Continued from June 2010 CTI Newsletter

Case Study:  SHoW DMX™ At Second Baptist Church, 
Baytown, Texas

Facility: Second Baptist Church of Baytown TX
Music Director:  Jack Hall 
Pastor:  Tommy Clements 
Lighting Designer:  Tom Stanziano

CTI's Andrew Nikel spoke with the facility's lighting designer, Tom Stanziano.

CTI:  What kind of lighting were you doing in the space?

Tom:  Contemporary Worship/Drama in a newly built facility.

CTI:  How did you lay out the lighting?

Tom:  As the lighting director of Lakewood Church, I had met Jack Hall thru his brother Reed, Lakewood's Technical Director.  I had done several productions with Jack over the years at their old location and was asked to assist in the new construction.  The Second Baptist Church was big on drama and concert productions so designing those capabilities into the new facility was a main lighting focus.  Jack wanted a flexible space to be able to have live events with bands and the Second Baptist choir as well as Christmas and Easter pageants, but still have the quality of light needed for the message to be recorded and displayed on the screens.   Although it was a new facility, the intention was to keep it as portable as possible since this space would become the new Youth Hall when construction on the Future Main Sanctuary would be completed in 5-7 years

CTI:  Were there specific design, budget, or physical constraints that you had to work within?

Tom:  Budget is always a factor.  To complicate things even more I accepted a position with Seachanger outside of Tampa , FL and had to relocate in the middle of construction.  There were several companies involved with the different lighting phases and it was difficult to manage the implementation of the design when not on site full time. At the beginning of the installation I received a call from the general contractor regarding wire pulls and conduit runs.  Since I was using portable dimming there was no conduit to carry control wiring to some of the DMX locations.  We decided to have the AV company pull DMX cable for the house lighting racks and to the onstage positions since audio had extra conduits.  At that point it was easier and more cost effective to use wireless DMX to get a control signal to the portable dimming.  I had used SHoW DMX in another facility that was much larger with great success. I talked it over with Jack and convinced him it was the best way to achieve his vision without compromising the equipment.

CTI:  Why did you want to use SHoW DMX in this case?

Tom: I had used WDS – City Theatrical’s earlier wireless DMX product on another facility and knew that it was a stable product.  The other facility was a church where the platform was in the center of the room and difficult to reach with cable or conduit.  When it came time for upgrades there was no cost effective way to add DMX.  That layout consisted of four trusses as far as 300 ft. from the console.  This facility was full of WiFi, wireless microphones, and wireless band gear - lots of items that could possible interfere. 

CTI:  Did you do any preliminary testing?

Tom:  Not on Second Baytown, but on the first church we did a "pilot" where we rented all the gear and set it up as if it were permanent.  From that pilot we were able to determine what, if any, problems would occur.  The wireless DMX was a non-issue the entire test weekend.  All of the equipment worked as it was supposed to, without a single glitch or hiccup.  On the final design wireless DMX was included.

CTI:  What settings did you use on the equipment?

Tom:  The “Plug and Play” mode. We plugged the Transmitter and Receivers in, they were all pre-set on the default SHoW ID 1 and they worked flawlessly right from the start.

CTI:  Did you use RDM in the project?

Tom: No

CTI:  Would you have done anything differently in hindsight?

Tom:  No, if the church had decided to add conduit and wiring to reach the portable locations, including the additional time and labor, it would have taken as much as a 1/3 if not more of the lighting budget.  Using wireless DMX still gave the security and dependability that they would have with a wired system but for much less of the cost. 


Second Baptist Church


View from front of house


Tom Stanziano's design