As the Water of Life Community Church grew, the time came when it had to decide whether to move or renovate the Fontana, Calif., facilities.
Having worked previously with Mankin Media Systems (MMS) dating back to 2010, the church opted for a significant renovation of the main campus, along with new construction of a worship center, children’s building, parking structure and outdoor gathering areas, all completed by the fall of 2015.
For Marvin Sinson, the church’s director of technical arts & media, the most notable improvement to the campus was the new worship center, which opened its doors in November.
“You are going to a space that is three times larger than the older one, an open space where people can hang out, and that’s awesome,” says Sinson. “That’s what Water of Life is all about. It’s a real big win for us.”
MMS had to fulfill all of the technology needs sought for the space, while maintaining a great deal of flexibility, to support the church’s dynamic worship experience on weekends, while allowing them to transition to other activities during the rest of the week.
“We have been able to take it to a different standard, and we look forward to growing with that,” says Sinson.
That “different standard” largely is a result of an audio, video and lighting (AVL) system installed in the new space. Most significant is the 5.2mm pixel pitch, 216-panel LED wall by CreateLED, intended to be the space’s centerpiece during worship services.
“When you walk into the worship center, the second you look at it, you see how beautiful it is,” says Sinson. “Everyone wants to check out the wall when we do tours, and the coolest thing is to show them the back of the LED wall … they really like it.”
The church’s technical director noted that the staff is still learning how best to utilize the LED wall, but explained that for Christmas and Easter, “we started to create content for the wall, so that we could put it to a full screen. There are a number of challenges that we are still dealing with, but having a 44 x 13-foot wall is an awesome challenge to have.”
When the LED wall and sound system were being installed, Sinson notes that once they began being tested, an added excitement arose among those involved in the project.
1. Expect to deal with multiple budgets and/or designs
2. Listen to the client’s desires, and adjust the proposed install based on changes from their original suggestions
3. Work to satisfy your client on this project with an eye toward the future
End User Takeaways:
1. Be upfront with the integrator about what can feasibly be done within your financial constraints
2. Seek to build a trust with the integrator, to help build up a familiarity with prior projects and to avoid any compatibility problems
3. Even if you can’t get everything done for the next project, don’t force yourself into costly upgrades that can be avoided by accounting for compatibility and an ease of transition
CreateLED 5mm P3 panels, Christie Vista Spyder video processor, Hitachi Z-HD5000 cameras, Canon KJ20x8.2BIRSD HDTV lens w/extender, Midas Pro PRO6-CC-IP (2) and PRO2-CC-IP consoles, Ross Carbonite 2M 2M/E live production switching, L’Acoustics SB18i and SB28 subwoofers, KARAi and 8XT 2-way enclosures, Shure ULXD wireless microphone systems, Shure PSM 1000 wireless in-ear monitoring systems
“For people coming in, they wouldn’t see the tons of hours of cables being pulled, but when they heard audio or saw the LED wall being put up, they could tell that the room was coming together,” he says.
Aside from the LED wall, other major aspects to the install were L-Acoustics KARAi line arrays, two Midas PRO6-CC-IP consoles and a Midas PRO2-CC-IP console for the FOH, monitors and broadcast, along with Shure wireless mics and in-ear monitors.
One of the changes beyond just selecting Midas for the consoles was going from one console to three.
“The idea behind it was to have the flexibility, as we were coming into our new space and knew that the band and our vocals would get larger,” says Sinson. In their new setup, one console is dedicated to streaming. “We wanted the [streaming] experience to be as authentic and dynamic as possible. We also felt that having the infrastructure would help us in the future, instead of possibly costing us more later.”
The L-Acoustics system consists of line arrays flown with SB18i subwoofers, with 8XTi and ARCS speakers utilized as fills, while SB28 subwoofers are situated under the stage.
“Our worship pastor [Dan Carroll] looked at the different PA systems, and we knew of the quality of their boxes,” Sinson says of L-Acoustics. “It was a cost and quality thing, and we got the quality we wanted, at the fraction of the cost [of comparable options].”
The new lighting system includes a mix of Chauvet LED ellipsoidal and wash fixtures, to go with Martin Aura moving head LED wash fixtures, all controlled by a Martin M6 lighting console with MDG haze.
The broadcast video portion includes Hitachi cameras, Ross Carbonite switching, Imagine Platinum VX routing, and various sound and capture gear. The image processing for the CreateLED wall is coordinated by a Christie Spyder video processor.
Even though the project was successfully completed on time, it encountered its share of technical changes, new staff members and consultants, as well as limitations that impacted the budget.
In dealing with those tweaks, Sinson says, “Mankin has been super awesome in helping on those kinds of things. The wall has been pretty solid, but we did have to change out one panel. It was an easy swap to replace it. On the audio side of things, there were some hiccups in the beginning, but we’ve been in the room for a few months now, and the PA is operating as it should.”