Improvements to Audio and Video in Chapel and Social Hall Coming in April

UUC is launching a small project with an audio/visual vendor to make improvements and additions to audio and video support in the chapel and Nathan Johnson social hall. Our original design for equipment and production was based on assumptions made in 2017, and a lot has changed in five years! With the added emphasis on our livestreaming capacity to reach a larger congregation during the pandemic and now after, there were several changes needed to make that the best experience it can be, both for viewing services live and viewing recorded services at any time. They include:

  1. The addition of two cameras to the chapel, bringing the total camera count to three. These will help us capture the images of the chancel, musicians performing from chancel, and choirs performing from the loft.
  2. The addition of another hanging microphone over the chapel floor. One additional microphone here will make it easier to capture better sound for soloists, choirs, and other arrangements of musicians in the chapel.
  3. The replacement of the current streaming encoder with a more current system. Many changes have happened in the industry since the pandemic to meet the needs of clients like UUC. We are installing a new system that better integrates live audio and video, supports the seamless addition of images, recordings, and even remote participation, and makes the management of those details much easier for our technicians at the AV desk.

In addition to changes in the chapel, we will be adding cameras and a microphone matrix to the Nathan Johnson social hall, similar to those found in the Knatvold conference room downstairs. These will make it possible to have remote participation in large meetings in the social hall through Zoom.

These changes, along with behind-the-scenes corrections and improvements to configurations of existing equipment that reflect lessons learned over the last few years of livestreaming and running AV for worship, will make a big difference for congregants and staff alike.

The project is scheduled to begin mid-February and will last 6 to 8 weeks total. Please note that during that time, there will be a period of equipment crossover that will interrupt our ability to livestream for one or possibly two Sundays. Announcements will be made prior to those Sundays to alert everyone to the interruption. Information about how to get audio recordings of service content will be explained at that time as well. Stay tuned, and thanks for your patience as we move forward with these improvements.

Byron Krystad, Director of Operations