How a CrewCom Wireless System Enables Seamless Communication at Christ Church

Pliant Technologies CrewCom system brings seamless communication to a church.
(Image credit: Pliant Technologies)

Christ Church in Louisiana has multiple campuses in West Monroe, Ruston, and Sterlington. With roughly 2,000 congregants in attendance weekly at its main location in West Monroe, delivering quality services to those in attendance and those tuning in remotely is pivotal. To ensure Christ Church, West Monroe has seamless communication amongst its media and production team, the house of worship deploys Pliant Technologies’ CrewCom Wireless Intercom System.

The West Monroe location has a full production setup, including eight cameras, and a separate in-house and online mix. For intercoms, the team utilizes a CrewCom Control Unit (CU), as well as four of the brand’s CrewCom Radio Transceivers (RTs) placed throughout the facility: one in the video booth located at the top of the sanctuary, one placed behind the stage, another placed near front of house, which is located mid-sanctuary, and the last located in the front lobby in order to reach the parking lot for their outdoor events. The team has a total of 15 Pliant CrewCom Radio Packs (RPs) consisting of ten two-channel and five four-channel packs, and 15 Pliant single and dual-ear SmartBoom PRO headsets.

“With this setup, we have complete coverage of the entire campus. It’s very versatile and we can go pretty much wherever we want with the comms units,” said Craig Roberson, media and production director at Christ Church, West Monroe. “With the ability to have multiple Radio Packs per Radio Transceiver at a time, our personnel are always in range, even if they are out in the parking lot for an event.”

[Historic Chapel, Modern Sound]

According to Roberson and other members of his team, including Johnny Norman, Christ Church video director, and Casey Newcomer, Christ Church videographer, the upgrade to Pliant has been a vast improvement, providing clear communication. “We are able to hear the band even if we are not in the worship center, as well as the director talking to us,” said Norman. “We came from a one-channel system, so having additional channels has been a real benefit, while also being really straightforward to learn and use.”

Pliant Technologies CrewCom system brings seamless communication to a church.

(Image credit: Pliant Technologies)

The ability to customize channel assignments for different personnel is another key benefit for the Christ Church media and production team. “Our audio tech can just talk to me, and the camera operators don’t have to hear him in their headsets,” said Newcomer. “It cuts down on a lot of unnecessary chatter.”

Additionally, the team feels as though the audio quality and range of the Pliant CrewCom system is unmatched. “I noticed an improvement from day one,” said Norman. “We can hear everybody very clearly. The camera ops especially have told me that they can hear everything I say now. Before, we only had single-ear headsets, but now, all camera ops on stage with the band have a dual-ear headset, so they can hear the band and me in both ears. This results in fewer mistakes on my part and theirs because we now have clear communication.”

[This Church Reaches New Worshippers with an Enhanced Video System. Here's How]

“It's been a night and day difference from what we've had,” Roberson added. “I don’t think we realized how poor the audio quality was on our previous system until we started using Pliant. Also, the build quality is exceptional; it just feels much more rugged and professional from what we were previously using. Our old system became very uncomfortable after one service; with Pliant, this is not the case.”

Other features the team praises Pliant for include volume adjustment, configurability to customize each pack, and the long-lasting battery life of the radio packs. “With our previous system, we could not adjust the overall system volume at all, so it is great that we can make that adjustment to the gain in CrewWare and also still have the individual user adjust their volume,” said Roberson. “Also, the ability to create different profiles and pre-set the settings and channels of each radio pack is amazing. That’s helped us out a ton, especially for us three (myself, Johnny and Casey) who mainly talk to each other about the overall production. The audio team and camera ops are no longer distracted by our conversation and can focus on their aspect of the production. Not to mention, the battery life on the packs is fantastic. We have backup batteries, but we have not needed to use them since the packs still have power.”

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.