some serious fun and excitement as the church settled in to their first Sunday and look forward to future day to day events. Let’s look at how this build came together and how it fit C&C and their vision for the future.
In building C&C design, technology selection was a key piece. The church had communicated a desire for new systems and flexibility but did not want a system that felt overbearing and in need of skilled operators or one that was over the top in look and feel. They didn’t want a system that would take over the look of the church but blended with them. In each request, we were careful to select technology that would uphold these goals.
When the US Air Force Academy Hockey and Basketball games were picked up for broadcasting to cable tv, they knew they had to up their audio game and called Lambda AV. AFA hockey and basketball have been historically fun attractions for those local to the Colorado Springs area and with the success of the Avalanche in the Stanley cup even more attention was gained by local teams. Altitude Sports wanted to pick them up for distribution and while Adam and Brian at AFA had all the video gear needed to broadcast, they were lacking proper audio.
The phone began to ring and when I, Ryan, looked the caller ID read WJFW-TV in Rhinelander Wisconsin. I assumed it would be a scam call but answered anyway. On the other end, Marty and Walt from WJFW-TV were calling to discuss a previous article we wrote on an early PTZ camera design. The system they owned was a similar version to what we wrote about many years ago. When they saw how much we liked the system, they wanted to ask how we got it to work so well. I laughed, “We didn’t!"
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.
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