The difference between the audio needs of a house of worship and a concert hall goes beyond the placement of the speakers or whether the mics are optimized for speech or music. A house of worship – be it a church, a synagogue, a mosque, a temple, or something else – isn’t a business. It’s a community. They are non-profit organizations working, not to earn money, but to give back to the community. The Rev. Isaac Everett community development manager at Boston-Cambridge Mission Hub explains it this way: “Every piece of sound equipment purchased is money that is not going to some other aspect of the church’s mission, such as feeding the homeless, educating children, or keeping the heat on.”
For that reason, houses of worship are frequently on tight budgets and often don’t have professional audio technicians on staff. Shure’s GLX-D Advanced Digital Wireless offers an opportunity to save money without sacrificing the audio quality of religious services. On top of that, it makes it easier to have professional quality audio without needing anyone to keep an eye on the sound system.
Get Clear Audio
GLX-D Advanced Digital Wireless is a suite of products that includes a GLX-D ½ rack with removable antennas, a passive directional antenna, and the GLX-D Frequency Manager – a brand new class of device that Mike Nagel, product manager for GLX-D Advanced Digital Wireless at Shure, calls the “brains.” The system has fantastic audio quality and digital clarity. Nagel describes it as sounding like a wired audio system. The Frequency Manager improves radio frequency and allows you to operate up nine channels (eleven under ideal conditions) simultaneously without them interfering with each other.
Rechargeable Lithium Ion Batteries
The GLD-X ½ rack comes with one of the most important cost-saving features – intelligent rechargeability. The GLX-D ½ rack uses rechargeable lithium ion batteries rather than disposable alkaline batteries and comes with a battery charger built in. One rechargeable lithium ion battery has sixteen hours of run-time before it needs recharging, which is twice the battery life of other leading systems. It replaces 2,500 alkaline batteries. That’s an average savings of $2,000 per lithium ion battery over its lifetime. “In the long run, this is going to pay for itself,” Nagel said.
According to Everett, one of the biggest problem houses of worship run into with their sound systems is forgetting to charge the battery. GLX-D Advanced Digital Wireless has a built-in solution to that problem. You can also charge your spare battery while you’re using the sound system, so you can always have a back-up ready to go. The charger is conveniently located on the front of the receiver.
Avoid Interference with Frequency Manager
The Frequency Manager is a unique device making its debut as part of GLX-D Advanced Digital Wireless. Its main job is preventing interference. The Frequency Manager automatically and seamlessly directs the receivers and transmitters to change frequency when it encounters interference. Traditional receivers require someone to manually change the frequencies.
The Frequency Manager lets multiple systems work together. The Frequency Manager is aware of all of the systems hooked up to it and can intelligently prevent interference. This means that they can share frequencies between them, synchronizing so that one microphone can take advantage of the gaps in another’s broadcast to use the same frequency without interfering. All the systems share a common pool of frequencies, allowing them to always use the best and clearest frequency available.
The Frequency Manager also allows a house of worship to use fewer frequencies, thus freeing up more of the wireless spectrum for their use. For instance, keeping six of the original GLX-D systems on air would require eighteen frequencies, but keeping six of the GLX-D Advanced Digital Wireless systems on air takes only six frequencies. This makes it possible to use more wireless systems.
Uncomplicated Wireless Control
In Everett’s experience, as non-profits, houses of worship frequently don’t have the luxury of employing professional sound people, which means that any sound system in use has to be something that a volunteer can run. The less of the volunteer’s time swallowed up by manning the sound equipment the better. Part of its job is to make the system easy to run. He said, “By far the most important thing for most churches is that any equipment they buy will run itself without needing any attention or adjustment beyond an on/off switch.”
Unlike other wireless systems that require manual set-up and configuration GLX-D Advanced Digital Wireless’ Frequency Manager manages itself. “It’s like you have a sound person managing it for you,” Nagel said. “If there’s a problem, it just takes care of it. The user doesn’t have to interact with it at all.” When you turn the GLX-D Frequency Manager on, it automatically connects to the receivers and scans the wireless environment. It then automatically allocates the best possible frequencies to each wireless device. It doesn’t require any set-up beyond clicking the on button.
Set-up is made even easier by a patented technology that lets wireless and data communications – such as scanning and assigning frequencies – to share the same cables. This means one set of cables connecting each receiver to the frequency manager. Fewer wires, Nagel said, means a “simple, clean installation.” This is the first system to have this technology.
The system offers any type of wireless microphone, including handheld, head worn, and lavalier vocal mics and bodypack and clip-on instrument mics.
The GLX-D Advanced Wireless is perfectly suited to small to medium sized houses of worship looking for a system with multiple audio channels. It’s cost effective, so that more money can go to serving the community. It’s easy to set up and use, so that any member of the congregation can run it. Its crystal-clear sound means that not a word will be missed.