The Audio Video Department
Of the many wonderful aspects to experience and enjoy at an International
Convention, the ‘Love Never Fails’ program will undoubtedly be a highlight.
The Audio Video team has the fine privilege of ensuring that this
vital spiritual food is delivered in a way that the 50,000 delegates can fully
To that end, the department has a singular focus – that ‘every
word, of every session’, from the opening welcome to the final comments, are broadcast
in an intelligible and natural way. We literally, ‘hang off every word’!
The AV department comprises an overseer, four assistant overseers,
keymen and 130 volunteers. The AV overseer works under the direction of the
program overseer and works closely with the convention chairman.
The whole AV team is committed to achieve good-quality audio and
video transmission throughout all the seating areas. This includes all language
conventions throughout the venue; English, Auslan, Chinese, Korean, Spanish,
Tagalog and Vietnamese.
In addition, arrangements are being made for volunteers in administration
and department areas to have access to sound and vision.
This task poses some significant challenges! Much of the behind the scenes activity to date
involves extensive planning and decision making to address those challenges.
Here are just a few!
The Challenges of High-Quality Sound and Vision
Unlike many performance events, our convention is ‘in the round’.
This means getting audio to every seat in the house through 360º,
and to the multiple stadium levels. The extensive use of media, a convention
feature, also requires that delegates have visibility of screens and monitors.
A sophisticated 3D sound and vision model has been used to develop
a proposed system and determine how it will perform. This takes into account a multitude of factors
that impact the quality of the sound, i.e. heat, humidity and reflection from
hard surfaces, to name a few.
The aim for the 2019 convention is to have the source of sound, as
close to the audience and as far away from the talker, as possible. This is
made simpler given there is no seating on the arena. You will notice 23 arrays
of speakers known as ‘ground stacks’ distributed around the arena as well as
speaker arrays hung from the roof to achieve this balance.
The detailed planning for this design has been underway for a
number of months and a final proposal chosen. AV along with Local Broadcasting has been
working with Norwest, one of Australia’s leading suppliers of audio for the ‘live
events industry’, to achieve this outcome.
For those technically minded…
- 172 L-Acoustics high quality speaker cabinets will be used for the ground stacks and flown arrays
- DiGiCo SD7 digital mixing console, front of house in the main arena
- Two Marvel stadium arena screens complemented by 4, 10 metre x 5metre LED screens, flown above the stage
- In addition, the program can be viewed on most of the 1300 monitors situated throughout the venue
Roads, Rigging and Turf Protection
An important AV task, is setting up for the convention, often referred
to as ‘bump in – bump out’.
Basically, ‘Bump in and Bump out’, are the set times agreed upon
with the Venue, Contractors and the Convention Committee, for the set up and
pack down of the event.
Detailed production schedules are currently being developed. The
AV team plays a pivotal role in coordinating the bump in, bump out process
given much of the setup involves AV equipment. We will be working closely with
the convention Production Liaison team and the Installation department in
finalising these schedules.
The schedules are time sensitive, particularly the rigging and the
closure of the retractable roof. Installation
of equipment requires building temporary roadways and paths and the use of a 20-tonne
boom lift. Turf protection will be placed under staging, speaker arrays and the
baptism area, all designed to minimise grass damage.
AV will work closely with a team of about 40 external contractors
during the setup. A sound engineer, communications engineer, and lighting manager
will be onsite throughout the convention.
As well as the main arena, plans for each of the language
conventions have been finalised ready to implement during convention week. This
includes room layout and seating as well as AV.
There are many and varied assignments that that are the
responsibility of AV.
- Front of house, Audio Video desk for each language convention
- Stage and Platform management
- Makeup for speakers
- Streaming to the Hobart convention
- Transmitting the programs through FM broadcast
- Technical support and communications desk for all language conventions
- Provisioning and management of radio communications for all departments
- Inventory and logistics management
- Contractor support
Much has already been accomplished and has been possible with the
extensive support from the Branch office. This includes detailed Audio Video
setup guidelines and policy documents for all the language conventions.
The AV team are delighted to have such a dignified and important
role in contributing to the 2019 Melbourne International Convention and look
forward to enjoying it with eager anticipation!