We too will be recording church for the first time

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    • #46504

      Hi you fellows.
      Ive been a subscriber of VM for a few years now and have enjoyed the read. I am new to the forum web site due to my last ISP was not allowing me to have access for some bizarre reason. Im currently getting up to speed with some of the forums and have been informed and entertained by some of the questions and comments. Most of all I have found that where Im coming from is so very different then most of you.

      About 2 years ago our church went through a massive renovation. We thought about a lot of stuff including televised programming. Today we have great sound control. We can create outstanding effects and reverb in a sanctuary for a congregation of 600 people. The stage is lit with professional fixtures including intelligent moving lights that can make it look as cool as any night club (we have a young crowd). Yes, we even use a fog machine during worship. Pastor has a way of rooming down off the stage and into the audience so we had to consider lighting everywhere. We installed RF coax in 5 locations where we believed the cameras would go. Guess what? Only two of those locations are going to work and out with the coax. We have now installed FireWire to four GL2 cameras and pushing the signal with repeaters every 60ft. to the SE-800 DataVideo Switcher. One camera located near the stage is set on a 12ft. JonyJib.

      Live switching with 4 camera including a crane shot how cool is that? Heres the kicker. It hasnt been done yet. I mean as of this posting we havent recorded a single service. Unlike some of you where you started out with one camera then moved to two in hopes to get a switcher so you can add a third we went for the whole enchilada. Hopefully, the next posting Ill be able to tell you how its going. Perhaps, Ill share where you can find us as we stream live on the Web.

      We have two purposes for what we are doing. One is Web streaming. We have missionaries around the world that would like to keep in touch with home. The other is putting a half hour infomercial on local cable edited with Final Cut Pro. We dont want people staying home to watch church rather create an excitement to come to church and check us out for themselves.

      A Man With A Mission,
      Thom Worthington[/b]

    • #191715

      I hope this doesn’t become my personal blog. I thought someone would want to say something or ask a question or two.

      Well, we did our first capturing (or taping for those who are not going directly to the hard drive.) In fact, we did a total of 3 services. Wednesday was a practice and we had nothing but trouble with capturing on to Final Cut Pro. Little did we know that there was a default setting that only allowed us to capture a limit of 9 min. and 59 sec. We changed that setting for 180 min. (3hrs). We discovered that the SE-800 was sending time code from the different cameras which would stop the capture process as well. The manual walked us through turning off the time code. Our audio was coming directly from the sound board and the signal was split between the CD burner and the SE-800. We had to boost the signal to get the strength that we needed. One of the cameras was dropping signal every time it panned. Apparently the 4pin FireWire was lose and truth came out when an individual explained that that cameras cord had been accidentally pulled hard and may have damaged the connection. It really is a tragedy that the folks who design FireWire didnt put some thought about making the connection more secure like BNC. Needless to say we put that camera in the back were movement is limited. Our communications devises, Eartek TD-900, were less then we had hoped for. My understanding was that these were some of the best out there for this kind of job. It wouldnt be hard to claim that prize in my opinion. The commands from the director were muffled to the point that the camera operators had to guess what he was saying. The press to talk button was more like a toggle switch so when you were done talking you had to remember to press it again to turn it off. One unit is dedicated for the director (Master) and has the ability to talk to everyone while another can talk back simultaneously. Since everyone else shares the same frequency only one can talk back at a time. However, if no one is talking back there is constant static noise hitting the directors ear. So, someone has to keep there button on to keep the director from loosing his ability to hear or he just turns the volume down so low that he no longer hears anybody if they wish to talk.
      Sunday morning came and we were ready with all the bugs worked out. I dont like the button placement on the SE-800. The four camera buttons are located on top of the board and that leaves no room for your palm of your hand to rest with out setting it on buttons below. The Take and T-Bar are located on opposite ends. You Fade manually with the T-Bar with your Right hand but Take or preset Fade with your left.
      Sunday night came and I had the chance to work the jib. The jib gave us great shots but it is obvious that there is a huge learning curve towards getting good shots. Picture it: Your located near the front row on the left side of the podium you want to crane down while swinging to the left into the audience while using a joystick controller for panning the camera to the right and tilting it up so as to keep your target in the shot the whole time. Its so easy to become focused on the shot that you forget that there are peoples heads that you will be knocking into if youre not paying attention. Oh, did forget to mention that you are also controlling the zoom. I must say that the GL2 does not give you a slow enough zoom control to make that creeping in and out effect that was so desperately desired. There were a few things that we learned along the way but for the most part it was a success. I gave a crash course on how to operate the cameras and tripods to folks that had never done this sort of thing and they did great.
      An interesting note to share was that our guess speaker was none other then Cathy Lechner who works in the prophetic. A year and a half ago she prophesied that hour church would have a TV ministry. At that time we had only been planning it and it seemed like no matter how hard we tried putting every thing to gather we just werent ready to rock-n-roll. Here comes Cathy on another invite to speak and we are up and running the very same Sunday. God is good.

    • #191716

      Your communicators may be malfunctioning or on a busy frequency if you’re getting static in the director’s set. If there’s a squelch control on the director’s unit, try adjusting it. Also, don’t be suprised that any form of communicator has trouble, ESPECIALLY is there’s music going on of any sort. Even te studio professional headsets aren’t designed for that kind of service. At the church I directed at for a while, we would always give out as many directions as we could prior to the music, or between songs, and let the operators take their own artistic license. Sometimes that works, sometimes that doesn’t

      You’re right about the jib being a little complicated. It’s a trick to keep everything flowing on there.

      As far as the zoom on the GL-2, are you using LANC to control zoom? If so, you should be able to get a controller with "analog" variable speed, like the right hand zoom trigger on the camera. You’re right that even the slow "automatic" zoom speed is awfully quick. That’s why I don’t use it 🙂

      And while I would never doubt the prophetic gifts, with a talented team like the one you have, I personally wouldn’t have needed divine inspiration to know you guys would eventually get a ministry put together 😉 But seriously, I think you have a great setup. And don’t worry, there are always kinks in the first few weeks. I’ve gone in and brought video ministry to three churches, and in all three, they had a month or so of shakedown before they got it right.

      For a congregation of 600, this is really impressive. Keep up the good work!

    • #191717

      Did I tell you how much I dislike the TD-900 by Eartek? Well, I’m not finished complaining. 😡
      No, there is no Squelch control. The muffled sounds have nothing to do with music in the house being too loud. It just sounds like the director through a rag over his mic. It sounds find when your 20 feet away but when your 80 like I was it was no good.
      But the reason why I am sounding off again is because I discoverd that some of the units didn’t get charged. The slot where you plug the headphones is so much like the slot the recharger plugs into that those of us who have trouble multi tasking didn’t pay attention enough to plug things in the right hole. Nothing was damaged but you would think that the two would be different enough to not cause such confussion. I don’t have a problem sticking FireWire into the USB slot, except that one time. X-D

    • #191718

      it’s been 4 months since my last posting and I can tell you that things are realy looking great. Our team has grown to a point where we have a good healthy rotation. I even get a break and am able to get fed once and awhile. Also, I was hoping for our fourth camera would have come in so that I wouldn’t be a liar. However, we are currently just using 3 cameras at this time. For the last 4 months we have only been putting the services on DVD for those who request it. We are hoping to start vidcasting the whole service when we get our audio board in. Even though our 42 channel Crest board makes a great mix in the house it just doesn’t work well for mixing the praise and worship time to video. We will be using a considerably smaller board. For one thing the 8 channels that the drums take on the Crest will be submixed to one channel on our end. The choir mics will be submixed as well. Good thing too because we really don’t have any more room for a board larger then 32 channels. In fact we have considered stacking two 16 channel boards to help accommodate space. Any one have any ideas(good or bad) about doing that?

      What do I think about FireWire?
      The camera devise has a 4pin tail about 10 inches long to a 6pin connection where there is a repeater every 60 feet (recommended) until it reaches the switcher. The signal is very clean and stable that is as long as it is there. Instead of fuzz or noise because of a bad connection it just freezes on screen or simply drops out all together with out any warning. Usually it is because the connection on the camera became loose with a simple pan and/or tilt or just with gravity (fasten the wire to anything that will be moving the camera in any direction). 4 pin FireWire has very little (no none) supporting connection to the devise. When the connection is temporarily lost it usually doesn’t mean simply pushing it back in. Often the other breaks in the chain may have to be reset by disconnecting them and reconnecting them. And, this may have to be done all the way to the switcher even if the disconnection problem took place at the camera end. When it does happen at least 2 to 3 times a one hour taping it is resolved quickly but this has not been the best option for a live broadcast venue. Repairs in post production can easily be fixed if each camera or at least the wide camera is continuously recording separately.

      Our set up time happens very quickly. Infact, each camera person can be set up and runnig in less then 5 minutes from arriving. We are starting to put together a video for our Christmas performance. So as you can see were are very busy. We will be broadcasting not only in our local area but vidcasting from our web site very soon. As soon as we resolve the audio issues. Keeping you posted.

    • #191719

      Wow, I didnt think it has been that long since my last post but I guess it has. Well, not a whole lot has changed but we are up and running on both local TV and a vidcast. What has changed is that the last time I posted here there was a forum category called worship.
      More importantly, we tried getting on local TV back in January. We had problems with the cable company wanting a copy of the show in a VHS format. That was unacceptable for my pastor. If it was S-VHS we may have given it a go. I would have thought the station would have had an mpeg reader at the least but nope. It wasnt until August did we get it resolved. Our church bought the local cable company a DVD player; one that would switch between its scheduled programming. In the mean time we have been archiving our shows so if we ever had to unplug because of oh, I dont know a camera operator strike. We would be able to keep the weekly show going for several months.
      Our vidcasts can be seen at http://www.hcctv.org
      We have just recently upgraded our jib. [url]www.jonyjib.com [/url]traded their earliest model (12 feet) for a newer model (18 feet) with us and we love it. With the extra length I decided that I would like to under-sling the camera. What a difference. Not only was I able to reach back another two rows but it goes up higher despite the older version was slung on top. There are some clear advantages when it is under. There were too many times that I wanted a gods eye view over the worshipping congregation when the gears would appear in the bottom of the screen. Now, I have to be careful that I dont get twisted when I begin to spin. Also, with the camera under Im able to float over the crowds heads and make them all nervous. Its kind of fun.
      I think our biggest challenge now will be sustaining a budget. All of our equipment is more then a year old and there will be needs of replaced soon. Hopefully well be able to upgrade to HDV by then.

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