After years of planning a complete renovation of its sanctuary, including an upgrade to its A/V technologies, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Oxnard, CA suffered a devastating setback one week before its completion. A fire ruined everything inside the sanctuary.
No one was hurt, but the fire was a demoralizing setback of several months. Sound Casework designed and installed St. Paul’s new A/V system, and the company was quick to install – and reinstall – the system, which incorporates a Symetrix Jupiter 8 “zero learning curve” audio processor at its heart.
Paul Svenson and business partner Dan Muller run Sound Casework, which melds an audio-visual expertise with those aspects of general contracting – specifically carpentry – that may impact sound.
Svenson suggests his involvement in A/V design and installation is a convenient means to support his out-of-control “music habit.”
Svenson is a church musician – a guitarist, bandleader, and composer – of 40 years. He feels that some mainline churches may be facing some difficult situations. “When congregants have a tough time seeing or hearing what’s going on because a church’s A/V system pales in comparison to what those modern smart phones congregants carry around in their pockets… that church has a problem,” he states.
However, Svenson sees good things happening for those churches with the fortitude and foresight to reinvent themselves, and he counts St. Paul United Methodist Church among them.
After years of careful planning and saving, the church moved forward with a plan (by a church member who is also an architect) to renovate the front stage chancel area. At the same time, they would install a new sound system and six flat-panel screens for displaying contents of the hymnal.
Because the sanctuary is used for more than just worship service, Svenson used the Symetrix Jupiter 8 and a Symetrix ARC-2i wall panel remote to deliver an intuitive, auto-mixed sound system that would not require a sound tech for modest events. At the same time, the system includes a traditional console for worship services or other events that require nuanced control at the hands of a professional.
Svenson has been happily using Symetrix’ Integrator series of processors – and now the Jupiter series of processors – since he first hooked one up to his laptop. “I was used to wrestling with gear from other manufacturers that sometimes took an hour to get into reliable communication with my laptop,” he says. “With Symetrix, a ‘Wizard’ pops open and twenty seconds later, literally, everything is connected and communicating! Both the Integrator series and the Jupiter series are powerful, cost-effective, and simple to program and install.”
A Bose MA12 line array with an MB4 subwoofer delivers content to the modestly-sized room, and QSC CX Series amplifiers provide the power. By using the Jupiter 8 and Sound Reinforcement 10 app from among the over 60 available, all of the necessary input conditioning, matrix mixing, user control, and loudspeaker conditioning is delivered with just one single-rack unit.
By programming the MA12’s EQ curves into the Jupiter, Svenso could also forego the Bose processor, resulting in a cost and space savings. Four Sennheiser G3-series wireless mics and as many Telefunken M80 wired mics provide clear, reliable inputs.
A Symetrix ARC-2i wall panel allows users to select an automatic system configuration for “meeting,” “wedding,” “memorial,” or “worship.” In worship mode, the system takes input from a Yamaha LS-9 console. Otherwise, the inputs are auto-mixed directly inside the Jupiter.
“They were one week away from the grand re-opening,” recalls Svenson. “Everything looked beautiful. It was only a matter of applying the finishing touches. The head of the church board came in at 6:30 in the morning the day after we had finished the A/V system to find the sanctuary on fire! If the fire department had been just ten minutes later, the building would have been lost.”
Though much of it was still apparently working, Sound Casework replaced all of the A/V equipment on the assumption that it was likely smoke damaged and thus unreliable. As with the original installation, the Symetrix Jupiter 8 made the re-installation a speedy process, and St. Paul United Methodist Church re-opened in full grandeur, delayed only a few months.