Hillsong Church tunes up with Shure

Hillsong Church tunes up with Shure
The TV frequency re-stack and associated sell-off of bandwidth has resulted in a number of end-users having to change their wireless systems. In order to ensure compliance under the new regulations, the Hillsong Church deployed a Shure wireless microphone system.

Hillsong Church decided to view the spectrum change and transition from the previously used 520-820MHz to the remaining, much narrower 520-694MHz spectrum, as an opportunity to upgrade. Hillsong services are verbally and musically dynamic, with worship leaders, singers and musicians all relying on wireless systems to get their message heard. Clarity of sound was the number one requirement for the selection of any possible solution.

Steve Le Roux, facilities project manager at Hillsong, oversaw the process of evaluating the equipment throughout the organization and preparing for the looming frequency changeover. He said: “The project scope was to replace what they had if it wasn’t compliant; they give me an old unit, and I give them a new unit. From the list that we created, we determined that we had to replace the main Baulkham Hills radio devices and all the campuses. Equipment that was still compliant in the 600MHz range was redeployed into our extension services. As a whole, the process took five months.”

Across all of Hillsong’s locations, the technical team decided on a combination of Shure UHF-R, ULX-D, and QLX-D wireless microphones, along with PSM300, PSM900, and PSM1000 in-ear monitors. Le Roux said: “We switched to ULX-D at all campuses except Baulkham Hills, where we stayed with UHF-R. Most main campuses run a total of around 26 channels, including 14 channels of IEM, six presenter mics, and six vocal mics. Our 12 satellites usually use about six channels total.”

Jands, distributor for Shure, provided extensive support to Hillsong during the rollout, including RF engineering to ensure correct frequency allocation per site and region. Le Roux said: “Using the Shure Wireless Workbench software, we did scans in each campus. The scans were sent to Jands’ Technical Managers Jeff MacKenzie, and Peter Twartz, who coordinated each campus’ frequency allocation. We had no issues during the rollout, frequency-wise, even in an RF-heavy environment like Baulkham Hills, where we split into two bands to allow us the flexibility to bring in external hire equipment.”