Flatirons Church extends its wireless audio capabilities
USA: With a weekly attendance of approximately 20,000, Colorado’s Flatirons Community Church is spread over three campuses, with sermons delivered in Denver’s Paramount Theatre, the church’s west campus 20 miles away in Goose and its main campus in Lafayette, Boulder. The main site has recently enjoyed an upgrade to its wireless microphone system. Adding to its roster of existing Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless equipment, the 15,000 sq-m Lafayette Campus has gained an additional 12 channels of Venue2 receivers alongside HH handheld and LT beltpack transmitters.
‘We have two new six-channel Venue 2 frames fitted with 12 channels of VRT2 IQ dynamic tracking filter modules,’ explains Bryce Boynton, the Flatirons Church audio director. ‘We also have an original Venue, because we bought our first system over a year ago, so we now have three Venue receivers. We also now have six handhelds—one HHa and five HHs—and we have six LT belt packs.’
Mr Boynton began mixing church audio during his teenage years and gained experience working for several professional microphone manufacturers before accepting his full-time position at Flatirons. He scouted the marketplace to find the right solution to suit the non-denominational evangelical church’s requirements and compared the Lectrosonics system against its competitors.
‘We had to prioritise what factors were most important for our needs and workflow. We just wanted really rock-solid wireless with the highest sound quality,’ he recalls. ‘At the end of the day, sound quality and durability is unparalleled with Lectrosonics, and these were the two “need to haves” with our system. I’ve always respected Lectrosonics for its ruggedness and for its rock-solid reliability.’
The worship services comprise one of the two teaching pastors and Flatirons’ contemporary worship band that is formed of 12 members. To cater for this and provide coverage across the 4,000-seat auditorium, Mr Boynton has paired the HH transmitters with the church’s DPA Microphones units.
‘The HH handhelds all have the d:facto vocal microphone capsule and it sounds so good,’ notes the audio director. ‘The clarity, lack of proximity effect and smooth off-axis frequency response that these capsules provide are exceptional, and the transparency that the HH transmitter maintains in the signal integrity is first class. Our LT belt packs have a combination of DPA d:vote 4099 instrument microphones and the d:fine 66 headset microphones, or instrument cables, active or passive cables, right-angled or straight cables — a combination of everything.’
During peak services, such as Easter, the band can expand to include more than 20 musicians, meaning that although the Venue2 receivers weren’t necessarily selected for their wide tuning range, it can at times come in handy. ‘Lafayette isn’t a major metro area with packed airspace. I’m not trying to regularly tune 40-plus frequencies, although we did just do that for Easter services where we brought in additional rental equipment,’ says Mr Boynton. ‘The point is that the wide tuning bandwidth of the newer system – bands A, B and C – has proven to be really helpful. It was nice at Easter, when we did have 40 channels, to coordinate the Lectro channels last, because they have the widest tuning range and most flexibility. I don’t need for them to change frequencies in real-time, I just need them to be flexible. The monitoring features in the latest version of Lectro’s Wireless Designer software are also really helpful.
‘I have a lot of checklist systems, and a lot that changes on the stage from week to week. It’s never the same thing twice,’ Mr Boynton continues, emphasising his gratitude towards the simple operation that the Lectrosonics kits provides him and the versatility supplied in the ability to switch the pack between instrument and microphone modes. He also adds that the transmitters’ talkback feature helps in saving time and keeping thing running smoothly onstage as he is able to feed back to the band members.
With the system having been installed at Flatirons’ Lafayette Campus earlier in the year, it is reportedly working well, with Mr Boynton seemingly happy with his choice. ‘We are extremely happy with the quality that this system provides and are constantly finding new and creative ways to utilise wireless technology,’ he concludes. ‘The Lectro stuff won out just because it sounds the best, and it’s the most rugged. This stuff has to last a long time. Lectrosonics is a stable company, and the product doesn’t become obsolete quickly; it has a great lifespan. I appreciate that, and that was also a factor worth considering.’