Working with a friend of ours, Steve Wilson, we embarked on an install at the campus of St Cloud State University. Located on the high bank of the Mississippi River on the edge of the campus is Newman Center’s Christ Church.
I myself, and Jeremy as well, had both performed at this chapel while in college. It is lovely small chapel built of formed concrete, dark brick, with wood pews in the traditional C-shape seating plot around a thrust Pulpit area.
For years, this audio system was suspect. I remember even as a child when hearing it at a mass or wedding or concert event wondering what I was actually hearing! Old 70’s 70 volt speakers!
We were glad to do this one and contacted friends in the industry for some solutions. After getting the electricians (thanks to tommy from JT) to replace and redo the AC power, everything fell into place. Part of any modern install in a traditional environment is making the installation blend in with the surroundings. A church volunteer (T. Fisher) was able to build and blend a tech area which helped tremendously.
New technology brings new challenges and volunteers and staff alike have to learn and re-learn systems. Church can be conducted with no technology even turned on. BUT, it can also feature 32 channels of microphones, instruments, HD video, wireless mics, drums!, choir mics, digital multi-track recording, and on and on. The joy of this install was creating a modern multi purpose space that can really host any event successfully and with good sound.
In the modern world I believe that you have spend a decent amount of time with new devices to get them to yield. That is, as I begin to use a new machine I am making executive decisions, not creative ones necessarily. I only feel I am can be creative with a machine if I have learned it enough that I know how to execute my impulses on it effortlessly. Many of my clients have heard me say in training regarding a new installation “It takes 100 hours of learning, before you will use it effortlessly, ask real questions, and run sound without fear”. Spend the time with the devices and suddenly you will break thru and use them powerfully and creatively!