In a church environment the power of what is possible with a media server can elevate the production value of your services to new heights.
Jim Kumorek · March 2, 2018
In my last article I explained what a media server can do. Here, I’d like to give more detail is to how and why they are so useful.
When putting together a video segment that is composited from several clips, or a sound effect that would be created from several separate audio files, you would normally have to prep these pieces in advance and create a media file that can be played back via your presentation software, a CD, an iPod, or some other device.
If the person in charge of your event decides that some aspect of this composited media needs to change, you need to go back to your editing system and make the changes and generate new media. This can be a time-consuming prospect, especially if the systems used to create the media are at another location.
With a media server, the compositing happens in real time when you need it—not in advance.
Your lighting cues control the volume and pan of each audio clip, and how the individual video clips are composited together to make the complete image. If your director wants a change, such as moving one part of a composted image to one side, or changing the volume of one aspect of the sound effect sequence, you just change your lighting cue to accommodate it. So, you can respond almost instantly to a change request from the director. In a church environment where there’s almost never enough prep time, this can be a huge help for things like your Christmas production.
It’s also not uncommon to need to trigger a change in a sound effect or in a visual in time with what’s happening on stage. If you edit components into one sound effect or visual, then the actors need to keep pace perfectly with the media. If they stumble over lines or are merely off a bit, things will go sideways pretty quickly.
However, if it’s all composited together on the fly via the media server, you can trigger the change via a lighting cue as the action unfolds on stage.
An example is worth a thousand explanations, so let’s take a look at one.
A few years ago I did a review of the Arkaos media server, and used it extensively as part of a Christian youth theatre play.