Art Yea at Grace Cathedral.
San Francisco, CA â€“ September 2011â€¦ An international pilgrimage center for church-goers and visitors alike, Grace Cathedral is famous for its reproduction of Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, two labyrinths, stained glass windows, its medieval and contemporary furnishings, as well as its 44-bell carillon, three organs, and choirs. The legendary house of worship recently saw the completion of a wireless system in its Gresham Hall / Gymnasium area and, to ensure flawless performance for the myriad of programs and events that take place there, the equipment of choice was selected from the product catalog of Rio-Rancho, NM-based Lectrosonics.
San Francisco-based Novo Group, Inc. was contracted to handle the design and installation of the facilityâ€™s new wireless microphone system. Specializing in video/audio/lighting systems from small churches to the most complex AV systems of
todayâ€™s mega-churches, Novo Groupâ€™s co-founder Arthur Yeap discussed the nature of the project and his decision to deploy Lectrosonicsâ€™ Digital Hybrid WirelessÂ® technology.
â€œIn addition to various sports activities for the adjacent Grace Cathedral School for Boys,â€? Yeap explained, â€œThe Gresham Hall / Gymnasium facility is used for the churchâ€™s webcasts and newsfeeds, diocesan conventions, as well as a variety of public speaking events. Gresham Hall measures roughly 60 feet wide by 150 feet long and opens up to the gymnasium when additional space is required. In addition to feeding signal for the webcasts and newsfeeds, the system is also tied in to a sound reinforcement system. As such, we not only required premium sound quality, we also wanted to ensure optimum gain before feedback performance for the live events.â€?
â€œTo address these parameters,â€? he continued, â€œwe decided to install a Lectrosonics system built around the companyâ€™s Venue receiver system and the Digital Hybrid Wireless technology employed by the equipment. We ultimately selected a 6-channel system consisting of four LMa Digital Hybrid Wireless beltpack transmitters and two HM plug-on transmitters. The Venue receiver is the VRMWB - 230 MHz bandwidth (Wideband) model and itâ€™s fully stocked with six VRS receiver modules. To enhance signal reception, we also installed two Lectrosonics ALP600 Log Periodic Dipole Array antennas. System configurationâ€”and any modifications that may be required down the lineâ€”is handled by a notebook computer running Lectrosonicsâ€™ LecNet2â„¢ system configuration software.â€?
Because of Grace Cathedralâ€™s location in San Francisco, Yeap was quite concerned about the ability of any wireless system to address the areaâ€™s RF (radio frequency) congestion, â€œBeing located atop Nob Hill, we were very concerned about RF interference. In this immediate area, there are all types of frequencies that are not listed in anyoneâ€™s spectrum database. A number of companies, including the phone carriers conduct tests there. Weâ€™ve also encountered frequencies used by the US Government that seem to pop up whenever high ranking officials are in town and then disappear a few days later. Lectrosonicsâ€™ one-touch SmartTuneâ„¢ auto frequency selection feature implemented on the Venue receiver system has proven to be invaluable. It works terrifically and makes the process of identifying available frequencies quick and easy. This capability was a key feature in our selection of the equipment.â€?
Yeap is also extremely fond of the sound quality and the ability of the system to achieve solid gain levels. â€œThe sound quality of the Lectrosonics equipment is excellentâ€”very transparent,â€? he says. â€œThe equipment accurately reflects the character of the microphones that are attached to the system and the sound quality is absolutely on par with cabled microphones. Because the wireless equipment is also tied into a live sound reinforcement system for world renowned guest speakers with Q&A from the audience, the Lectrosonics equipment needed to provide solid gain before feedbackâ€”and it absolutely does.â€?
Since the systemâ€™s installation in July, Yeap reports everyone who encounters the new wireless microphone setup is positively enamored with its performance. â€œThe system is working very well,â€? Yeap said. â€œThe sound quality is first rate, operation is quick and easy, the gear is built to last, and we get good strong levels with the house sound system. With the plug-on transmitters, members of the audience / congregation can get involved and be clearly heard throughout the room. Simply put, our client is ecstatic.â€?
Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theatre technical communities since 1971, Lectrosonics wireless microphone systems and audio processing products are used daily in mission-critical applications by audio engineers familiar with the company's dedication to quality, customer service, and innovation. Lectrosonics is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Visit the company online at www.lectrosonics.com.
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