Bringing A Standing Desk to Church

In the June, 2016 issue of Pro Sound News, my editorial delved into the world of standing desks and their application in the studio and live settings. While researching it, I chatted with Michael Hopkins of Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy, Texas, about his facility’s audio system and why he put a motorized standing desk beneath his congregation’s Midas Pro9 console.
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In the June, 2016 issue of Pro Sound News, my editorial delved into the world of standing desks and their application in the studio and live settings. While researching it, I chatted with Michael Hopkins of Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy, Texas, about his facility’s audio system and why he put a Jarvis motorized standing desk beneath his congregation’s Midas Pro9 console. Click here for an Instagram video of the end result, and below is our full conversation:

So to set the stage, what are some of Kingsland's audio needs and how do you handle them?
We mix a full band, choir, 4-6 person praise team every week, with horns and stings on special events. We slam out all 80 inputs pretty regularly.

We use the Pro9 for FOH and our monitor system for the musicians. We use two Klark-Teknik DN9650s to convert the AES50 to Dante. Auxes 1-16 off the Pro9 feed the 1-16 in on the first DN9650, then to a D800 to feed out A-Net for our Avoims. That leaves 16 Matrixes for lobby speakers, streaming audio, subs, etcetera.

We have two FOH engineers most of the time—me and one contract engineer. We rotate out each week from our main sanctuary to our loft service down the hall. For special events, we have brought in a dedicated monitor desk, usually a Yamaha M7CL hooked up to VIA Dante. The Tech Director, J.P. Pruett, also jumps mixing rotation on occasion.

We remix and post all our worship online, so for our broadcast recording, we run Dante into a MacPro feeding Nuendo via a Dante Accelerator Card (128in/128out). Also at FOH, we have a JoeCo 64-in Dante dedicated recorder for an recording backup and virtual soundcheck.

So what made you look into putting the Pro9 on a motorized standing desk?
I’m on the taller side of things at 6’, 1”, and our desk is low for sight-line purposes—around two and half to three feet—so I would be hunched over all morning when mixing. I saw David’s install and thought it would be perfect for us to try out. [Engineer Dave Stag blogged about putting an Avid Venue D-show on a motorized standing desk when he was working at North Point Church in Atlanta, GA.]

We installed the Jarvis Desk last summer when we purchased the Midas Pro9, so we installed them together. The weight limit of the Jarvis is about 350; the weight of the Midas Pro9 is around 280-300, I think, so we are pretty close to the limit—although the desk has no problems lifting and shows no sign of struggling.

Were there any specific features were you looking for?
We needed a desk that we could put our own desktop surface on, and one that would hold the weight of the Midas.

How did the installation go?
We had our facility’s crew cut a hole in the desktop about three inches bigger then the Midas’s feet and we screwed that into the Jarvis desk. Yeah, we were a little nervous about putting it on at first, but once we put it on, it worked perfectly. With the Jarvis, you can choose the width [between] the legs, so it worked out great—we could fit two racks for equipment in-between the legs and not be any wider then the Midas.

Do you adjust the desk’s height during a service?

We lift the desk up during worship and then during the sermon bumper video, we just lower back down to home position. Jarvis sells a four-preset position controller—we got that and have the desk set to raise 2 inches for every preset, so “1” is Home, “2” is two inches up, “3” is four inches up and “4” is six inches up. It works perfect—even just raising the desk six inches is all I need to not be hunched over all morning.

Has it affected your mix at all?

The standing desk itself hasn’t really changed the way I mix or the mix itself, but the Midas sure has—that 96 K audio is awesome, and those Midas pres!