Pearl Technology Deploys Award-Winning First United Methodist Church AV Upgrade

A 2021 SCN Install of the Year honoree, diverse video and audio requirements are covered with a range of Allen & Heath audio equipment.

Peoria, Illinois is home to the fast-growing First United Methodist Church (FUMC). The vibrant and forward-looking congregation turned to veteran technology and IT services company Pearl Technology in a recent system upgrade which spanned their video production studio, recording studio, podcast studio, and sanctuaries — centered around the Allen & Heath dLive Digital Mixing System and ME Personal Mixing System.

Honored as a 2021 SCN (Systems Contractor News) Install of the Year, the project kicked off as FUMC reached out to Pearl Technology to discuss updating their ability to record and live stream their services, enabling new ways to create online content to spread the message of the church via podcasts and other engaging media. FUMC’s two main worship spaces include a traditional worship space with a full audio system, cameras, streaming, and simple video presentation. A second worship center is a more contemporary space with all the same features and an increased emphasis on the praise band and video. The upgrade process spawned the idea of bringing the separate production and streaming systems into one shared space for a more advanced audio and video capability.

Jeremy Caldera, CTS-D, CTS-I, Pearl Technology’s Senior Vice President, Audiovisual Technology, notes, “The camera and presentations systems from both spaces were routed down to the newly constructed production and broadcast room. This was done via HD-SDI over fiber and video IP transport. The audio utilized an upgrade to both sanctuary mixers and one larger console in the production and broadcast space. For this element we conducted a demonstration with the technical team at the church and ultimately selected dLive Allen & Heath mixing systems.”

The two main sanctuary spaces utilize the dLive C3500 and feed signals via Dante to the production and broadcast room housing a dLive S7000. dLive is Allen & Heath’s flagship mixing system, powered by a 96kHz XCVI 160×64 FPGA core which provides 128 input channels with full processing and 64 mix outputs with full processing per system. The worship center and praise band, in conjunction with the C3500, tap into the Allen & Heath ME Personal Mixing System.

Caldera continues, “The new system design is so flexible. The adjacent recording and podcast studio also routes all video and audio into the production room and allows for real-time transport around the building with a live mix engineer for both video and audio. All of these systems create a worship experience for tens of thousands of people each week that are unable to attend services in person.”

Jeff Hawley, Allen & Heath USA Director of Marketing, adds, “Jeremy and the Pearl Technology team has put together an amazing system design which demonstrates the malleability of the dLive range and our personal monitoring solutions. As FUMC continues to grow and push the tech boundaries, it’ll be fun to see how they put the dLive and ME systems to great use. Thanks for choosing Allen & Heath and congrats on the win. Well-deserved!”