Technical Theatre Consultants based in Manchester, UK and covering the North West and North Wales regions. Specialising in new-build projects and refurbishments, we offer a range of services and friendly independent specialist technical advice to Schools, Churches, and Entertainment Venues...

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Portfolio → Churches & Places of Worship

Cheadle Hulme Methodist Church

In 2009, BBTS staff were invited into Cheadle Hulme Methodist Church to look at some of the problems they'd been having with their Church sound system. The problems included feedback, radio mic's dropping out, hearing aid users not able to hear, some mic input sockets no longer working, vocal clarity and overall volume levels. BBTS staff spent a couple of days thoroughly examining the entire sound infrastructure and set-up, and making changes to the set-up to improve the overall system: The cause of the radio mic drop-out was established and remedied (poor receiver location, and an aerial that had become detached) The input signal to the induction loop amplifier was boosted, with the overall loop current reduced slightly, so hearing aid users could once again be able to listen to services Every XLR Mic Tie-line was tested, and those not working repaired. The problems with feedback were primarily due to poor gain structure within the system. The Church's 4-channel amplifier had been "custom built" many years ago by an "enthusiast", however, the amplifier's gain was fixed at full, with no way to reduce it! As such, the church had been running the sound desk at very low levels to compensate. This poor gain structure drastically increased the likelihood of feedback. BBTS staff advised the church on the purchase of two new, suitable amplifiers to replace the existing "custom built" amplifier, which the church went on to purchase and that were subsequently installed and configured by BBTS staff. During the works at Cheadle Hulme Methodist Church, BBTS staff were also able to repair a small show-relay speaker that fed services through to staff manning the creche. This speaker hadn't worked for years, so the Church were overjoyed when BBTS staff were able to re-wire it and get it working again for them!

In 2012, BBTS were again invited back as the Church wished to upgrade and replace their aging technical systems. Retaining the original speakers, tie-lines and amplifiers installed by BBTS a couple of years earlier, BBTS designed a brand new state-of-the art digital sound system and media system.

The new systems boasted a 24-channel digital sound desk, new radio microphones, congregation pick-up microphones, digital recording capabilities, live media streaming capabilities, a foldback system, a new 5000 ANSI Lumens, high resolution projector with wireless capabilities, a slide advance, an on-stage comfort monitor, lockable storage for microphones and other items of value.

Full training was also provided on all systems to members of the congregation who had volunteered to operate the technical systems for services.

Equipment List:
x2 Yamaha PS4000 Power Amplifiers
x3 Yamaha S112IV Loudspeakers
x2 Wharfedale WPM-1 Monitors
x1 Studiomaster PAX12+ Powered 12" Active Wedge Monitor
x1 Studiomaster PX12+ 12" Passive Wedge Monitor
x1 Soundcraft Si Compact 24 Digital Mixing Console
x1 QuikLok ZM2025 Mixing Console Stand
x3 Sennheiser ew 112 G3 Presentation Systems
x1 Sennheiser ew 135 G3 Vocal System
x1 Tascam SS-CDR200 Solid State Recorder
x2 AudioTechnica Pro45 Microphones
x1 ART dPDB Dual Passive DI Box
x1 Epson EB-1965 XGA Projector 5000 Ansi Lumens 3000:1
x1 TP Link Wireless Router
x1 Acer Aspire 5733 15.6 inch Laptop c/w Windows 7 / Microsoft Office 2010 / Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012
x1 Interspace Industries MicroCue2
x2 15" TFT Comfort Monitors
x1 Samson SRK21 21-Space Universal Rack Stand
x1 Proel ADRK3CR 3-Space Lockable Rack Drawer

St Clements Church

On Friday 27th May 2005, Badly Drawn Boy was invited to played a small intimate one-off gig at St Clements Church, Chorlton, Manchester as part of Chorlton Arts Festival, and to help raise funds for a new roof for the church. BBTS staff designed, rigged, and operated the lighting for this unique event.

There were a number of challenges which needed to be overcome for this project:

Firstly, the Church itself was a beautiful, yet very old church, with old electrical wiring, and no native support for stage lighting systems (i.e. no 3-phase). Therefore, one of the key issues BBTS staff were faced with was being able to draw enough power to drive a lighting rig. Time was spent in the Church prior to the event establishing the number/location of ring mains within the building. By also cutting down on the number of standard 1000w PAR64 units in the rig, and using ETC Source 4 PARS with 750w bulbs instead (equivalent light output to a to 1200w bulb!), the overall desired light level was still maintained, however the power requirements were significantly reduced. The rig we designed would need to draw no more than 63amps in total, and by utilizing three different ring mains from around the building, and by spreading the electrical load along them, we were able to draw sufficient power to drive our moderate sized rig.

The second issue was one of time - although the event itself was not due to start until 8pm, rigging and rehearsal time was limited due to another event taking place in the church that lunchtime from 12pm-1pm - Leaving only around 6 hours in which to get equipment in, rig, test, and rehearse. As this was know in advance, we were able to tailor the type of equipment we would use in order to cut down on very heavy/bulky items to reduce our get in. For example, we ditched a cumbersome lighting console, and operated lighting control via a single laptop! Also, by utilizing a number of moving heads & colour changes, less fixtures overall were needed, further reducing setup time. We also liaised with the Church to get all equipment inside the building prior to their lunchtime event, to give more setup time.

The Result? - Nearly 250 people packed out St Clements that evening, for what many fans and music critics consider to be one of Badly Drawn Boy's most memorable gigs to date. The versatility of the lighting rig, and in particular the ease-of-use of the laptop lighting control package developed by our staff, allowed a variety of creative and distinctly different lighting states to be created "on-the-fly" during the show to fit in with the current "mood" of the music. BBTS staff were praised for their enthusiasm, hard work and dedication in transforming an empty old church into a venue to rival any purpose built performance venue!

Equipment List:
x4 Martin MAC250 Entours
x8 ETC Source 4 PARS
x8 Rainbow 8" Scrollers (for ETC PARS)
x2 Rainbow Scroller PSU
x4 PAR 64
x6 Strand Prelude F
x1 Martin Magnum Hazer
x4 Zero88 Alpha Packs
x5 Powerdrive Wind-Up Stands
Lighting Control was via a custom DMX Laptop Control Package, developed by BBTS staff. This allowed full control of dimmers, scrollers, the moving heads and haze, and performed exceptionally well!

All Hallows Church

Cheadle, Stockport
BBTS staff worked for many years for All Hallows Church in Stockport providing technical support for services, pantomimes, holiday clubs, and special events. BBTS staff also advised the church on the purchase of a new Church sound system, and were able to "tweak" their existing system in the interim to improve the system's flexibility and audio quality
Blue Box Technical Services, PO Box 224, Cheadle, SK8 4WB, United Kingdom · Phone/Fax: +44 (0)161 491 0002 · Email:
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