Prestonwood Baptist Multi-Campus Audio
Paragon 360 returns to Bellevue Baptist Church to improve their audio design and upgrade the audio systems of the worship center, fellowship hall, and broadcast studio.
Paragon Returns to Bellevue for Full Audio Design
Bellevue Baptist Church and Paragon 360 have had an ongoing relationship since 2007 that has involved many stage productions and the completion of their stage renovation in 2014. Most recently, Paragon 360 was approached about improving the audio systems and providing acoustical solutions. Bellevue's previous audio system was beginning to show its age, and it was no longer meeting the needs of the church. With multiple venues within their campus, maintaining multiple independent audio systems was becoming cumbersome.
The audio design process for a venue of this size is quite intricate and requires more than just an analysis of the loudspeaker system and input channel count requirements – sightlines, weight loads, acoustics, and broadcast capabilities all must be taken into account.
After a thorough needs assessment, the Paragon team was able to determine the top priorities that needed to be achieved and used this to drive the detailed design process, ultimately delivering a complete upgrade without Bellevue missing a single weekend service.
Audio Designed for Intercampus Connectivity
The growing use of their fellowship hall, for events from youth conferences to banquettes, was making the ability to seamlessly send signals between the worship center, fellowship hall, and broadcast control room an ever-greater need. Before the upgrade, switching signals between venues required the use of analog patch bays, which was arduous to use and predisposed to errors.
Leveraging a fiberoptic routing system, the Paragon audio design team was able to connect all the DiGiCo consoles in the campus to all the racks across both venues and the control room, providing the ultimate flexibility. The Optocore AutoRouter also self-heals, securing against any accidental disconnections that could cripple a similar system, guaranteeing uninterrupted signals during critical broadcast and event productions.
An added benefit of the newly designed ecosystem of DiGiCo consoles is that the Bellevue team can now train new technicians and volunteers in their fellowship hall on a smaller desk. This expedites the training process and makes for a smooth transition to the worship center or broadcast.
Gear Used to accomplish this:
Take a look at the full behind the scenes video to see just what made up this comprehensive audio design + acoustics install.
Capability Meets Flexibility
A significant priority for the system upgrade in the worship center was to expand the number of channels supported. Bellevue had outgrown their previous digital consoles, and their team was having to unpatch and reuse channels. They required a system flexible enough to handle both contemporary worship services and traditional services featuring a 50 piece orchestra and a 300 person choir.
The crown jewel of the worship center mixing system is the DiGiCo Quantum 7. Featuring dual processing engines, 256 input channels, nodal processing, true solo output previewing, and much more. This console delivers the tools and functions needed to handle the complex productions for which Bellevue Baptist is known!
The new system streamlines sound checks by allowing the technical team to perform "virtual sound checks" by playing back previously recorded live tracks in the room, allowing the team to adjust the mix without a single musician on stage. Snapshots also cut down on prep time and allow the team to get straight to mixing.
Full Control of the Worship Center Environment
In a room of this size, the audio and acoustical systems must be designed to work together. Upgrading the loudspeakers without recreating the acoustics of the room would have left an array of problems unsolved for the technical team. Bringing the sound in the worship center under control required some unique solutions. Leveraging the acoustical model of the room, the design team was able to identify the areas in which FabriTRAK treatments could be applied, greatly helping to control the higher harmonic frequency ranges. In addition to FrabriTRAK, Paragon also installed a proprietary solution that tames the harder to control lower frequencies. Optimizing not only reverb time, but also increasing the sound quality of the natural reverb of the space.
Another area that needed to be addressed in the upgrade of the audio system was the monitoring systems for the choir, orchestra, praise team, and front-line singers. Wireless in-ears provide the much-needed mobility for the praise team members while wired in-ears allow each orchestral member to have their own mix, ensuring that each musician can hear exactly what they need. Paragon's choir monitor system design utilizes a near field technique, with smaller monitors mounted throughout the choir, drastically reducing the overall volume required for each choir member to be able to hear their tailored monitor mix. All three monitoring systems work in unison to provide the right mix to each musician and to lower the on-stage volume as much as possible, bringing clarity and control to the entire platform.
Premium speech intelligibility at every seat was a must for the new loudspeaker system. By modeling the room, Paragon was able to narrow the options down to a few manufacturers that fit the needs of the worship center. Thanks to our access to a vast array of vendors, we were able to select a loudspeaker system that not only delivered on speech intelligibility but also met the sightline, weight, and budget restrictions. Ultimately, we chose d&b loudspeakers.
Gear used to accomplish this:
Built to Last
Bellevue expressed a desire to see their new system last for 20 years. With the Quantum7's dual-processing engines, multi-tracking for virtual sound checks, and the ability to import channels into ProTools in the broadcast control room – all running at 96 kHz – we're confident that this system will perform for 20 years, and then some!