St Johns Camberwell

Intelligible audio, seamless audiovisual integration and a streaming solution

What is the space?

  • Beautiful large church with significant importance for the Anglican faith
  • Typical cathedral floor plan with several ‘zones’
  • Rich acoustics and natural reverberation

What was the problem?

  • Audio system was complex to use and had large potential for incorrect operations
  • Speaker system was inadequate and not able to cover the entire church during large events
  • No usable sound on altar or stage areas, making both speech and singing difficult
  • There was no video or visual display solution

As is often the case, the church had hit literally a ‘brick wall’ with the capabilities of their equipment and wanted to update their AV to ensure clearer, more intelligible audio in all areas.

They also wanted to provide a suitable option for displaying video content without interrupting the beautiful aesthetic of the building. Then…along came COVID-19 and the church was full steam ahead into live streaming – but wanted this to be automated in the same manner as the AV.  

What was our solution?

The room was acoustically modelled to find the most suitable speaker upgrade – which minimised reflection / interaction with the building, while also protecting the aesthetics.

The new wireless microphone systems and audio processing equipment were installed with a extremely simplified ‘front end’ for the users to operate from. This immediately saw services and events run smoothly, and with a hugely increased quality level of audio.

Audio recordings of the events was as simple as one button, and the files can be sent for archiving, broadcast, or use by videographers filming weddings and other events.

It was decided to use mobile Display systems (98” motorised trolleys) to give the best flexibility for video display across the church and the adjacent community hall spaces. These displays can show wireless and wired content and are also controlled from the Q-SYS touchscreens. No impact on the building’s aesthetic was realised, as the displays are stowed in the storeroom when not required.

Streaming services during COVID-19

Throughout much of 2020, St. John’s Camberwell faced the same dilemma as most – how to provide services to parishioners remotely – at a very high quality – and without a ‘tech team’ to run things each time. Luckily, having the Q-SYS backbone already allowed remote/robot PTZ cameras to be installed and managed directly from the same AV controller as everything else.

Live camera previews are shown on the iPads, while preset positions are used to simplify the camera switching. In fact, for many services, the Vicar was not only delivering the services, but also managing all the AV from his subtly placed iPad!

Our team also created “autopilot” mode which switches the cameras without human interaction, keeping the footage fluid and avoiding the dreaded “static-shot-fatigue”.

The streaming and recording is a “one-touch” system and can, of course, be set up to stream to any platform (or multiple platforms). Additional cameras are now added to allow wonderful images from the great heights of the church.

Factory Sound provided wonderful service, delivering an easy to use, reliable solution soon mastered by our church volunteers. They made what would otherwise seem daunting technology very accessible, and consistently went way beyond what might reasonably have been expected to make sure our church benefited fully from the investment. I couldn’t recommend them more highly.
Father John Baldock
St. John’s Camberwell

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