Fort Lauderdale, FL – September 2008… An integral part of Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale, Calvary Christian Academy serves approximately 1,300 students ranging from pre-kindergarten through the twelfth grade. The recently completed Christian Discipleship Building is a stunning 168,182-square-foot complex that serves as a secondary school by day, provides adult continued education in the evenings, while also functioning as a children's ministry space. World-class in every sense of the word, the facility is home to a beautiful 700-seat theater that accommodates a wide variety of activities spanning everything from musical performances and plays through seminars and other special functions. As one would expect in a facility of this nature, there is a state-of-the-art sound system—one that encompasses a 24 channel wireless setup from Lectrosonics.
North Miami, FL-based Harris Audio Systems, a professional audio dealer with its own design/build division, was contracted to install the audio system in Calvary Christian Academy's theater. According to Mike Harris, owner of Harris Audio Systems, “The sound system that was originally specified for the theater called for twenty-four 2-channel receiver modules, which would then have required two antenna distribution systems and four paddle antennas. All of this was to occupy 14 rack spaces. Aside from taking up a lot of space, I felt as though the system lacked a number of features—especially considering its price. I was convinced there was a better solution.”
After re-engineering this part of the theater's sound reinforcement system, Harris presented his Lectrosonics wireless blueprint to Michael Grosso, Calvary's chief audio engineer, and after reviewing a demo system, gained approval to proceed. The Harris Audio Systems crew then deployed four Lectrosonics Venue Wideband 230 MHz modular receiver systems, each fully stocked with six VRS receiver modules used in tandem with four UH400A Digital Hybrid Wirelessâ„¢ UHF plug-on transmitters and twenty-four LMa Digital Hybrid UHF beltpack transmitters. Countryman B6 lavaliere and E6 headworn microphones are used in conjunction with the Lectrosonics wireless equipment.
“Compared to the original design,” said Harris, “we were able to condense the wireless system down to four rack spaces using Lectrosonics equipment. Rack space is expensive, so this was a substantial savings in and of itself. While we initially envisioned five rack spaces, the recent introduction of the Lectrosonics Wideband system brought this down to four, as the antenna distribution system was no longer necessary. The system we installed was considerably less expensive and it incorporated computer-based setup and configuration via Lectrosonics' excellent LecNet2â„¢ control application. This level of capability, alone, would have incurred additional charges had the original design been implemented.”
“As this system is installed in a school theater,” continued Harris, “I also believe Lectrosonics' high level of reliability and the product's robust build quality was much better suited to the type of abuse the equipment would typically encounter in this environment. By the time everything was completed, the Lectrosonics wireless setup delivered greater functionality, occupied less space, and did so at reduced cost.”
Completed and placed into service in late April, church management is very pleased. “We've already done two full-blown theatrical productions, several concerts, and numerous weekly music events and church services using the Lectrosonics wireless gear—with near-perfect results,” said Michael Grosso, Calvary Chapel's Chief Engineer. “The Lectrosonics system is bullet-proof, stable, and very reliable. We're very pleased.”
About the Lectrosonics VRM WB Wideband Receiver
The Lectrosonics VRM WB Wideband Receiver employs the company's Digital Hybrid Wirelessâ„¢ technology and covers the entire UHF band from 537 to 768 MHz in a single unit. It is compatible with any Lectrosonics VRS standard module or VRT tracking filtered module in the standard UHF range. The unit offers a modular configuration that enables users to install any combination of Lectrosonics' standard fixed bandwidth receiver modules as well as VRT tracking filtered modules for a total of six channels. The receiver supports three diversity modes: Phase switched, Ratio, and Frequency. The receiver incorporates built-in zero-gain antenna amplifiers that facilitate RF signal "loop through" to additional Venue Receiver systems, DSP emulation modes for compatibility with analog wireless systems in addition to the Digital Hybrid mode, as well as USB and RS-232 computer interfaces plus the company's VRpanel software (part of LecNet2â„¢) for ease of programming.
For additional information about Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale, visit them online at www.calvaryftl.org. For information about Harris Audio Systems, visit the company online at www.harrisaudiosystems.com.
Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theater 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.
Photo by Jim Kumorek, courtesy of Worship Facilities Magazine.