Please, Think Of The Children!

Please, Think Of The Children!
  • CINCINNATI, OH-Montgomery Christian Church was looking to create a children's facility for its youth ministry, so they contacted Worship Resources' Tom Rutledge to assess the situation. The facility was to be installed in an old gymnasium at the church, and it required a full sound and lighting system. The church wanted a real high-tech feel for the project, which required trussing and lighting incorporated into a stage.

TV One's C2-5200 is the centerpiece of Montgomery Christian Church's new high-tech children's facility.
One of the main challenges for Rutledge was the gymnasium itself. He explained, "We had to deal with acoustics. Where do we place things? There were no exposed girders, it was just wood built with sheet rock. So we had to find ways to suspend the light bars. There was also no acoustic treatment in the budget." The church wanted the stage set in the corner. That forced Rutledge's team to deal with the odd shape and make everything symmetrical from an installation standpoint.

Since sound was a key factor in the integration, Rutledge put a lot of thought into the speakers. They needed adequate coverage in a booming environment with plenty of bandwidth. He chose EAW MK2366's in a biamp mode for the budget and quality. Together with the SB150 subwoofers, and an existing Mackie 2404, they constructed a three-way system with QVC amps and a dbx drive rack. "They initially had portable speakers that were flown and the sound had been very poor. They were also too close together, causing phase cancellation. So we tore it all out and put a new snake and cabling in. By choosing the 2366 speakers, which are a 60 by 60 splay pattern, we attempted to keep the sound and pattern controlled. We addressed the acoustical issue with speaker design and placement. And we didn't have to deal with parallel walls since the stage was in the corner." They installed the subs under the stage and flew the speakers. "We wanted to make sure there was enough boom to give the necessary energy over the top of several hundred kids. From an audio standpoint they wanted a clean sound but they wanted to be able to rattle the windows."

To control the lights, Rutledge installed an NSI NC7016 to control the theatrical fixtures and house lighting and a Chauvet Tiger for the Martin MX4 intelligent fixtures. The MX4s are stocked with custom gobos for the facility, giving a professional feel to the install.

The video system is backboned by a TV One C2-5200 scaler/switcher that takes input from a Panasonic DVD player and a laptop feed. Rutledge said, "We chose the TV One scaler/switcher for the ability to do monitoring, switching, and scaling." The output goes through a Sanyo PLCXP56 projector onto a screen that was mounted onto the truss of the stage. "Because of limitations in floor space we went with front projection. We went as bright as possible to give them their image considering they were using theatrical lighting as well."

The final outcome was a full media environment for children in grades one through three. Rutledge has been doing a lot more high-tech installs in churches recently. "In the past they'd just set up a couple of TVs in the front," he commented. "Now churches are investing in full-fledged media systems for their children's ministry and teen centers. They're investing money in concert style lighting and higher end sound and video with a lot more switching." What attributes to this rise in installations? "Cost for one-prices for gear are dropping rapidly. Also there's whole movement of the church trying to reach people of today. There's a need to be significantly more multimedia-driven than in the past, and moreso for children than adults. So what we're seeing is a greater willingness to spend more money to bring in the lighting, the projection, and the sound."