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April 18, 2007  

Richland Bible's Celebration of Growth

Expanding to Meet the Needs of Congregation and Community



Richland Bible Churchís prominent 80-foot x 35-foot reconfigurable stage provides ample space for instrumental ensembles, choirs, drama worship and pastoral team members, while its well-thought-out lighting, audio and multi-screen video capabilities allow the audience to share in every detail of Sunday worship services and community events. But, just five years ago, RBCís three Sunday services were overflowing its original 600-seat venue. RBC had to look to the future to find a better way to spread Godís word.

"We were looking for a property on which to build," says Scott Jepkema, RBCís technical ministries director, "So when we were finally able to buy some property adjacent to our church, it seemed like a logical part of the plan." Shortly after the decision to break ground with construction of the new facility, the technical and pastoral teams started meeting to develop what would turn out to be a long list of features for the new venue. "It took many hours and the list grew dramatically," remembers Jepkema, "Our goal was to make use of the equipment we had; design the best and most versatile systems we could think of and still leave room for growth." It was, by any measure, a tall order, but the teams were undeterred.

To oversee the teams' plans that were growing more and more complex, Jepkema and Bob Feitl, RBC's executive pastor, called on system designer and installer Jim McCandliss from Sound Investment Enterprises, Inc. in Kihie, Hawaii. "The teams' vision for the sanctuary was aggressive, " says McCandliss. His many years of experience allowed him to incorporate the teams' wish list and existing plans into a comprehensive design that would both meet the immediate needs of the new facility while allowing for future expansion without major redesign.

Logic System’s challenge was to seamlessly integrate High Definition video, brilliant graphics, text keying and four live High Definition camera feeds into a multi-media extravaganza. The presentation served to highlight their partner agencies and bring to the large area an intimate encounter with those persons whose lives have been changed by Lutheran Foundation’s support.

An additional consideration for the design was RBCís commitment to the community to provide a facility for hosting civic events. Lighting and audio needs for the new facility would have to support both worship services and other events hosted there, such as musical drama, town meetings, seasonal concerts and musical competitions.

For both its cost-savings and versatility, McCandliss handled RBCís lighting needs with a combination of gear from the old facility along with new components from Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC). To reinforce their existing large inventory of conventional and robotic lighting fixtures, an ETC Insight 3 control console and an additional 68 ETC Source Four fixtures were supplied along with two ETC Sensor 96 channel dimmer racks housing 140 2,400-watt dimmers. This set-up allows the staff to add as many as 52 more dimmers as facility lighting needs expand.

For Richlandís lighting team, the ability to make quick lighting changes and access lighting positions is critical. Access to the downstage lighting positions was made on two catwalks integrated into the ceilingís superstructure. "These catwalks provide tremendous flexibility for the technical team to make quick changes to the lighting plot," says McCandliss, "They use lots of color and gobos on the walls for the worship and drama segments of the services and can easily tweak the lights every week to accommodate any special requirements."

Audio needs for the room were determined only after its acoustical properties were analyzed by McCandliss using his knowledge of building materials, computer modeling software and past experience. "We had several acoustical elements in the auditorium that needed to be fixed," offers McCandliss, "The church wanted an environment that provided good acoustical reinforcement for the congregation and its 125-voice choir, so the room could not be treated with too much absorption." Still, McCandliss had to control potential echoes that would come from the 25- and 30-foot tall reflective surfaces on the side and rear walls of the auditorium. His solutions included a reflective shell that surrounds the choir on three sides along with a "reflective cloud" above that enhances the projection of the choir out into the audience. A similar reflective cloud system was flown above the audience, and moderate absorptive materials were strategically placed along the side and rear walls to improve clarity while preserving the natural properties of the room.

For sound reinforcement, RBC installed a four-way loudspeaker system using EAW and Bag End components. To cover the main audience, a total of seven EAW AX-396 and AX-364 mid/high coaxial cabinets were installed in the catwalks along with three AX-122 dual bass cabinets. In addition, three Bag End D18e-i dual 18-inch sub-bass speakers were installed under the stage. Six EAW SM-122e twoway monitor wedges provide a reference for the stage performers and two of the more compact EAW UB-52 loudspeakers were flown overhead to provide additional coverage for the choir area. For power, 10 Crest CD 2000 1,000-watt dual-channel amplifiers drive the main and monitor systems. The five onstage monitor mixes are equalized using three PreSonus DEQ- 624 dual-channel 1/3-octave equalizers with the main speakers controlled by a Yamaha DME 64N 64-channel digital mixing engine and a Yamaha M2500 56-input mixing console.

Flanking either side of the main stage are 9-foot x 16-foot DaLite front projection screens that can be fed images, graphics or video, with one 6.75-foot x 12-foot Da- Lite screen on the rear wall used primarily as an aid to performers. A massive 9-foot x 28-foot screen behind the stage is visible to all and can provide a backdrop of color, images or program material to fit the productionís needs. "In addition to the need to feed all the screens from the cameras, DVD playback, and other sources, the technical team needed video equipment that would support a feature called edge blending that would allow them to make more effective use of the wide 9-foot x 28-foot rear screen," says McCandliss, "Finding that particular feature for the video became our major goal, but most manufacturers were charging a premium for it ó we're talking thousands more."

The search was on for a video switcher that would support edge blending, as well as be affordable and easy to operate by RBCís technical teams. The only manufacturer at the time that provided edge blending at a price that was affordable to RBC was TVOne in their C2-7100 multiformat video processor. When McCandliss reviewed the specifications, he could see that the box fit the teamsí need for an easy-to-use video processor and, at the right price, supported the independent scaling engines they required. McCandliss specified two in his plan: one to support the side and rear wall screens and one to support the wide center screen, that, employing the edge blending features of the C2, could support two adjacent images.

Downstream to RBCís C2 video controllers, images are delivered to the main center and two side screens via four Eiki LC-X5 LCD video projectors, which provide 6,500 lumens and an 1,100:1 contrast ratio. An Eiki LC-X70 projector with 5,000 lumens and a 1,200:1 contrast ratio delivers images to the rear screen.

One way the teams who designed audio, lights and video for RBC were able to save money was by constantly reviewing their plans during the building phase. "Itís something Iíve been doing for many years and is probably the key to our success in the business," says McCandliss, of staying "in touch" while the building is going up. He encourages his clients to "keep looking" to make sure the design fits what they are building and to look for opportunities to upgrade ó even to save money. It was during this phase that the team decided they could save money and add versatility to their installation by changing over to CAT-5 cable for both video and audio distribution. Only minor changes to the plan were made and cost-effective CAT-5 cabling was installed throughout the building.

For all our equipment, in addition to versatility, we also were looking for easeof- use, since it takes several teams of our volunteers to support each event," says Jepkema, who plugs into RBCís Telex intercom system as technical director, supporting individual teams for sound, lighting, recording, character generation and camera operation. Each Sunday, worship services require a minimum of 19 volunteers on these teams to ensure a well-run presentation. Jepkema says that he is blessed with many good volunteers, but, with so many required to run each event, he can always use more.

RBC's "Tech Ministry" volunteers come from all walks of life. Most are without a technical background and can require as much as nine to twelve months of training. "It's a great team. We are constantly learning and improving," reflects Jepkema, "but occasionally have to call for support." McCandliss, as designer and installer, visited the church for training sessions after the initial installation, but makes himself available for support calls. "We really only had a couple of days together to train on the equipment, but Scott Jepkema and his teams are very good, and very well organized. They usually find the answers on their own," shares McCandliss.

Of Richland Bible Church and his ďTech Ministry," Scott Jepkema says, "Our desire is to help create an environment where people can draw closer to God and worship Him joyfully together in community."

For more information regarding TV One please contact Amy Fraley at TVOne



From TV One, 1350 Jamike Drive, Erlanger, KY, 41018, 800-721-4044, 859-282-7303, http://www.tvone.com.

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Founded in 1991, TV One specializes in video, audio and multimedia processing equipment, based on its proprietary CORIO Ô video conversion technology. Centrally located in Erlanger , KY with offices across the globe, TV One manufactures a complete line-up of products for the professional and broadcast video market.