St Johns in Burford, set right in the heart of the Cotswolds is a fine grade 1* listed building. The inside has many interesting features that have accumulated over the years since its construction began in 1175.
So not surprisingly any works to update the sound system and add an installed camera, streaming and projection system were examined in fine detail by the DAC to ensure that the impact on the aesthetics was minimal.
Being a large evangelical anglican congregation, the church decided that it was more inclusive to turn 90 degrees so that they could gather in a more relaxed theatre style layout of chairs. However for more traditional services such as funerals and remembrance Sunday they still need to be able to switch back to the original layout.
This was achieved by adding a 3rd loudspeaker, so that with a simple switch the audio orientation can be changed.
The audio system is based on our favourite Allen and Heath digital desk, offering a decent sized touch screen plus full wireless control via iPad. This is a great step up from their existing digital desk with its microscopic screen and fairly daunting control app. A 4 channel digital amplifier gave us a good choice of equalisation options, limiting and crossover adjustment allowing their existing subwoofers to be included in the new arrangement.
Two remote HD pan tilt zoom (PTZ) cameras were installed in locations which suited both church orientations, and controlled by our own ultra simple button control pad with back lit displays behind each button allowing the functions to change over various pages of options.
In addition to camera control, this unit also controls the video switching and streaming unit removing the need to understand a potentially baffling array of additional controls. So streaming to YouTube is just a matter of a single button push, with a monitor screen displaying both camera images, the outgoing image and the sound levels.
We set up the audio processing so that the sound was optomised for listening on a device with smaller speakers such as a tablet or laptop, compressing the music and speech to deliver a comfortable consistent level.
The projection scheme is yet to receive Faculty approval and will consist of two winch down screens hidden behind the arches between nave and side aisle, plus two long throw HD projectors in the opposite aisle.
On the day the system was handed over we received this message from our customer, “Trial run this afternoon with band practice. All very good and epic sound. iPad App is very easy to use and so great to be able to wander around the church with it”.