California’s Crystal Cathedral

Crystal Cathedral is a spectacular 12-story architectural wonder located in Southern California’s Orange County, an out-of-the-ordinary setting used for church services and weddings. In fact, if it’s space that you need for your wedding celebration, Crystal Cathedral allows you to pack in up to 2,800 of your closest friends and relatives.

Situated in the center of a beautiful 21-acre campus, Crystal Cathedral was built by the Reformed Church of America, which seems to have taken the first chapter of Genesis to heart in the design.. The building resembles a four-pointed crystal star and has become an architectural wonder and local landmark that has won critical acclaim worldwide.

Martin Professional was contracted to provide the inspirational interior lighting, a rig of 18 MAC 1200s and 18 MAC 600s, all controlled from a Case Pro II Controller.

The Cathedral was designed by architect Philip Johnson and is made up of 12,000 panes of glass, each square painstakingly engraved with the name of a contributor. The glass structure is built around a steel truss frame with both walls and ceiling visually open to the surroundings emphasizing the close connection to, and beauty of, nature.

During the day, the lights illuminate the pulpit and main altar, including the spectacular pipe organ, which is surrounded by the structure truss and glass on all sides. The lighting is also used to illuminate the main stage for plays and celebrations. To each side of the main pulpit project two wings, each with its own organ. By night, the entire Cathedral is a glowing ember, the translucent panes reflecting color from the lights inside.

Light is an extremely important element in the Cathedral and has several effects and uses. It is used to give the walls substance, creating an effect of strength and permanence, yet can also give the Cathedral a light, airy, almost heavenly feeling. Depending on the lighting and time of day, the Cathedral can look as if it has solid walls or virtually no walls at all.

The Cathedral is surrounded by beautiful gardens complete with fountains, lights, mirrors, and sculptures. The management is currently considering adding more Martin fixtures for exterior illumination for a stainless-steel sculpted spire with a cross that stands 80-90' tall in the gardens outside.

"The Living Cross" at Fort Wayne’s Calvary Temple Church

It’s show time. The house is packed. The lucky few that were able to secure a ticket sit in excited anticipation for the show to begin. A cast of hundreds waits nervously in the wings.

The latest Broadway play about to premiere? Nope. Welcome to church.

Easter celebrations at Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Pentecostal Calvary Temple Worship Center include a first-class theatre performance, The Living Cross, and is so popular that buses come from all over America’s Midwest to be a part of it. Demand for tickets was so high this year that 10,000 requests for tickets had to be denied. As Calvary Temple’s own lighting designer, lighting programmer and technical director Dave Cannady so understatedly put it, "We’re pretty strong in the arts."

The Living Cross is a Broadway-quality musical, a type of Passion Play complete with live animals and flying angels, produced by Calvary Temple’s own congregation. For the last 20 years, Calvary Temple has been telling about the life of Jesus by turning a stage in Fort Wayne into Jerusalem. Cannady says, "We want to bring out the gospel in the most realistic way we can do it."

And now a tremendous amount of Martin Professional lighting has been added–scanners, moving heads, color changers, tracking systems, controllers, design software, Jem smoke machines, Exterior 600s–not to mention the plethora of pyrotechnics, lasers, snow and confetti systems, nitrogen and cold flow systems, fiber optics, and more. Martin dealer Dr. Feelgood’s supplied the equipment.

Calvary Temple’s goal is to eventually replace all traditional lighting with automated lighting. "It opens up a whole new world," says Cannady. "We can paint scenes we didn’t even know were possible.

"Technology makes the show," Cannady continues. "We use some of Martin’s latest technology products, such as the TrackPod. Our TrackPod operator, Jim Horne, uses it to control 2 Pal automated framing spots as well as RoboScan Pro 918s. With all the smoke we use, traditional followspots are too bright, they just light up the room." Calvary Temple also has the only multi-zoned MLD (Martin Lighting Director) system in the world.

The Living Cross is many things and Cannady uses a full array of effects to help get the message across. Moods from ultimate joy to the depths of despair are portrayed using the full color palette. While some scenes are washed in a single shade, other times Cannady uses the full color spectrum, as in the multicolored "Healer in the House" soul number. Blues and purples are used for the funeral scene, while a wedding scene has the cast dancing in the aisles amid a full barrage of color. At one point, reds and yellows are used to simulate fire.

Gobos are used at various points throughout the play, and strobing is even incorporated when Jesus dies. Jem smoke machines were used to add to the atmosphere in several scenes, such as when Lazarus rises from the dead and in a dramatic, stormy boat scene. Says Cannady, "We create a water look and we’re doing it on a wooden stage."

Outside the complex, eight Martin Exteriors are used to illuminate the facade and temple spire. Purple and pink shades were used to illuminate the spire for an Easter theme, while greens and reds can be used at Christmas. A new sanctuary, dedicated at Easter, also houses Martin Pro 918 and 1220 scanners.

The Living Cross is the vision of Senior Pastor Rev. Paul C. Paino and has been so popular that the church is considering running plays from Christmas to Easter (The Living Cross sold out 24 shows in a week). All cast members (over 300) are members of the congregation, and church members produced the professional-quality scenery, including the Styrofoam City of Jerusalem, as well.

Built in 1976, Calvary Temple is a complete facility with a kitchen, racquetball courts, weight room, nursery, classrooms, computer rooms, and more.

Equipment list

(8) 218s (6 in stage room)
(12) 518s (all in stage room)
(16) 918s (10 in stage room)
(6) 1220XR (6 in stage room)
(2) Pals (both in stage room)
(4) MAC 250s (all in stage room)
(4) MAC 250+ (all in stage room)
(2) MAC 500s (both in stage room)
(12) MAC 600s (all in stage room)
(16) Exterior 600s (outside)
(8) RoboColor 400s (all in stage room)
(1) ProScenium (outside)
(1) LightJockey (stage room)
(1) Case Pro 1+ (stage room)
(1) TrackPod (stage room)
(1) MLD (stage room)
(10) Case Controllers (stage room)

Other Lighting

(300) 1,000W PAR- 64s
(96) Pin Lights
(18) Wand Strobes
(4) 220V strobes
750,000W of dimming
(3) Clay Paky Golden Scan 1s
(38) Wybron Color Scrollers
(2) 8W Argon Lasers
(20) Altman 6 x 20 Eles


Snow system
Haze system
(6) F 100 Foggers
(2) Cold flow systems
(1) liquid nitrogen system
Flying by Foy system
Pyro Pak, Pyro system
(3) flame bars
(3) flame bowls
confetti system
fiber-optic curtains

Audio System

48 channel console
Apogee AE5 Speakers
EAW Subs
EV subs
80,000Wof crown power
(10) wireless mics
Tascam Adat machines
JBL subs

United Pentecostal Church

For the United Pentecostal Church of Lewisburg, PA, "feeling the power of the word" was more than a spiritual mission. The church's praise teams, amplified Christian rock bands, and choirs made it a sonic necessity. So when they outgrew their original 150-seat sanctuary in 1995, plans for a new 450-seat addition centered on a powerful new audio system.

For the installation, the church turned to Gelnett & Associates of Northumberland, PA, an audio design company. Founder Scott Gelnett's first step was to take members to completed church installs to help pinpoint the sound the congregation sought.

The church's new floor plan resembles a T-shape with the original sanctuary forming the trunk while the new addition forms the top of the T. The new floor section seats 200, with balconies adding another 100 seats each. The stage is centered on the wall along the top of the T, with a raised choir loft at the rear. The ceiling height for the new portion was doubled to 18' to allow for the balcony and choir loft height.

"We've had extensive experience with similar sanctuary layouts and services that include a variety of program material," Gelnett notes. "However, the fact that this congregation likes its sound considerably louder than most, impacted our loudspeaker system decision."

A longstanding relationship with Community made the CSV and CSX loudspeakers prime candidates. Gelnett decided that the two-way full range CSV, with Community's IntelliSense™ dynamic driver protection crossover, coupled with the CSX40-S2 subwoofer, would handle the church's needs.

Gelnett addressed each area as a separate coverage zone. Three CSV35s in a split cluster configuration cover the floor seats, while two sets of CSV25-S2s provide delay coverage for the trunk of the T-shaped sanctuary. Two CSX40-S2 subwoofers are mounted under the stage. "The subs' non-directionality and modified grille make them invisible to the congregation while enhancing the seamless frequency spectrum of the system," Gelnett says.

The church band utilizes two Community CSX38-S2s for monitors and a single headphone monitor for drums. Attaining high sound pressure levels while maintaining clarity meant controlling stage volume, so the band's two digital keyboards and bass are amplified from the floor monitors rather than from separate amplifiers onstage. "The bass and keyboards require accurate reproduction down to pretty extreme lows and the CSX38-S2s deliver that in an unobtrusive package," Gelnett adds. Two additional CSV25s bring the sound to the choir 8' above the stage.

Three Crown Macro-Tech 1200 amplifiers power the main system while a Crown Macro-Tech 600 and a Peavey CS 400X power choir monitors, floor monitors, and drum monitor. A TOA D-1103 provides delayed signal for the two sets of CSV25-S2s. Rounding out the system are Altec 1431 and 1432 equalizers, a Sabine FBX901 and two Sabine SL-610 feedback eliminators, a DBX 160-XT compressor limiter, Yamaha REV100 reverb, Denon 600F cassette/CD, and biamp Newport 24-channel and Peavey 12-channel mixers. Microphones include wired and wireless Audio Technica and EV units. Amplifiers and system processing are housed in a Soundolier WA100-61A rack equipped with security covers to prevent unwanted adjustments.

The congregation was happy with both the sound and the natural wood-grain look of the Community speakers. What's more, Gelnett received numerous compliments regarding the powerful low end. "One of my favorite comments was when the minister stopped the service and said, 'This is unbelievable! My microphone sounds great right here on the stage,' " said Gelnett.

The Child of the Promise Tour

It's described as the Young Messiah meets Phantom of the Opera. Boasting one of the biggest production budgets yet in the Christian music industry, the Child of the Promise tour set out on the road last November, vowing to wow audiences with a $1-million show of elaborate costumes, stage sets, and a cast of well-known musical artists, lit with the latest in automated lighting.

CK Productions' Keith Hoagland served as set and lighting designer, as well as lighting director and programmer for the new Christmas musical. The cast featured some of the biggest names in Christian music, including Steven Curtis, Chapman as the biblical figure Joseph, and Crystal Lewis as Mary. Other artists sharing the stage were Twila Paris, Russ Taff, Wayne Watson, Rachael Lampa, and groups 4Him and Avalon.

The first half of the performance was a concert setup with 11 different artists taking the stage to sing their best-known songs and favorite Christmas renditions. Hoagland's goal was to transform that set into a full Broadway-style production ready for a musical performance with scenic changes and detailed lighting cues.

Hoagland's task was to give the first half of the show "enough bells and whistles lighting- and set-wise, without giving hint to the intricate detail of the amazing sets and dramatic lighting looks for the second half, which is the Child of the Promise musical."

The lighting concept had to feature a lighting rig that would be flexible enough to handle all the needs at hand for a diverse program. The musical, produced by Norman Miller and written by Stormie Omartian, offered a challenge.

Hoagland, whose past lighting designs have included Michael W. Smith, Brooks & Dunn, and Tracy Lawrence, met his needs by specifying 49 High End Systems Studio Beam™ and 19 Studio Spot® 575s automated luminaires. He says his controller of choice is the Flying Pig Wholehog® II console. All lighting equipment was supplied by TMS, based in Omaha, NE., and Nashville, TN.

"As usual, High End Systems came up with a new technically advanced light--the Studio Beam–that has adjustable degrees of throw," Hoagland says. "This is just what I needed in a wash fixture.. I think what we have achieved is a Christmas show that will be a huge success and something enjoyable for all ages."

The set boasted the ability to highlight several scenes on one stage. With the help of co-set designers Anne and Joe Ciccoline (Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Jimmy Buffett), Hoagland was able to come up with an authentic Bethlehem look, including a golden palace, town, stone temple, and authenticated manger scene. The trick was to come up with a durable design that would be flexible to many scene changes in the show, but also uphold its authenticity and detail to the setting of the scene.

The tour kicked off November 25 in Nampa, ID, and made its way west to east in the US through December 17, ending in Fargo, ND.

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, Russia

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the largest Orthodox church in the world, is once again a beacon of faith for thousands of Moscow citizens. Rebuilt from the ground up almost 70 years after the Soviets had torn it down, the cathedral retains its antique facade, yet incorporates much of today's cutting-edge technology, including the ATI Paragon II console. The ATI Paragon II was chosen from a long list of competitive units to bring world-class audio performance to this unique architectural and spiritual landmark.

Originally built in the late 1800s to commemorate the Russian victory over Napoleon, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior served as the spiritual center of all of Russia. Its traditional 16th Century style and five gleaming domes towered over Moscow streets until December 5, 1931, when the Soviet regime demolished it to erect a "Palace of Soviets" topped by a statue of Vladimir Lenin. Plans for the palace were scrapped, however, when Soviet engineers found the underlying ground too soft to support their proposed massive structure. Instead, an outdoor swimming pool was built, and remained on the lot near Red Square for more than 64 years.

In 1995, as Muscovites continued to return to traditions long outlawed under Soviet rule, construction of a new cathedral began. In less than a year, the cathedral's 103m (340') towers were erected. Four years later, more than 3,000 builders working around the clock had brought the cathedral back to life. In August, more than 30,000 people converged on the church complex to witness the consecration of the grounds by His Holiness Patriarch Aleksy II, of the Russian Orthodox Church. Many of them watched and listened to the proceedings via a large video screen and scores of loudspeakers that lined the church grounds.

Slawa Serdyukov of Pro Sound Lab, Co., handled the installation of the ATI Paragon II console in the "lower" Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Pro Sound Labs, a Moscow-based sound installer, had specified the unit after thoroughly analyzing the features and specs of a variety of competitive mixing consoles. ATI's Mark Seman provided Serdyukov's team with technical and electrical specs, as well as the endorsements of other fixed install customers to ensure the church would be satisfied with the console in this highly critical application.

St. Luke’s Episcopal in Atlanta, GA

At a time when many houses of worship are also performance venues, St. Luke’s Episcopal in Atlanta prefers traditional liturgy. A new audio system was part of the $13-million master plan for restoration of the nearly 100-year old church, but the church’s needs in this area were strictly confined to voice amplification and a recording system. And the less visible both were, the better.

Lighting and Production Equipment of Atlanta designed a pew-back system for St. Luke’s using a total of 210 loudspeakers (30 rows, six speakers per row in the nave) for voice amplification from the nave or chancel. The voice system is based around very high quality microphones from DPA: two DPA 4023 cardioids for the pulpit, and three DPA 4060 omnidirectional miniature condenser microphones (connected to a Shure wireless unit). A music recording system was also installed, based around two DPA 4006 standard-sized omni microphones. Both the voice amplification and sound recording systems are controlled through Soundweb, a networked series of BSS digital signal processors.

What became a major restoration project began with a request nearly three years ago to the architectural firm of Cummings and McCrady of Charleston, SC, to design a new bell tower for St. Luke’s. "In the course of developing a plan for a bell tower with 10 English change-ringing bells," says project architect and president of Cummings and McCrady Dan Beaman, "we determined that there were a number of serious issues that needed to be addressed: significant structural repairs, new mechanical systems, lighting and finishes, upgrades to the organ, and a complete reworking of the undercroft." In conjunction with the church vestry, Cummings and McCrady developed a master plan for the project, which, at its most inclusive, dictated $16 million worth of restoration work. (To date, over $9 million has gone into St. Luke’s toward fulfillment of a master plan that currently rests at $13 million.)

Throughout the project, one essential requirement remained very clear: change nothing that alters the acoustics of the church. 48' wide x 160' long x 54' to the peak of the ceiling, St. Luke’s has brick masonry and plaster walls, open wood trusses supporting a wood-plank ceiling, and a wooden floor with aisles of hard tile. As an example of the "hands-off" approach to the acoustic character of the room, Beaman cites some very old fiberboard covering the west wall of church. "It was placed there to help with reflected sound coming off the back wall," he says. "It seemed to be doing its job–there were no problems with acoustic reflections in the room–so we simply left it."

For audio system designer Lighting and Production Equipment’s Tim Harrigan, the mission was very clear from St. Luke’s needs: "A distributed sound system, and a pew-back system in particular, obviously was the best way to achieve spoken-word clarity in the church while eliminating any need to tamper with the architectural integrity of the interior."

The pew-back system is a fairly straightforward solution. The 210 loudspeakers with rotatable, polypropylene, titanium tweeters in custom oak enclosures are powered by eight QSC CX302V amplifiers. "Every pair of pews has its own delay time to increase intelligibility," said Harrigan. "Sound travels in the room very naturally from the front to the rear. So the acoustic voice reaches your ears at the same moment as the delayed pew back source. Also, the curves of the digital parametric EQs were tailored to match the natural acoustic response of the room. So for the average listener, it’s difficult to tell if the sound is coming from the loudspeaker or the person at the front of the room."

Harrigan and Lighting and Production Equipment president Bruce Harlan put his company's efforts into networking the voice system and the recording system via three 9088 DSP units that are the mainframe of Soundweb system and two 9010 remote control units. "All microphones are routed directly to the 9088 units," says Harrigan. "Ninety-five percent of all operations can be controlled from the six-button, one-knob remote. Both 9010s are pre-programmed to control the audio mixers internal to the 9088. More complex control is available by using a personal computer connected to the Soundweb network." Harrigan uses PC Anywhere software to monitor the system. "PC Anywhere allows us to call in over a phone line and adjust the system, install updates, and fix problems."

One 9010 remote for the voice amplification system resides in the balcony house-right position, while a second remote is located in the north ambulatory next to the organ.

Key to both the vocal reinforcement and the recording systems are extremely sensitive and accurate microphones from DPA. Two 4023s compact cardioid mics serve the pulpit and lectern, and three 4060 miniature omni mics (maximum sound pressure level is 134dB SPL before clipping) are available for wireless transmission. "One of the most difficult things about designing such a system," says Harrigan, "is trying to design out ways in which it can be misused." Foolproof positioning of miniature clip-on mics is one such area of concern, and St. Luke’s, under Harrigan’s advice, has sewed mic positions into the priests’ vestments.

Though it may seem trivial, reminding speakers to turn their wireless mics off and turn it on is another area where things, if they can, will go wrong. The best way around this potential problem is to assign an operator to the wireless feed control, removing the responsibility from the speakers themselves.

For recording, Harrigan specified two DPA 4006s, which are hidden in the third set of chandeliers (of five sets total) back from the altar, right and left of the aisle. Robert Poovey, music director of St. Luke’s, uses the DPA 4006s to record the church’s restored organ, the choir, and services. "The organ has the largest frequency range of any instrument," he says. "Our organ has a practical range down to 16Hz, so we wanted a microphone that could faithfully capture the full range of the instrument without extensive recording experience to date, we have still been very pleased with the results we are getting." Poovey explains that the stereo separation of the recordings, particularly those involving the organ, has not been that dramatic, but this is in keeping with the sound of the organ in the nave itself. The console sits in the chancel with pipes mostly in chambers above to the left and right, but with a substantial number of large pipes hidden behind the walls. Balcony pipes as well can be used to produce and even fuller sound, and for effects.

The 4006s are supported by two Crown PZM microphones mounted in the side walls of the church at about the midway point in the nave; they are used mainly for recording the congregations’ hymn singing during services.

St. Luke’s represents only one solution to a perpetual problem of church acoustics. A dead acoustic, while good for intelligibility of the spoken word, makes a poor environment for (unamplified) music and congregational singing. A very lively acoustic, on the other hand, is poor for speech intelligibility, but good for unamplified instruments and voices. Lighting and Production Equipment and Cummings & McCrady worked together to provide St. Luke’s with a sound reinforcement system that has only one purpose–to make the spoken word clear–and a recording system that would capture the natural, musical acoustic of the room, essentially unchanged since the church was built nearly 100 years ago.

Chartres Cathedral in France

Not only are new houses of worship being built with all the bells and whistles of today’s technology, but also some of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world are serving as a backdrop for color-changing kinetic lighting. A case in point is the world-famous Chartres Cathedral in France, one of Europe’s outstanding architectural icons. Once a year for the past 12 years, this magnificent 13th-century Gothic cathedral hosts "The Lyrical Days of Chartres," a series of musical concerts and conferences attended by thousands of people.

This year, French lighting designer François Fleury set about lighting the cathedral, which is known for the size and color of its stained-glass windows. The lighting had to complement, rather than compete with, the cathedral’s majestic presence. Fleury worked with technical director Rolland Hergault, technician Christophe Michon, and Impact Diffusion (the French distributor of Clay-Paky products) to design, program, and install the lighting rig.

The rig included eight Clay Paky Stage Color 1200 and eight Clay Paky Stage Zoom 1200 automated luminaires, which gave Fleury a wide range of color options, without upstaging the historic setting. To play with the architecture a little, he also used gobos and patterns in the Stage Zooms to blend in with the patterns of the stained glass windows. The 1,200W discharge lamps in these fixtures accented the high walls of the nave and the Gothic arches with light in an unusual coming together of the past and the present.