It was a few months back, I attended a worship experience at our Matthews location. I was enjoying being able to worship in the audience beside my wife, Sonya. We were about 3 songs into the worship set when Mack (one of our worship leaders) came on the screens, welcomed each of our Charlotte area locations and began to lead our Church in a song. Being a worship leader at Elevation, I’d experienced this many times from the stage, but it had been a while since experiencing this from the crowd. It was a powerful moment to say the least! The room dynamic shifted. Keep in mind that Mack was not at Matthews, but he was leading our whole Church in worship from our Blakeney location. You could feel the excitement as everyone began to realize that we all, our entire church was worshiping together. Singing the same song at the very same time all across our city. It was truly a unifying moment in the worship experience! This simulcast technology that we call “Point to Point”, has been a game-changer for our ministry. Being a church with multiple locations has brought unity to our House that’s exceeded all of our expectations. To make this happen, there is a lot involved. I won’t get too technical, but we wanted give you an idea of how we’ve been able to harness this technology to bring our multi-site church together.
To keep everyone in sync and playing together at all of our 6 Charlotte area locations, all of our bands play to click and loop tracks. During the worship experience, a click or loop is fired by the drummer from one of our locations, the Blakeney campus. That click is then routed to each of our locations via fiber, or internet connection. Also, the Blakeney worship leader vocals are routed separately on their own tracks, as well as video, in order to send video files to all locations. We then delay the audio to match the video feed at each of our locations and we are all synced together. For the majority of each worship experience, every location’s worship leader and band will play live to the “point to point” click (the one being sent from Blakeney), keeping us linked together for the entire worship set.
Simply put: 6 different bands at 6 different locations are playing to 1 click track that’s fired from 1 central location.
At any predetermined time, every location has the ability to receive video from Blakeney and turn up that worship leader’s mic from Blakeney, and he/she can lead our entire church while every live band across our city plays and sings along seamlessly live.
Simply put: If you’re at our Uptown campus, you’ll experience a live band and worship leader leading that morning. Then you could also experience the worship leader from Blakeney leading while the Uptown band plays along for that predetermined song.
Pretty amazing! Recently we’ve been experimenting with being able to flow with our Pastor using this technology. Since we are blessed to have a pastor who’s a gifted worship leader, he’s got the freedom to hop up on stage during the worship set to sing hymn, or go back into a tag of the previous song, or start a new song altogether. Giving him the freedom to follow the spirit and flow in the moment is extremely important to us. To accomplish this, we’ve added an MD (musical director) at our Blakeney location who’s mic is routed to the in-ear mix of each campus’ band and worship leader.
Simply put: around 45-50 musicians across our city are hearing this MD’s mic in their ears as he directs the song from Blakeney.
The MD is responsible for following where Pastor Steven is leading the worship experience to go. If Pastor goes back into a tag, the MD will call out chords and progressions to keep every location in sync with each other.
The use of “point to point” has taken our worship experience to a whole new level. Honestly we are still figuring out ways to push this technology to the limits, and believe me, we will squeeze everything out of it that we can for the glory of God and unity of His Church!
FYI: Our click and loop tracks are created using the following programs: Reason, Logic Pro & Ableton Live