Grace Church Simplifies Wireless Communications With Pliant Technologies’ CrewCom
When Grace Church was looking to upgrade its coms, they found the ideal solution with Pliant Technologies’ CrewCom wireless intercom system. The Church, which regularly uses intercoms for weekend services, communion, prayer services, and concerts, needed a reliable system that also had a small learning curve for volunteer staff. Its wireless system also needed to provide wireless coms throughout the main sanctuary. The church often has up to four users operating in one zone in their 3200-seat auditorium, and Pliant’s CrewCom provides seamless connection for multiple users.
“I’ve been band-aiding our aging 700MHz wireless coms system for several years now, and earlier this year we finally made the decision to invest in a new, modern system,” says David Banks, lead technician, Grace Church. “Our main contact at Pliant, Art Gonzales, just happened to be in Saint Louis for a live sound event and was able to set up a demo of CrewCom so we could put the system through its paces. The demo was an amazing opportunity to try CrewCom, and we quickly saw how we would benefit from making the purchase. We examined other options, but at the end of the day, Pliant’s system just worked better, was easy to set up, and simple to use.”
The Pliant system at Grace Church includes a CCU-22 CrewCom Control Unit and four Pliant CRP-22-900 900MHz 2-Volume digital wireless beltpacks. Additionally, a CrewCom CRT-900 radio transceiver houses a radio with corresponding antennas and serves as an access point enabling RF communications with the beltpacks. “We chose the 900MHz system to avoid interference issues, and that has proven to be a sound decision, as 900MHz is away from our other frequencies that are active on-site,” adds Banks. “With CrewCom, we immediately noticed the clarity of the beltpacks. Another standout feature of CrewCom is that we can create profiles for every person on staff. When they pick up their pack, they select their own profile, which is customized as far as mic level and all-in listening level, and they’re ready to go. We really appreciate the flexibility and ease that comes with having these user presets.”
In addition to the CrewCom system, Grace Church purchased four newly enhanced Pliant SmartBoom headsets. “The lightweight headsets have great sensitivity and really reduce distortion,” adds Banks. “The headsets we previously used were much more cumbersome. With SmartBoom, we definitely got something more comfortable with increased stability. Also, the noise-canceling feature helps keep users who are often operating in a live stage setting, with live drums or other instruments, in the background.”
With volunteers being an integral part of the church’s DNA, their opinion was an important part of the decision to purchase CrewCom. The feedback from full-time staff and volunteers was quick and unanimous. “We were all excited to finally have an intercom system that’s clear, functional, and consistent in operation,” explains Banks. “During our soundcheck and in rehearsals, CrewCom provided better ambient noise rejection and the increased clarity helped with better communication between us all. Everyone felt that the CrewCom system was easy to set up and use, with clear transmission and reception. We were very impressed with CrewCom’s audio quality compared to other systems we have had experience with.”
Grace Church appreciates the expandability of Pliant’s system and has plans to increase its wireless coverage area to include a 500-seat chapel and a 300-seat Foundry venue. CrewCom has proven to be a reliable coms system for Grace Church and they are looking forward to expanding their system in the near future.