Here is a quick tutorial explaining the best ways to use a vocal microphone and setup your gain structure.
Here's a simple overview of noise gates and how they can make a huge difference to live sound mixing.
Here's a simple overview of high pass filters (HPF) and how they can make a huge difference to live sound mixing.
Vive Church (formally C3 Church Silicon Valley) continues to grow in the heart of the USA's technology epicentre now with 4 campuses.
Forefront recently assisted Vive with further upgrades, including lighting and additional audio consoles.
Vive's largest and original campus is located in Palo Alto, CA - and is in a facility where they bump in and out every Sunday. From there they routinely stream out to the other campuses and Facebook Live.
Being a rented facility, the lighting setup, in particular the main front wash lacked the focus and brightness required, so Forefront installed a dedicated front wash and back lighting setup with Arri fresnels that supply an even coverage that looks great for live and broadcast, and minimises the amount of light onto the cyclorama which Vive use to project video from floor to ceiling.
In addition, the latest Chauvet Maverick series MK2 Spot moving head and MK2 Wash LED moving head wash fixtures were added to enable great atmospheric looks.
On the audio side of things, Vive has had a Digico SD9 for a couple of years now at Palo Alto and keeping on the Digico platform which is user friendly and familiar to their volunteers, rolled out Digico S21's to their other campuses in San Jose & San Francisco with the newest Oakland campus to officially launch in August.
An additional Digico S21 was also added to the Palo Alto campuses to facilitate a dedicated audio mix for live streaming. This takes a duplicate of all the inputs running to the Digico SD9 on FOH & monitors, and makes use of the gain tracking function to maintain independent gain structure, unaffected by any changes on the other console.
6x Chauvet Maverick MK2 Spot Moving Head
6x ChauveT Maverick MK2 Wash Moving Head
10x Arri ST2 Studio Fresnel
1x MDG Atmosphere Hazer
1x Digico SD9 Digital Audio Mixer
2x Digico S21 Digital Audio Mixer
2x Digico Little Red Box
2x Digico D-Rack
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Love Like Fire is the latest release by BJ Putnam.
Recorded live at BJ's home church in Phoenix, Church For The Nations, the live production elements of the project were production managed by Forefront Productions.
Forefront Principal Nick Burns, was on the ground production managing and also taking care of FOH mix duties for the project.
The entire band for the project was simply amazing, comprised of musical legends such as Chris Coleman on drums, Bryant Siono on bass (J-Lo's MD & bassist) & Israel Houghton who also co-produced.
On the technical end of the project, Forefront completed lighting design in conjunction with US based partner MattLights who then operated lighting for the project. Recording duties were handled by the legendary Danny Duncan of Vangard, with redundant backups being tracked via Waves Soundgrid both at the FOH console and recording studio.
We asked BJ about a particular moment you will hear in the live recording of 'Love Like Fire' where the crowd almost took over:
Love Like Fire - BJ Putnam
Production Manager & Engineer - Nick Burns
IMAGES FROM THE LIVE RECORDING OF "LOVE LIKE FIRE"
CHORD CHARTS & LYRICS
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Set in the outer suburbs of Perth Australia, True North Church Merriwa is a great example of modern church design & function.
Using architects who have worked on spaces for Disneyland, the True North concept was to create a truly flexible facility which could be a centre for a range of community events, a corporate hub & a home for the church congregation. The sight also hosts a childcare centrer & a café facility.
Forefront were engaged early in the design process to incorporate audio, lighting & video projection systems. We worked closely with church leadership, builders, architects & trades, providing detailed drawings & specifications for the installation, in order to achieve seamless & harmonious integration of all the technical requirements. Having Forefront involved throughout these processes allowed for clear & consistent communication between all the key building stakeholders whilst reducing the disruption to church staff. As with any building project, there were a few surprises that were easily dealt with during the installation phase.
The audio system centres around a Nexo GeoM6 LCR array accompanied by a Digico S21 console at FOH. The GeoM6 configuration is perfect for the size of the space providing incredibly consistent coverage & intelligibility. Due to the multi function nature of the venue, a Xilica Neutrino system processor & remote touch panel were utilised, enabling simplified operation of the venue by non-skilled personnel.
An extensive lighting infrastructure was installed with trussing & LSC Redback patch systems capable of an extensive array of fixtures. A comprehensive array of fixtures were chosen including Pixapanel Par Quad 18's, Chauvet Rogue RH1, Pixapanel 3610 wash & Chauvet Professional series Fresnels. All fixtures were LED, reducing both heat radiation & power consumption.
Video reinforcement was achieved via 2 projection screens & Panasonic HD projectors in a conventional Left/right configuration. Important consideration was given to maximising the viewing angles from all venue seating positions.
DiGiCo S21 Digital Audio Console
Nexo GeoM6 Line Array Speaker System
Nexo LS18 Sub Bass Speaker Elements
Nexo ID24 Speaker Elements
Nexo NXAMP4x1 Speaker Processors / Amplifiers
Xilica A1616 Speaker Processor
Quest QM350i Foldback/Monitor Wedges
Camco DPower2 Amplifiers
Sennheiser EW300-2 Wireless In-ear Monitor Systems
Sennheiser EW500 Series Wireless Microphones
DPA 4066 Headset Microphone
Radial DI Boxes
Forefront Custom Stage Patch System
Powerwise PD620 Power Distribution
LSC Clarity VX20 Lighting Controller
Chauvet F-165WW LED Fresnel
Chauvet Rogue RH1 Hybrid Moving Head
Pixapanel Moving Head Wash
Pixapanel Par Quad 18
Look Unique 2.1 Hazer
LSC Redback RBW12/C/A Power Distribution
LSC Redback Lighting Patch
LSC MDRJ DMX Distribution
Nivtec Stage Risers
Panasonic PA622G Video Projectors
Comstar Wireless Talkback System
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Forefront's support of the ABCRA (Australian Bushmen's Campdraft & Rodeo Association) began in 2010. Held in January each year at the Tamworth AELEC arena, the Ironman 4x4 Finals is the pinnacle of the ABCRA calendar & incorporates a range of live rodeo events along with nightly entertainment from country music artists. The Finals runs concurrent with the Tamworth Country Music Festival & draws from fans of both country music & rodeo alike.
Each year the technical demands for the week long event have grown & 2017 marked a further step up in the event's production footprint. For the first time, festivities kicked off with a pre-finals concert "Cowboy Up" featuring US Country star Eric Beddingfield.
A custom configured Nexo STM audio rig was employed to cover the 3300 seat venue, alongside a 4 sided, centre-hung Pixapanel LED screen. Additional lighting fixtures were also utilised specifically for the Cowboy Up component of the show.
ABCRA Executive Officer, Hunter Jones was stunned by the performance commenting "how is it possible that it sounds better than the CD?".
Nexo STM Line Array Speakers
Nexo STM S118 Sub Bass Elements
Digico S21 Digital Mixer
Sennheiser 500 Series Wireless Microphones
Sennheiser 300 Series Wireless In-ear Monitors
Pixapanel Intelli6 LED Video Screens
GLP Impression 120RZ Moving Head Wash
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What better way to watch the Melbourne Cup than on the harbour foreshore, surrounded by luxury cars, feasting on fine foods, sipping champagne & following the race on a giant LED screen.
This was the scene for the Honey Cage, a corporate get together hosted by CVG Finance, Colliers International, AUSURE & Rapsey Griffiths.
Emcee Rob Palmer, of Better Homes & Gardens fame, entertained the guests throughout the day via our discreet audio system.
The technical elements all but disappeared into the immaculately décor'd setting, making the event a high class affair centred around the focal point of the Pixapanel LED wall for viewing of the race that stops the nation.
The screen was an obvious choice for displaying the horse racing but also enabled the client to reinforce their own branding throughout the day, all in full daylight conditions.
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Lead by Geoff & Lee Blight, Life Church in Brisbane is a great example of what it means to have an impactful & successful medium sized church in Australia.
In fact, despite the isolated cases of Australia’s own mega churches, the reality is that even the bigger churches in Australia are nowadays comprised of multiple campuses very similar to the size and type as Life Church.
Whilst some enjoy the opportunity of purpose built church auditoriums and facilities, it’s pretty typical to see churches converting warehouses, school halls and almost any available suitable space into an auditorium and multipurpose facility.
Life Church is an example of just that, having converted an old high school hall into a main auditorium space.
Like most churches, Life Church had a finite budget and a lot to achieve. Some usual questions were asked – “we know Forefront do a lot of big projects, but we’re not XYZ Church, we have our own style & culture”…..”we need training and support, but you guys are located interstate”.
After sharing advice on how we deliver top notch service at distance every day for churches across the country and around the globe, how we have completed countless projects and have the know how to navigate all the challenges, and deliver all the needs of the various departments and stakeholders, Life Church set off on the journey with us here at Forefront.
Our process starts with a lot of listening and observation. We visited a church service and observed all aspects of the service including the presentation style, worship team & technical team. We got a good gauge of the abilities of the staff and volunteers. We met with the Pastors and staff, and got a strong sense of their vision for the future, their challenges and the overall style and direction of the church.
Every church has its own unique worship style, no matter the size or denomination. It’s key to our mission to figure that out and design systems and solutions that help attain the church’s vision whilst maximising the potential and skill level of the staff and volunteers who will be using the equipment and systems.
Next its to the drawing board. We create 3D software models of the auditorium space, and test different speaker systems, lighting layouts and video systems – this sometimes results in multiple options, and sometimes in more difficult conversion spaces, like a warehouse with a low roof, it can be a battle to just get all the elements to play nicely together - such as uninhibited sight lines to video screens, whilst navigating around the planned building services such as air conditioning ducting, as an example.
You see, we think about, and plan around all the aspects that years of experience have taught us. All the elements that we know can impact your outcome, regardless of whether it’s our direct responsibility or not.
All the types of things that anyone else might just keep quiet about to gain your business, but point to another trade or supplier when the result isn’t what it should be.
You don’t want to be in that position, when the air conditioning makes your video screens waiver in the breeze, or the carpet gets laid before anyone thinks of putting an assisted listening system underneath.
That’s just a couple of the external influences that could impact your audio, lighting and video systems - let alone intricacies involved in planning and designing the actual systems themselves.
And you shouldn’t be expected to know all this. It’s not like you do a church upgrade or building project every day! AT FOREFRONT ITS WHAT WE DO EVERYDAY.
After the designing and planning phase we come to the masterplan, which gives you a systems and equipment road map for say the next 5 years. But most often, it’s about squeezing the most equipment and solutions into the immediately available budget, knowing that whatever goes in now is really likely to be the majority of what’s purchased for the foreseeable future.
After some adjusting and prioritisation the transformation begins. Our team arrives on the ground for the installation phase. The current space is transformed. We carry out testing, optimisation, tuning and focusing – ensuring the best results.
But it doesn’t stop there. The real key to getting the most value out of the whole process and being good stewards of the investment is delivering the right training and support to your staff and volunteers.
Around 90% of all church musicians, singers and technical teams are volunteers who are not professional – yet our modern church usually requires a very high level of presentation quality.
So by selecting and designing the right systems for your particular needs, we then deliver training to your staff and volunteers that makes sense, and equips them with the knowledge and skill they need to exploit the systems and equipment for their designed purpose.
We’re also then on call for support when needed most – like at 7.00am on a Sunday morning.
Q&A With Pastor Lee Blight:
1. What's the value of having FOREFRONT across all aspects of your project - audio, lighting, video, staging etc?
We would not do this any other way, having Forefront oversee all aspects of our AV project meant that we caught many of the potential integrations issues early.
When there were issues (there will always be some on a big production installation), we only had one company to call and they were great in working through things with us.
2. What are some of the potential pitfalls that the relationship with Forefront may have saved Life Church from?
Forefront worked really well with us regarding utilising existing gear, this helped us work towards our budget and while it added complexity to the project, they were happy to advise and work with that restriction.
Forefront did not do it reluctantly but were more than happy to include the older gear in all their designs and planning and even suggested some ways to better use the older gear than we had anticipated.
In line with our budget we also relied on volunteers for about 90% of the data, audio and video cable runs. Forefront were happy to work with this also, giving us cable guidance, basic cable designs and specifications for what we needed.
3. Has Forefront been valuable for the upskilling of your staff/volunteers?
Forefront not only helped us with the technical skills but also the culture and heart behind church production.
They understood our unique and potentially pedantic requirements and worked within those, while going above and beyond in the aspect of creativity in our lighting and stage set up.
4. What would you say to other Pastors, Worship team leaders or Tech leaders about why they should work with Forefront?
Take the time to meet with Nick and the team, work through a full proposal process with them, it is well worth your time.
5. What's the value of having Forefront when it comes time to hire of some additional gear or expertise for special events?
This has come in handy for a few of our bigger events, it was easy to work with Forefront even though they are not in our city regarding hire equipment. Previously we had not liked the idea of relying on delivery for hired gear but it has worked well.
Digico SD9 Console
Nexo GeoS12 Line Array System
Nexo LS18 Sub Bass Elements
Nexo ID24 Front Fill Elements
Nexo DTD-I Speaker Controller
Camco DPower4 Power Amplifiers
Xilica Neutrino Speaker Processor
RCF ART312A Spealer Elements
Sennheiser 500 Series Wireless Microphones
Sennheiser EW300 Series Wireless In-Ear Monitors
FFP Custom Stage Patch System
Chauvet F-165WW LED Fresnel
Chauvet F-95WW LED Fresnel
Chauvet Rogue RH1 Moving Head Hybrid Profile/Wash/Beam
Pixapanel 111 Wash Moving Head
Pixapanel LED Par Quad18
Pixapanel Pixastrip LED Strips
Pixapanel Intelli6 LED Video Panels
LSC Clarity VX20
LSC Redback Patch, Dimming & Distro
Look Unique Hazer2
Blackmagic ATEM 1M/E Production Studio 4K
Panasonic PT-DW750WA Video Projectors