When we came to Lebanon Baptist, we were there to “just take a look” and see just what was causing “bad sound.” But we found other issues like 2 digital mixers trying to act as 1, frequent audio outages and video and lighting problems. And the “bad sound” was really, really bad sound.
The solution was an aggressive one—a complete redo, using very few of the existing components. We began by renovating the mix position. The previous position had long since seen its best days, and the workflow and space were all chopped up. We began by taking it down to studs—reworking the electrical, building a new desktop, and new cable pathways. New carpet was also added to the mix position as well as a fresh coat of paint to make everything look uniform. To make space for the new equipment, we took their existing 8-foot equipment rack and fabricated a rolling 4-foot rack from it. It was now able to fit under the desk yet still give easy access to all the gear by rolling out into the mix position for service when needed.
Our second project was to rid the church of the chopped up and hacked together mic wiring as it seemed to go from junction box to junction box, lopping hither and yon before going to where it needed to go. To save on costs we fabricated our own mic jack plates. We pulled what seemed like miles and miles of new cable, including 26 new mic lines, 5 speaker feed lines and 3 monitor bus lines.
Next we mounted subwoofers in the old organ champers, and took down the old full-range speakers. We replaced them with new TOA line arrays, configured in three zones—front, middle and back—each with their own amplification. DSP was handled by the EV DC1, and an Ashley Protea. To solve the mixer problem we installed the new Soundcraft Si 32-channel digital mixer which gave them the flexibility in routing that they wanted. The hallway speakers had been hashed together over the years, so they were rewired and put on their own dedicated amplifier, the venerable Peavy IPA150 which gave bulletproof 70v performance. Also in the organ chambers we added a set of 2-way speaker cabinets as deep side fills to just get the very outer edge of the seating area. After they had experienced the system for about a month and were used to it, we came back to make some adjustments and do the final polish on the tune as well as further training.
One really unique issue we ran into on this job was the extremely dirty AC power coming into the mix position. It had wreaked havoc on the previous system which did not even have a power conditioner. We installed a both a Furman power isolation unit and a Tripp Lite power conditioner. The combination gave immediate results in the desk, and the technical systems had clean and stable power.
We also helped out with several other projects including moving the church’s organ, removing the modesty wall on the platform and reorienting the choir loft. After all, we’re here to serve in anyway we can. (Except maybe in the nursery.)
Not many churches have a staff and a work team like Lebanon did. Their maintenance man, Art, was “Johnny-on-the-spot,” providing us with anything we needed and had just an endless energy and wit. And he was just on top of the folks that were not necessarily skilled, but volunteered to go get supplies or parts and pieces as needed, or those who were dedicated to pulling wire. And who could forget the “cleanup crew” who cleaned the entire auditorium from top to bottom after the extremely dusty endeavor of sanding the mix position desktop and leveling it out.
Future work is already enqueue, and we look forward to being back with these great folks soon.