Online Church Coronavirus

Every church and worship ministries are scrambling to figure out how to conduct services online due to social distancing regulations. 

As a general rule, small and medium-sized churches are not set up for fully online presentations. Our space and the principal audience are the people in the room.  Most churches are not set up for gatherings totally online. Sure over recent years, many churches have streamed their services on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, but COVID-19 has moved worship tech to the center stage in a way never imagined before.

I have gotten questions and emails on the tech behind how we put online services together. Here is an overview. 

  1. In the Summer of 2019, we purchased and installed SlingStudio.  The Sling Studio package we installed came with 3 PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) cameras, the SlingHub, 3 camera links, and a controller for PTZ Cameras. The hub connects directly to the internet. Through the hub’s wifi, we connect three-camera links.  The hub also has an HDMI input that can be used to pull in a fourth camera. We have been using this to stream our services online.
  2. When the virus eliminated our ability to meet. Our team took 1 PTZ camera offline and used the camera link to connect our presentation MAC running Propresenter to become the third camera.  We used the chroma key feature built into the sling studio to put lyrics on the bottom of the screen. The template we created in Propresenter has a bright green background. 
  3. Audio is captured on our DLive C3500.  It comes out of the console into our HDMI camera and into Sling Studio. 
  4. Our tech team and music team come together for rehearsal and recording.  Our camera operator sets cameras and captures the content.  
  5. We use Final Cut Pro to edit the services and add any additional graphics and video clips. We use some of the features in Final Cut to improve the audio.  The file is exported and we then stream the services online by playing the video through SlingStudio on Sunday morning so the church experiences the service “live” and not as a prerecorded video on YouTube. 

Each week we learn little tricks to improve different elements and features.  Our biggest challenge is capturing good clean audio. Each week we are improving and the journey has been a challenge.  However, the process is teaching us powerful lessons that will be useful in the post-COVID-19 world. If you would like to see our services online visit www.youtube.com/c/fieldstreetbaptistchurch

We are always on the search for tech-savvy individuals who also have a good musician’s ear for mixing live audio. If you have questions about our set up or want to learn how you can help, please contact us or send an email to bwoods@fieldstreet.com

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