CUMMING, GEORGIA: In only twelve short years, Eulises Canada has become a widely known and deeply respected producer and vocalist in the Christian music industry. His extensive work in the studio and on the road have also shaped him into a discerning sound engineer. So when Canada joined First Redeemer Church in Cumming, Georgia as creative arts director, he initiated several technical upgrades to the audio system that would dramatically increase the impact and beauty of the church's services. Chief among them was a complete replacement of the existing wireless microphone systems with Sennheiser ew 165 G2 handheld microphone and ew 112 G2 lavalier transmitter/receiver systems.
Two main buildings reside on First Redeemer's campus. The first contains a 2,000-seat sanctuary in which a full orchestra and a 200-voice choir deliver a blended service every weekend with Pastor Dr. Richard Lee. The service is broadcast throughout the country via the "There's Hope America" network. The second building contains classrooms, student facilities, a family center, and smaller auditoriums where, for example, the youth band performs.
"RF has always been an issue in the church market," said Canada. "In my professional career, I transitioned away from a competing manufacturer to Sennheiser for all of my wireless applications... and many of my wired applications too. I found that with other brands, it was only possible to manipulate frequency structure on the high-end products, and even then it was difficult. I felt like I had to learn all the bands and all the frequencies that go with each band. With Sennheiser, it's easy on both their entry-level and high-end lines. I just look at the frequency band within the selector and pick a different frequency!"
Following Canada's direction, the church now has twenty-five Sennheiser wireless channels split almost evenly between the ew 112 G2 lavaliers and the ew 165 G2 handhelds. Most of the systems serve the main sanctuary, but others reside with the youth band and the class rooms. Canada coordinated their frequencies by first finding an open channel for one system and then using the "auto search" feature for the remaining systems. They've remained rock solid ever since, even amid the RF chaos of nearby Atlanta.
Like every church, First Redeemer faces budgetary constraints and carries the responsibility of allocating money in as efficient a manner as possible. In light of that, Canada was happy to find that the transmitters and receivers on the ew 112 G2 and ew 165 G2 systems are completely complementary. Thus, he's free to mix and match components to suit the needs of a particular program or service without any additional investment.
Apart from their flexibility, the new creative arts director likes the sound of the Sennheiser systems. "The 865 super-cardioid condenser capsule does a great job at bending to the faults of a weak singer so they come off sounding better, perhaps, than they really are," he said. "At the same time, strong singers sound exceptional even with very little processing." When he needs to, Canada switches out the stock 865 capsule for Sennheiser capsules with different polar patterns or frequency responses.
Canada's other large purchase was a Digidesign Venue console to wrestle 96 inputs from stage and elegantly interface them with a Pro Tools system capable of recording or playing 120 channels. By recording every channel, the Venue gives him the chance to do "virtual sound check" between services. As the budget allows, Canada will replace almost all of the wired microphones on stage that currently capture the orchestra. "I currently have Neumann KM 183 and KM 184s for the choir, strings, and brass," he said, "and they're going to stay! But I'd like to replace the rest with high-end orchestral mics from Sennheiser and Neumann to get the sort of classic sound that we don't quite have right now."
With the new systems in place, Canada and his team of volunteers enjoy smooth, glitch-free services week after week. Thus, it's with a mixture of anticipation and (light-hearted) dread that they are beginning preparations for First Redeemer's spectacular Christmas Program. "It's not your average Christmas production," laughed Canada. The program will repeat three nights and will call to the stage every piece of gear owned by the church, including all twenty-five Sennheiser wireless channels.
ABOUT SENNHEISER Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Sennheiser's pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
PHOTO CAPTION First Redeemer Church, Cumming, Georgia, switched from another leading competitor to Sennheiser evolution wireless systems for superior RF switching capabilities and improved sonic performance.
For more information, please visit www.sennheiserusa.com