LED to Rock the Masses

We’ve had several queries lately as to what type of LED products we’ve been using so it made sense to give an update of our ongoing foray into this crazy world of Light-Emitting Diodes. We’ll discuss more specifics of our current lighting and set design in a later post but here’s the LED info for what is shown in this photo:

The crux of our permanent video install is the BARCO I-6 XP LED product. These are configured on either side of the stage in true 16:9 ratio—we made it easy to calculate and made these appx 16’w x 9’h. There was a great deal of engineering put into the mechanics of how these are mounted since each wall weighs roughly two tons and at the same time, much care was given as to how they would be kept accessible for maintenance and repair. This photo is taken from the backside of the stage right LED wall.

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The I-6 was something we rented for a special event prior to our auditorium remodel and it was such a vast improvement over the standard screen and projection fare that we literally built our remodel production budget around it. These panels have a 6mm pixel resolution giving it very intense contrast and color reproduction. They’ve been great so far and will be something we’ll look forward to using for quite some time.

The ground row of LED walls forming a short wall across the back of the stage is another Barco product, the BARCO S-LITE 10XP. These are more of an outdoor LED product but we’ve had them in and out of here quite a few times over the last 3 or 4 years and they seem to like being in the air conditioning. These don’t have quite the resolution of the I-6’s but work REALLY well for B-roll footage, jumpbacks, and graphics. The major thing about the S-lite is the weight—they are extremely heavy so we try and utilize ground-stacking whenever possible. One example of how we implemented them as both a rigged and a ground-stacked element is shown here. To say that it was challenging to figure out the load balance hanging from our grid is an understatement...

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The final element of this set’s LED is what we hung above the band to assist with tying the lyrics in a bit more to the actual stage set. This is the BARCO O-LITE 510. These have a 10mm pixel resolution so it was a perfect solution to display lyrics on as the edges of the lettering would still appear smooth—this has a bit of an issue on some other products that have lower resolutions. We are using an auxiliary bus on our switcher to route lyrics only to these O-Lites so any lyric our CG operator puts on the main video walls will be mirrored on these and it has really been a nice addition. The following rehearsal photo is a bit rough but you can see the O-Lite wall suspended above the stud guitarist in the white shirt...

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There is another product that we fell in love with during our previous Easter services: the WINVISION-8. We used these to add a center video image with a similar resolution to the existing I-6 walls but something that would still hang easily in our venue. We did a few tricks with the Winvision for these events but we’ll leave that for another entry coming soon! The Winvision just rocked—check out these photos:

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We made a conscious decision a while back to embrace these and other LED products and incorporate them into our designs as the impact and clarity available is second to none. It has forced us to think outside of the box to continue to come up with creative ways to not only implement them creatively but how to use them as an enhancement to the event rather than the focus.

Stay tuned for more “nerd-speak” (proper credit given to Dave Rat for coining that phrase)!

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Andrew Stone
Production Manager
Andrew Stone is the Production Manager and Audio Director at Church on the Move in Tulsa, OK. His 27 years of touring experience have brought a unique, and sometimes unorthodox, perspective to his approach towards production in the church. He has been a key part of changing the culture behind COTM's live events and he loves sharing his knowledge with other churches. He's been married for 20 years, rarely wears anything but black, and genuinely loves to rock. You can find him on Twitter (@stone_rocks), Instagram (stone.rocks), and is a blog contributor on Seeds, COTM's free resource site.
@stone_rocks