Hello, my name is Louis-Caleb Remanda and I am the Tech and Communications Director at C.I.E.L (Centre International pour l’Evangile & la Louange) Ministries.
C.I.E.L. Ministries are a French-speaking community of hundred people spread all over the central region of France (Paris) but we gather at Antony, a south suburb of Paris, for our services. We are 10 volunteers (average age of 25) in the Tech Team, handling Audio (one volunteer), Video & Streaming (2 volunteers), and Image/Projection.
We have been live streaming our services for about 3.5 years now, so we have a little bit of experience and I want to share our live streaming setup with you. We are quite familiar with EasyWorship since we have been using this software for 8 years (the monthly plan). In our Tech team, one member oversees the worship presentation on-screen. All the features allow us to diffuse content in the house of worship, other rooms (Output), and on stage (Foldback). One computer oversees handling all that.
Since quarantine has been announced by the government, restrictions have been put in order to avoid the COVID-19 to spread in the country. Another issue with this restriction is the impossibility for Worship, Tech, and Announcement teams to gather every weekend in the close committee to prepare Sunday services. In order to mix with all those issues, our Tech strategy has adapted the following set-up:
1. Prepare all-month worship, praise & announcement services in one or two pre-recorded sessions
Since quarantine, we reduced of volunteers’ team to 2 people in Tech, 3-5 in Worship, and 2 in Sermon and Announcements.
In our church, we have enough cameras to shoot an entire service and most of our gear is located there (digital console, microphones, music instruments, etc.). So, we usually record during the entire day all our worship services for the month. We strongly believe that God can give us a direction of worship whether for a week or a month.
For Audio, we use a Behringer X32 Compact connected to a local network for personal monitoring on stage.
To record our video, we use our streaming gear, which is a Personal Computer with recommended requirements to use vMix, a software streaming production.
In this production, we integrate video, audio, presentation, and other contents. As for EasyWorship, we use the software as a lower third content (song lyrics, scriptures, presentations) to integrate into our pre-recording. For that, we switch the Output from a physical screen to NDI. That NDI feed is visible on the vMix software, and then everything is recorded on 720p to 1080p with 60 frames per second (fps).
You can learn how to use EasyWorship as a lower-third in vMix on their blog HERE.
The worship team and communication team can then control the feed of EasyWorship content through their confidence monitors, thanks to the EasyWorship Remote App, during the recording.
2. A small set-up for Sermon Service
Our leading pastors also participate in the pre-recording session, which allows us to also record announcements and sermons.
But since we are not gathering every weekend, we have prepared an easy plug-and-play setup for them to record sermon and announcements at their home. It is a JVC GC-PX100 on a tripod, with a 7” FEELWORLD Monitor and BOYA Lavalier Microphone. Everything is recorded on a 720p to 1080p with 60fps.
Once they recorded their sermon, they send it up via WeTransfer or Google Drive. Then we either pre-work the video by integrating the scriptures with EasyWorship via NDI, or we integrate directly during the Sunday stream.
3. Gathering all the content to a “Simulated Livestream”
After acquiring all the content, (most of them are prepared during the weekend), they will be streamed simultaneously on Sunday directly from my home to our Facebook LIVE, YouTube LIVE, and in our Church app.
I also use vMix from my place in one PC and EasyWorship in the second one if more content needs to be integrated during the service. I can thank God for having a stable Internet fiber-wired connection that allows me to stream in all these platforms.
 I use a Behringer X-Touch as a MIDI controller to switch between my inputs.
This technique is called “Simulated Livestream” and allows us to “keep serving while we are at home”. The end results look particularly good. We manage to reduce our on-site service online by two, which allow creating “after-service” on VOIP software (Zoom, WhatsApp) to go further with the sermon of the week.
On a side note, other Sound & Tech directors from other churches in France and I created an organization called Tresorstech that helps and advises other churches in need of Sound and Tech support (in Audio, Video Production, Lightning, Live Production). We have a website, Facebook, Instagram page, and a forum to respond to different comments or questions.
Feel free to share about our setup to firstname.lastname@example.org
Louis-Caleb is an Academic Researcher at the Business School of the University of Versailles, where he teaches Management Sciences. He also works as Digital and Tech Advisor for educational associations. He is a member of Tresorstech and the Tech Director at C.I.E.L (Centre International pour l’Evangile et la Louange) Ministries in Antony, France. You can watch their services on Facebook and YouTube.