It was several years in the making, but in 2015 Crossgates Church in Brandon, MS, contracted Paragon 360™ to lead the design process for a complete sanctuary renovation project that included all new AVL systems, custom scenic and staging elements, motorized rigging systems, and acoustical treatment. After extensive design work and installation, the project was completed in January of 2017.
The Crossgates project pushed the Paragon 360™ Design Team into uncharted territory, utilizing cutting edge, state-of-the-art technology and systems integration in ways that had simply not been done before. Our Designers worked hand-in-hand with multiple manufacturers for several months to ensure the technological capability that Crossgates was seeking was not only possible, but would work flawlessly in a multiple worship style environment. Worship Pastor David Oliver highlighted Paragon’s ability to bring all of the desired elements of Crossgates together, stating “There’s really no other company that can take all the aspects of a worship center – the scenic, the lighting, the audio, the video – and move it together in such a pattern and a synergistic way to where it becomes just so easy to use it to engage people in worship. It’s just a powerful thing.”
The Paragon 360™ Audio Team designed and installed a system worthy not only of multiple worship styles, but one on par with any touring concert venue in the country. The main worship center audio system is comprised of a large format Bose RoomMatch speaker system, featuring three main line arrays and an end-fire subwoofer system. This speaker system is powered by 14 PM8500N amplifiers and processed by an ESP880. Stage distribution is handled with 60 channels of Whirlwind Patch Master modular snakes, along with multiple floor pockets distributed around the stage. Additionally, two Avid S6L consoles manage Front of House and Broadcast audio duties, utilizing two Stage 64 I/O racks for a total of 128 inputs. An Avid S3L console handles all Pro Tools mix down sessions captured during the services, as well as creating in-house stems for use with the band.
Due to the wide scope of worship capability desired by Crossgates, the wireless microphone and personal monitoring systems utilized are substantial. The wireless microphone package includes 32 channels of ULXD4Q digital receivers, 14 handheld Beta 87 microphones, and 18 body pack transmitters with Countryman headsets. The personal monitoring system includes 24 Roland M-48 mixers which feed 16 channels of Shure PSM1000 transmitters. Two Klark Teknik DN9652 were used for sample rate conversion, and an RME MADI router was used to feed the 40 digital inputs to the Roland REAC MADI bridge. Traditional floor monitor mixes utilize EAW Micro Wedge monitors, and a single flown Bose Room Match module is used for the choir loft. A dual channel Axient Wireless System is used by the Pastor and Music Pastor during worship, with the Pastor utilizing a DPA headset, and the Music Pastor utilizing the Axient ATX200 with the KSM9 capsule.
The organ was implemented into the new audio system with the use of Whirlwind direct boxes and Ashly MX-206 mixers. This setup takes the nine speaker level outputs from the organ and converts them to line level, allowing all of the organ tones to be mixed precisely, and then put into the sound system in a controlled fashion. This setup greatly reduces the amount of organ in the choir mics, and also allows a greater separation of mixing, especially for broadcast purposes.
The Paragon 360™ Video Team designed and installed a system for Crossagtes that showcases amazing flexibility. In addition to being a powerful communication tool for the church, it also offers impressive production capabilities. The visual centerpiece of the worship center are the three large format Da-Lite Lace and Grommet Screens with HD projection surfaces. Three Panasonic 3-Chip, 12,000 Lumen Laser projectors provide content for the screens, allowing for worship graphics content, video playback, and any switcher video content or camera shot, which can be shown on any or all of the screens as needed.
The camera system includes two Panasonic 3-Chip HD Manned Cameras, eight Panasonic 3-Chip HD PTZ Cameras, and seven Marshall Single-Chip HD POV Cameras with Remote Zoom. Two of the PTZ Cameras are mounted on Cine-Slider automated camera dollies. Ross Electronics components perform all switching and signal routing functions. The Main Program Switcher is a Carbonite Black Series Production Switcher, with a 32 input by 22 output chassis, and a 32 button control panel with 3 MEs. Switching for the three Laser Projections is also accomplished in the Carbonite Switcher, utilizing three of the Mini MEs and Ross Dashboard Control. A Ross 72 x 72 HD SDI router is the heart of all signal distribution, and is accessed from multiple control panels and computers.
One of the more unique aspects of the video system is a Fingerworks Telestrator controlled by a touchscreen built into the pulpit. The telestrator allows the Pastor to point out and highlight items on his teaching slides, which can simultaneously be viewed by the congregation on the three large projector screens. The system also includes a 75″ touchscreen display that can be placed on the platform, providing the same functionality in a more intimate setting. Additionally, behind the Pastor is one of the most prominent scenic elements of the installation. A Video Background Wall, consisting of three 80” Flat Panel Displays over three 80” Flat Panel Displays, creates a virtual video background for the center of the platform. This serves as a very effective and flexible background for the primary camera shot of the Pastor or others at stage center. The three top displays are on lifts that descend behind the three lower displays to reveal the Choir Loft behind the Scenic Video Wall.
Because a video friendly lighting wash was of great importance for the lighting system design at Crossgates, the Paragon 360™ Lighting Team chose 52 Chauvet Ovation E-260WW LED ellipsoidal fixtures that produce a flat, even field of light. These virtually silent fixtures boast extremely smooth dimming and are powered by single source LEDs, which allows for smooth and even coverage over the entire stage area. For back lighting, 14 Chauvet Rogue R2 moving head LED wash fixtures were used to produce a bright, powerful and even coverage. The fixtures’ zoom range of 12° to 49°, coupled with their smooth color mixing and dependable movement, also provide a variety of looks and lighting designs for different types of performances.
The existing house lighting at Crossgates was replaced with full color, LED house lighting. 59 Chroma-Q Inspire RGBW fixtures, equally adept at soft pastels and bold saturates, give Crossgates the ability to transform the look and feel of the entire venue by seamlessly transcending the physical barrier between the stage and congregation. Full color LED lighting was used extensively throughout the set, adding many opportunities for variety and depth of design.
One of the most prominent features in Crossgates’ former worship center were the stained glass windows that flanked the sides of the platform. During the design process, the church expressed a strong desire to keep the stained glass components as part of their renovation project. Paragon 360™ fabricated and installed new faux stained glass windows that are exact replicas of the former windows, which are back lit from the inside. This allowed the church to preserve the stained glass window look, while giving the Lighting Team the ability to stop unwanted sun light from entering the room. Multicolor LED lighting was used inside the windows to allow for the opportunity to shade the color on occasion, bringing out the different hues of the stained glass.
Upon completion of the Crossgates project, Administrative Pastor David Briggs stated “In regards to the transformation of this worship center, it exceeds all of our expectations. There’s greater warmth in the room, there’s greater flow in the room. Transformation? Absolutely 100% different. Just like walking into a new facility. It was amazing. Paragon 360 met everything they said: they met the timeline, they met the price… I felt like it was flawless. It couldn’t have been any better.” Pastor Briggs went on to say “If there’s a client that’s looking to partner with Paragon, I’d like to tell you it is a partnership. The men work with integrity, they work with character, they do what they say they’re going to do, they do it on time, and they walk with the King, and I would encourage you to look no further. If you’ve done your due diligence and it’s brought you this far, just choose Paragon and get to work. It’s the right thing to do.”