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Mount Hope Church Broadcasts Live Services with eMotion LV1

Aug 19, 2020

Since COVID-19, Lansing, MI’s Mount Hope Church has been streaming its live sermons using the Waves eMotion LV1 live mixer. Media and Tech Associate Dave Berry explains why it’s an “incredible solution during this crazy time.”

Dave Berry with eMotion LV1 at the Mount Hope broadcast room

Dave Berry with eMotion LV1 at the Mount Hope broadcast room

Like many churches, Mount Hope in Lansing, MI has had to adapt to the COVID era, shifting focus to live streaming. “We decided that we needed a long-term, cost-effective solution that had crazy flexibility and ease of use, but with amazing sound,” says Mount Hope Media and Tech Associate Dave Berry. “Sound quality had to remain number one, flexibility second.”

That solution took the form of the eMotion LV1 live mixer. “We now have two LV1 systems in use in our broadcast studio and the second in our road system,” Berry say. “Our first LV1 rig started out for our live stream, then we pulled it to use for FOH during a long weekend statewide youth conference and then back to broadcast. Its timing back to broadcast was rather strange, since that was when the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan began, and the LV1 has been an incredible solution during this crazy time.”

“The best part was that I felt so confident that the techs could run, patch, and troubleshoot any issues that I didn’t feel the need to stick around. The point is that there is a younger generation that is more comfortable with two screens than they are with any large-size console. That is what the LV1 offers. Is that unique? In my opinion yes, and it’s very smart on the part of Waves.”

“Another great thing about the LV1,” Berry adds, “is that for the most part it is plug-and-play. Obviously, it’s great for a large church, and I even see guys traveling the world and running large tours with this system. I would speak to the small churches and say if you’re looking for a tool that’s easy to set up and operate, and gives you the ‘large console’ options – but with low cost – this is for you. This is also why we have chosen Waves for our ‘tech in a box’ setup for our future campuses. We need quick plug-and-play with amazing sound, but small in size.”

“When it comes to networking and portability the LV1 is super simple,” he says. “Get a supported switch, plug in, and go! We do run a full Dante® audio network, simply because this was in place prior to the LV1. We convert using a DiGiCo Orange Box to Waves SoundGrid® and have never once had an issue. I have seen systems with very expensive switches and some, like ours, with a $100 switch, and guess what? They sound the same. Our Waves SoundGrid Extreme Server and Orange Box are actually in our control room about 300 feet from where we mix broadcast, without issue. Another big point for networking is the ability to remote into the system and control or troubleshoot with a mobile system. This is a key part of our ‘tech in a box’ solution for mobile campuses, and the ability to help a volunteer remotely and train them is priceless.”

Mount Hope Church’s main campus in Lansing, MI

Mount Hope Church’s main campus in Lansing, MI

eMotion LV1’s compact size makes it easy to pack in a small case and take to the church’s smaller locations outside of its main facility. “We pack our FOH LV1 in one modified Studio Flyer case. I remember as a young kid dreaming of this stuff; it’s almost unreal!. The footprint for our smaller venues is key. We can experience the functionality of our large main sanctuary in smaller spaces such as our children’s ministry. It’s simply perfect.”

The LV1 also allows Berry’s teams to shape their sound using Waves plugins running inside the mixer. “The Dugan Automixer is huge for us,” he says. “We run a post-service recap simply using three mics (nothing huge); but within seconds I can turn on the Dugan plugin with these mics, turn them up, and feel confident they are at one level for broadcast.”

“The F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ is also a dream plugin. We use this on most channels to both expand and reduce where needed. We also use the F6 on our band group, side-chained to our vocal group, to ever-so-slightly notch out a path for vocals. We then run the Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain on the master buss. It adds clarity, and we also use it to spread out and glue our final mix. The L2 Utramaximizer gives you the volume that you need and consistency in your mix. The CLA-76 Compressor / Limiter (Bluey) on vocals has become my favorite. I can’t always describe what it does to vocals, other than the obvious compression, but it just adds so much clarity and control. Lastly, the Waves Vitamin Sonic Enhancer has to make the list. We use this on keys to add a stereo spread on certain frequencies.”

“I also have to give a shout-out to the Waves Tech Support people,” Berry says. “They are so invested in the LV1. Waves live phone support is first-class! I made an error installing updates the day before a service, and they had me up and running in no time. Also, the WavesLive Facebook group has a wide range of people, from touring professionals to people like me, and they are always there to help and answer questions.”

“Our plan is to roll out the eMotion LV1 into every one of our venues (Sanctuary, Youth, Children’s, Chapel and Symposium) within our facility. We also have a goal to launch 100 campuses in the next five years, most of which will require sound support. eMotion LV1 will be part of a standard solution.”

“My take on the LV1,” Berry sums up, “is that you are only limited on sound quality based on your ability. Most major touring acts and recording artists use Waves plugins on their records, and it’s amazing to realize that you can build your sound using those same tools. It’s like having an open toolbox with unlimited tools right in front of you. With all of that running inside the LV1, the sound you get is really just limited by your skills as an operator.”