Monday, November 26, 2012

I am way behind in my tech updates this fall.
First off I want to thank everyone for their efforts in setting up and providing a great atmosphere in our lovely gym at West Hillhurst.
Each one of you contributes something special to the church and to God through your time and abilities.

Next I want to welcome Phil B. to the team, he is in process of learning multimedia and recording.
Congrats to Adrian and Randi on the birth of their son in October.

I am sure everyone is familiar with the changes we have made this fall. However I will go over them anyway.
Camera mount and control
-our newest computer is now mounted on the recording cart, besides recording the service it also sends a signal to the TV's in the nursery area and upstairs to DZ. Right now the quality is only SD until we can replace the TV upstairs in DZ, then we can go to full HD. This camera can also connect to Kramer switcher for sending images to the screens.
New recording software and computer (sort of), computer is from admin, they got the new one. However it is faster then the old one!
Newish recording monitors (re-purposed from admin)
Second computer for multimedia (old video editing MAC)
-we now run 2 computers for multimedia, this allows us to work the announcement loop separately from the songs/message.   
New Cat 5 signal converter, this really is new. Old one was causing strange aspect ratio problems with the projectors.
Tables for the screens.
-2 tables were converted for use in holding up the screens, they are stored on the 2nd roll out trolley.
New lock for the curtains (no more key, combo is 1996)
New ceiling food lights, switch in storage room. Key for storage room has orange band, with the rest of the keys.
New video editing computer, from the Templeton science money. We  have also switched to Adobe CS6 for our editing system in both audio and video.

Coming up are a couple of minor things.
Relabeling of the snake and band section on main mixer.
-goal is to standardize labeling on snake, direct boxes and both mixers, while retaining flexibility. Sample sheet to follow.
Curtain skirt for upper stage drapes
-our drapes are a favorite target for people during the week, hopefully the skirt will stop some of this.
Curtain skirts for projector stands
Drum mic arrangements, I would like to stop using the clip-on mic on the floor tom. It works ok for the tom but doesn't pickup the cymbals very well. This shows up mostly on the recordings as a big bop followed by tiny tinny cymbals sounds. So instead please use one Beta-57 on a stand above the toms and cymbals but angled away from the snare.
Tech team meeting, I would like to hold one of these early in the new year. The idea is just to connect, get some input, get to know each other, etc. I am thinking of doing this 3 times per year. Early fall, January and then in June in prep for budget submission.
Repair projects;
Cage repair, replace broken sections of the cage on the upper stage.
Painting, repainting of the DZ area
Trolley repair and painting, ongoing maintenance of the rolling carts and stage.


Keith Ermter
Technical Coordinator

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fall Update 2012

Hi, hope you have all had a great summer break, I know I have.
First off I want to congratulate Adrian and Randi on the birth of their son Quinnton on Aug 16.

Light maintenance is scheduled for Wed Aug 29 from 9 to 3 (can't get a Sat.). If anyone has that time off please let me know.

Attached is the fall schedule for worship services, check out what is happening.

Summer upgrades, changes have been made to the recording rack that allow us to have a camera tripod mounted on top and remotely controlled from the recording position. The rack has been rewired with a simpler setup, eliminating the duplication of wiring and monitors. Next step is an upgraded computer and this software.

Fall upgrades included changes to the multimedia system computer and projector signal distribution system.

Wanted: Older MAC software, iWork 09, powerpoint for MAC. If you have any of these please let me know.

Wanted: Tech volunteers, please let me know if you know anyone who would like to join our team (male or female).

Kayleigh (new music coordinator) is working on the new bands for the fall, I will get this info online, along with an updated schedule for techs as soon as possible.

Thankyou for all your efforts in the past year, I'm hoping to connect with each of you in September to see how your doing in relation to tech at NHC.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fall 2011 Update

Hope everyone had a great summer!
We have some exciting news for this fall and a few changes too.
First please check the schedule and let me know if there are any problems with your dates.
Grant and camera
NHC has received a 30k grant to produce a 5 part series on faith and science. A portion of this $$ will go towards a second camera for use in service. My initial thoughts on how this will work is to have the existing recording person run one of the cameras doing the wide and medium shots from a fixed angle. This works well because the Canon can be zoomed from a remote control allowing the recording mixer to remain sitting. This camera would also feed the children's nursery and upstairs areas. The new second camera would be operated in a tight mode, doing head shots and shots with backgrounds from an angle. We will also be doing a number of on site interviews for the science series.
Why do this? Our videos have received 330k views so far this year (415k last year). So far we have received 145 comments (real ones) that ask some good questions. The web site sees over 15,000 visits per month. Data transfer averages just over 50gb per day. I believe we are reaching people and should continue to do so. The second camera will help to up the quality a bit.
Any ideas on what our new camera should be like? Please let me know.

We have vacated the old storage room and are in the new, same keys as before. We are trying to work out how to load that room but for now just get things in there as tight as possible. We are also working on new storage on stage that would replace the existing understage storage. If you time to help with this please let me know.

Nursery LCD
A new LCD for the nursery is going to be wall mounted. It will be wired in but need to be powered up each Sunday. The old cart will contain the keypad still and nursery sign in materials.

Small Service System
We used the small service system 5 times this summer and have all the kinks worked out. It works best for times when crowds as small and the band is a max of 2 people. The powered speakers have a very different pattern then the EV's. Please take extra time to walk around and make sure you have full coverage.

Sound and bands
The bands have all been reshuffled and new people added, the new list is on the page.
This fall I would like to standardize our stage monitor layout for a couple of reasons. One is to have consistency from band to band, to make setup faster and to keep the same type of speaker on the same EQ.
Basically this would mean the 3 powered speakers across the front (mix 4,5,6) and 3 EV's across the back. Across the back would be mix 7&8, with on the six person teams mix 8 would be looped for the drums and bass. Please see for details, and give me your feedback.

Thanks for all the time you have each put into this it does make a difference.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spring Update 2011

Lots of upcoming tech stuff this spring and then we can coast through the summer!
Special events - Cara Luft at Riverpark Church tonight 8 pm
The King's Speech movie night - May 13 at NHC
Volunteer Appreciation BarBQue - June 11 at Keith's House

1. Tech schedule is now updated till the end of summer, please check that the dates work for you. Let me know (as some of you have), when you have holidays.
2. Light maintenance will be happening in May, I don't have a date yet from the community center but will send it out as soon as I know.

3. "B" system build
We almost have all the parts for the new "B" audio system. This will place the Mackie recording mixer into it's own cart, complete with snake and processing. We will be using this for special events and small services where we need fewer inputs (ie summer). The idea is that one person can set this up.
Some of the help needed is, building the new box, painting, removing snake from ceiling upstairs, installing new systems and resetting processors. If you are interested in helping with this project, please let me know.

4. Bingo has ended...
We will be getting more storage space from the community center which will mean some reorganization of the storage room. On stage the bingo cage will be going so we will be using the entire stage. Help will be needed for basic construction, demolition. TDA

5. Recording techs
Changes to audio recordings. Due to a lack of interest in audio "CD's" we are going to discontinue the making audio CD's each service. From now on we will be recording the entire service and then burning it to disk as a .wav file and a 128kbps mp3. Audio CD's will be made on request only.

6. Video techs
As part of the purchases for the "B" system we are adding another wireless microphone. This new wireless can be camera mounted also, allowing audio to be sent to the camera from the mixer wirelessly. So for the adventurous the whole service could be shot hand held...
See me for details!

7. Sound techs
A part of the "B" system upgrades we will be going to 3 wireless systems, we will be able to configure these as 3 headsets, 2 headsets and 1 handheld or 1 headset and 2 handhelds.

8. Multimedia
We will be going to Powerpoint 2010 soon, provides advanced video support including words over video.

Thanks so much for serving in tech at NHC, God bless you all for your time and effort.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Background Lighting Changes

So with the New Year comes a new LED light setup. For background lighting we are changing from the 8 Par 38 100watt to 4 Par 64 30 watt LED. The main advantages are; smaller footprint on stage, ability to change colors on the fly, 700w drop in power supply required.
Each LED requires 4 channels to mix colors;
CH1 Level - 50% is full 51-100% strobe
CH2 Red
CH3 Green
CH4 Blue

For one color setup, we are using channels 17 thru 20, so if the LED fixture is set to 17, it will use channels 17,18,19,20. We are going to assign these to scene 6-Red 7-Green 8-Blue, for easier mixing.

For two color setup, we are using channels 21 thru 24, so a LED fixture set to 21 will use 21,22,23,24.
These will be assigned to scene 9-Red 10-Green 11-Blue.

Each fixture is individually assigned so that different colors can be added to the outsides, insides or alternated.

By using the scene menu you can bring up the band, the desired background lighting, hit record and then it will be saved into the cue list.

Please ask for help if this is confusing and I will walk you through it.
More info can be found in this pdf

Monday, December 06, 2010

As the Christmas rush begins there are a few things to keep you all in
the loop.
1. New People
Please welcome Mark and Josh. Mark is helping out with audio and Josh with video. Great to have you guys!
2. Multimedia Audio
After a number of repairs to the cable between the main mixer and the multimedia box I have decided to replace the whole setup. The multipin connector we were using was not very high quality and has allowed connections to break off repeatedly. Since a high grade multi pin connector and a small mixer were close to the same price I went with a small mixer. There are several benefits to this, the first it
simplifies wiring between the boxes, and allows for an easy to access headphone setup for the multimedia operators. It also frees up several channels on the main mixer.
(More info on the "Art" mini mixer)
I also added a second line for an ipod, mostly we use this on communion days.
3. Christmas Decor
I am trying a new setup for Christmas, instead of the floor lights we will be using lights attached to the back curtains. These "rope" lights plug right into the wall and are not on a dimmer. There will be a banner hanging on the left side and a curtain on the right, these will be lit with the 2 LED's. In addition 2 purple curtains will hang on an angle on stage with a couple of candle lit windows in front of them. Please be very careful when moving the curtain as the lights are attached to the curtain sliders.
4. Gym Heat
There is now a key on the key stick in the drawer to turn up the heat in the gym if the West Hillhurst guys forget to do it. The kitchen controls we used to use are disconnected and the heat is controlled from the thermostats only.
5. Christmas Coffee House
Friday Dec 17 - 7:30 pm it is a great time to relax and meet people so please consider coming out.
6. Christmas Eve/Dec 26
Setup 4 pm, no take down on Christmas Eve, no setup on Dec 26. Yaa!

I want to wish you all a good Christmas and thankyou for supporting NHC through the technical arts.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sound Levels

In the last week we have had a number of complaints of the sound levels being too high in the worship part of the service, making it hard for people to hear themselves singing.
I have asked Gary to see if we can get the drum levels down which would allow us to bring down the levels of the entire band.

After thinking about it for a bit I've come up with a few guidelines.
- Use the sound level meter, keep the peak level to 86db A weighted slow or 90db C weighted slow. (for more info on how to use the meter, talk to me when your on on Sunday).

The following does not apply to all songs, use it where you can.
- Try not to drown out the singing, in other words aim to make your mix at the level where you can hear the band and the people singing. This is very important on hymms, but may also work on other songs.
-Blend voices on choruses, use reverb (or more reverb) just on the chorus.
-Vary the amount of bottom end energy (amount in subs), adding more to louder songs
-Turn off all mics on the drums other than the kick on louder songs and turn off any unused mics.
-Cut (gently) the 2-4k frequency on louder vocals, electric guitar, snare, brass on a loud song as this is the ears most sensitive range, you can do this easily by changing the EQ on the sub group.

However when the band does a "special", in other words the worship leader asks the audience to sit down, you can give a little more level as people are not trying to sing with that song.

If you have other thoughts about this please comment,