Although they don’t meet in one physical space, the 15,000 weekly attendees of LCBC (Lives Changed By Christ) Church make it one of the largest megachurches in the country. After its central location reached capacity in 2006, LCBC began launching satellite locations.
International AVL design and integration firm Clair Solutions has been helping the church make the technology in all of its satellite locations function seamlessly and transparently. Clair Solutions recently completed LCBC’s fourteenth satellite location in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
“At almost all of the other satellite locations, we were building into an unstructured space, but the satellite in Lebanon was a pre-existing church,” explains Joe Holcomb, project manager at Clair Solutions. “The sanctuary seats around three-hundred people and is much longer than it is wide. LCBC’s services begin with a local introduction, followed by video of the central location’s presentation. The service closes out with a performance by (and interactive participation with) a live worship band in each location. In addition, they break the kids up by age groups into separate rooms where they do local age-appropriate activities.”
Given the structure of their services, sound reinforcement at the Lebanon satellite has to deliver intelligible spoken word from live microphones, intelligible spoken word from the central location video feed, and loud, impactful sound from the live worship band.
“A big part of LCBC’s mission is to start new people on their faith journey, and new people can often feel self-conscious,” notes Seth Morth, engineering manager at Clair Solutions. “LCBC wants people to feel at ease, and part of that involves playing the music a little louder than they might otherwise. That way, people can catch the resonance of the spirit while they’re singing along without being distracted by how ‘good’ their singing is.”
Clair Solutions installed four kiTCurve-TrueFit loudspeakers manufactured by its sister company, Clair Brothers, along with two Clair Brothers CS218 subwoofers arrayed to give cardioid projection into the pews and away from the stage. The kiTCurve-TrueFit loudspeakers are custom-built to match the precise requirements of the Lebanon sanctuary (hence “TrueFit”) such that the coverage patterns hit all of the congregants while minimizing splashing of acoustical energy on the walls (which tends to reduce intelligibility and sound quality). Given the pattern control of both the loudspeakers and the subwoofers, on-stage volume is 10 to 20dB lower than it is in the seating, which improves the experience for the musicians and minimizes the threat of feedback.
A 40-input Midas M32 digital console controls the system from a FOH position in the balcony, and Lab.gruppen CB-Series amplifiers with integrated Lake DSP power the system. Powered JBL Eon-Series loudspeakers cover the kids’ rooms. QSC Q-Sys DSP handles overall system functioning, including scheduled events and presets for different event types.
Although LCBC’s very capable technicians handle all of the video synchronizing, Clair Solutions provided and installed the necessary Roland V1 SDI video switcher, Barco F90-W13 projector, and Da-Lite video screen. ETC Echo lighting control provides an intuitive interface for ETC lights on a single lighting truss. Outside the Lebanon location, seven custom Acclaim Lighting spotlights illuminate the bell tower and the stained glass using Acclaim Lighting’s wireless DMX, which uses wi-fi broadcast from the bell tower to change scenes and sequences.
“Since we’re so familiar with LCBC’s approach and goals, it makes it easy for them to trust that we’ll meet their needs on schedule as new satellite locations join the church,” Morth says. “We give them just one point person, Joe [Holcomb], which simplifies things on their end. That said, we’ve been working with LCBC for so long that they frequently reach out directly to other folks in the Clair Solutions office if they know in advance who it is that Joe will be relaying the message to anyway. We have that strong of a relationship! The LCBC technical staff is really knowledgeable and capable, but they don’t have the bandwidth to handle each new installation. Plus, we’re pretty good at hanging heavy things in the air without having them fall and kill people, and that’s kind of a big deal.”
“At LCBC Church, we have been very fortunate to have partnered with Clair Solutions to provide world-class AVL design and integration for over twenty years,” adds Sean McDermott, production director with LCBC. “Their ability to listen and adapt to our changing needs, and the continually changing technology landscape, has provided us with great results following every project. I value knowing that their team’s goal is to help our team succeed.”