In this article, we’ll cover how Wellspring church–a charismatic and liturgical church–is able to find tech solutions to fit their unique worship needs.
Communications and Tech Director, Jeff Gale, walked me through Wellspring’s:
Instruments and gear
Lighting and Display
After reading, you’l have the tech solutions that Wellspring used that will be for your church!
Introducing Wellspring Church
Here are some key constraints and facts about Wellspring that they’re currently working with:
The Wellspring congregation meets in a long, skinny room with wood floors
The church combines both modern praise and traditional liturgy, creating a unique flow during the service
The entire tech setup is used and run by volunteers
Wellspring’s Sound Design
Since the design of the church is rather long and skinny, the acoustics present a unique set of challenges. Rather than fighting these challenges, Jeff and his team focused on emphasizing the open, natural sound granted to them by the design of the building:
They use a line array and double subwoofer combination to bring out the natural, acoustic sounds of the voices and instruments
And tend to stay away from reemphasizing the ‘kick’ and ‘snare’ sounds
Wireless Audio Setup
Wellspring’s core group of servants are all volunteers, meaning that they have good training, but not the in-depth, technical expertise required to man a complicated rig. At this church, the tech setup’s name-of-the-game is “advanced, but accessible.”
The crown jewel of Wellspring’s audio system is the Shure ULXD4Q. This gives them a great deal of utility and flexibility:
The system is four receivers built into one, clean rack unit
The components work together to do frequency scanning, enabling the team to check signals and change them on the fly if they need to
As far as the mixer goes,they’ve got the Behringer X32 Compact, which is connected to the stage and two Behringer digital stage boxes via etherCON cable. This gives the band the ability to monitor themselves via the Behringer P16 Personal Monitor Mixers. While Jeff may be looking to upgrade to the MIdas M32, their Behringer setup has served them faithfully.
Like their mixing system, the speakers and speaker system are five-year veterans as well. They coordinate using the Amano Line Array System.
Their microphone setup is built for ease-of-use as well, using 3 over-ears and one handheld:
Countryman E6’s: Wellspring uses three of these over-ear microphones. While they can be a little finicky (nothing that a little medical tape to hold them in place can’t solve), they’re an industry standard.
The main benefit of their setup lies in the Shure Lithium-Ion Battery Cradle. Once service is over, they just pop the rechargeable batteries back in and they’re ready to go come next Sunday.
They have had to install Shure antennas to strengthen the signal to the mics because of so many ambient signals from the congregation’s phones–but this setup works perfectly with the Shure ULXD4Q, making setup and tear-down easy.
Jeff and his team have created a great setup for the players, one that works, sounds great, and contributes to the ease and flow of the service.
The drum mics are set up as follows:
Jeff and the other drummers decided to go with a mic setup, without a shield, and compensate by playing dynamically and intentionally.
Their actual drum kit reflects this:
Yamaha Live custom kit has a smaller, quieter kick drum
The Sabian FXR crash cymbals have holes near the center to reduce harsh, unpleasant frequencies
The cymbals are placed behind small shields
Moving on to their keyboard setup, they’ve invested in a Nord Stage 2. While expensive, the team at Wellspring church have found that over the four years they’ve had it, it not only sounds great, but holds up well.
For their bassists, they’ve found an ideal compromise between sound quality and mixing. Rather than going for a full-on bass amp, they’ve opted for a Tech21 SansAmp with their subwoofer. This gives them the ability to get punchy bass tones while not polluting the mix.
Electric guitarists at Wellspring plug into the Fender Blues Junior amp. Jeff did a lot of research for amps and found that the Blues Junior is small, compact, simple, but sounds great.
While each musician has their own setup, the entire team is united by the Musician Stand app via iPads. Each band member has one screen where they have access to all the charts for that day, and the leader can make notes that will appear on everyone’s device. After service, the iPads go straight back to a locker where they’re charged and stored for the next week.
To discover more setups that could work for you and your team, check out some more in-depth solutions below.
Lighting and Display Setup
But Wellspring Church has found a balance that works really well for them. They prefer bright, natural light, and their setup is built to match:
Their main lights are PAR based lighting overhead with two dimmer packs
Floor LED lights around the stage, that can move, are controlled via DMX network
The DMX network is run through an ethernet converter and into the wireless network
The best part is that it’s completely controlled by the Luminaire iPad app, making things easy for volunteers
Screen setup is just as important for small to mid-size churches as it for large ones, and Wellspring has dialed it in.
All of their presentations are controlled via ProPresenter
It’s hooked up through an HDMI and into an SDI converter
Extra shielding was needed because of static electricity when the congregation would stand
Their ProPresenter operator sits behind the StreamDeck by Elgato–a piece of tech usually used by streamers or Youtubers, but is perfect for switching between specific actions (with just one press of a button).
They’ve also setup a unique piece of tech they picked up on Amazon. It’s a $100 video switcher which enables anybody to switch between presentations and videos if needed.
To make sure everything runs smoothly and safely, the team runs everything through Furman Power conditioners which keep everything grounded and conditioned properly. They’ve got the Furman MAS system connected in the booth and on a delay so that all the different systems turn on and off in the correct order. Overall, it keeps everything running clean without having to worry about damaging any of the equipment.
The last piece of tech is another group of lights. While they’re not used for traditional lighting, they actually serve a really practical function. Wellspring believes in family worship, so the kids join for the praise time, leave for their lesson, and come back for the last part of service. The team use Phillip Hue Lights downstairs, that turn green, to let kids and teachers know when it’s time to come back up. At the push of a button, the whole family is back, worshipping together without having to interrupt the flow of service.
Lastly is Wellspring’s live streaming setup. Being a liturgical church, it was difficult for them to make the jump. They firmly believe in the local church and the importance of their members’ attendance, but they still wanted to offer their stream to church-goes who are away traveling. Their setup includes:
A single Canon XA30, placed for consistent framing
The Aja Hello which records video, audio, and sends the feed to the streaming platform, all with one press of a button
Lastly is the DACAST service, a paid service ($250/year) which has all of Wellspring’s streaming needs. It connects directly to their website or app for streaming and receives the signal right from the Aja Hello.
While they may not emphasize their streaming, their setup is simple, easy, and activated at the touch of a button.
Wellspring is a vibrant church with unique solutions to their tech conundrums.
One thing we learned from Jeff is that paying higher prices means better quality and longevity. But don’t let those price tags fool you, the effectiveness of their systems come from the volunteers they’ve trained and put time into.
Again, a big thanks to Jeff for walking us through the setup and showing us around!
My team and I talk with worship pastors and volunteers every day about finding the right solutions for their unique context at Worship Tech School, and we want to help you too!
We’ve got you covered with courses on how to implement the latest audio, video, lighting, and more so you can grow yourself and your worship ministry.