Nearly 230 exhibitors displayed thousands of products for church products at WFX.

Aiming to capitalize on a tremendous show in Nashville, Tenn., in 2015, WFX moved just a few hours up I-65 for it’s 2016 event to the friendly confines of the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. WFX 2016, held September 20-22, 2016, began with a day of conference events, including the Tech Directors Retreat, hosted by the Church Technical Leaders association, plus extended sessions on filmmaking, safety and security and a special session just for smaller churches. In all approximately 125 educational sessions highlighted the conference aspect of WFX 2016.

The show floor opened Wednesday morning, September 21, with the largest expo of its kind dedicated to the church market and church products. For the nearly 230 exhibiting companies, many of which are in the professional audio, video and lighting business, WFX marked a September kick off to the fall trade show season which also includes, AES (Audio Engineering Society), LDI (Live Design International) and NAB NY (National Association of Broadcasters).

With 230 exhibitors, thousands of church products were on display, several of which were introduced at WFX or were seen for the first time in the United States at the event. With so many to choose from, the choice was difficult, but the “Top Five Church Products from WFX 2016” is now decided. Winning products were decided based on price vs performance, affordability and ease of use.

Digico S31 Digital Audio Console

Publically shown for the first time in the US at WFX, the new Digico S31 digital audio console offers a larger surface area, including three touch screens and 30 channel faders when compared to the existing S21 console. The third touch screen on the new S31 allows engineers instant access to 20 channels.

Besides the larger work surface, the new S31 offers the same I/O set as the S21, with 24x mic inputs and 12x line outputs on the rear of the console. Two DMI ports come standard on the console as well as the UB MADI interface for DAW recording. The DMI ports allow you to add I/O cards for all of the major digital audio formats.

Elektralite Dazer Downlight

Designed as an LED-based replacement house light for larger venues like churches, the new Elektralite Dazer Downlight is designed to provide up to 90 percent energy savings from older incandescent house lights.

The new Dazer Downlight models, first seen at WFX, come in two models: a warm white, rated at 3,400K and a color-changing RGBA (red, green, blue and amber) version. According to a company announcement, a variety of other LED arrays options are available and the LED’s are designed to provide clean, flicker-free operation for video applications.

Lenses are available with a choice of 15-, 25-, 40, and 60-degree beams. Standard body colors are black, white and silver powder coating, but custom colors are also available.

JVC GY-HM200HW Camcorder

JVC introduced a new version of their GY HM200 4KCAM live stream video camera at WFX. The new HW version, which stands for house of worship, produces graphic overlays without the use of an external titler or other production equipment. While the overlay can be sent to both the streamed and recorded video, the operator can choose to record the video with or without the overlay.

The GY-HM200HW’s built-in HD streaming engine, with Wi-Fi and 4G LTE connectivity, can deliver content directly to Facebook Live, YouTube, and other content delivery networks (CDNs).

The new JVC camcorder offers a 12x zoom lens with optical image stabilizer and 24x dynamic zoom in HD mode. Other features include dual XLR audio inputs, an integrated handle with hot shoe and a dedicated microphone mount.

The camera includes a variety of 4K, HD, and SD recording modes to non-proprietary Class 10 SDHC/SDXC memory cards. Plus, JVC’s video-over-IP technology allows remote control and monitoring of camera and lens functions from a tablet, smartphone, or computer.

The GY-HM200HW has an MSRP of $2,795 and is available immediately.

Martin Audio BlacklineX Loudspeakers

Martin Audio released the original Blackline Series launched in 1999 as an affordable professional loudspeaker system for portable and installed applications. The new BlacklineX range, first seen at in the US at WFX, is “affordably designed for the signature sound of warmth, nuance and clarity, with no compromise between the needs of installation and portability,” according to a company announcement.

The new BlacklineX includes four two-way systems: the ultra-compact X8 with an eight-inch woofer, the X10 with a ten-inch woofer, the X12, which sports a 12-inch driver, and larger X15 with a 15-inch woofer. The X8 and X10 offer 90×50-degree coverage, while the larger X12 and X15 produce 80×50-degree coverage.

Three new subwoofers are also included in the new BlacklineX: the X115, with a single 15-inch woofer, the X188, with an 18-inch driver and the X210, a slim-line model with dual 10-inch woofers designed for low-profile applications.

Each full-range enclosure features a user-rotatable horn for horizontal or vertical orientation, and a full array of mounting options including wall-bracket, eyebolt suspension and pole-mounting.

The Martin Audio BlacklineX series of loudspeakers will begin shipping in late October 2016.

Yamaha TF-Rack Digital Mixing Console

WFX 2016 was also Yamaha’s platform for launching the new TF-Rack, a compact rack-mount version of the company’s popular TF Series of digital mixing consoles.

The company’s press release says TF-Rack offers all of the features found in TF Series desktop models released in 2015, and is intended for smaller or more portable venues, particularly when a proper mix position may not be available.

TF- Rack expands on these promises with a compact mixer that fits in a 3U rack space, providing the solution for smaller live event applications. The new rack-mount mixer will ship with firmware version 3.0 that adds full fader views on its touch screen, the ability to add an administrator password, and many other enhancements. Yamaha has also partnered with Ultimate Ears, a premier supplier of in-ear monitoring products to create presets for the TF Series to provide sonic clarity for the performer.

TF- Rack is compatible with Yamaha’s TF StageMix for wireless Wi-Fi remote mixing via iPad, and the MonitorMix app for aux send mixing via most smartphones or tablet PCs.

Also, since it is not Wi-Fi dependent, TF- Rack maintains its full functionality even if the network goes offline. Users can simply continue mixing on the touch screen or opt to use it as their primary control surface as they wish.

Other features include:

  • 16+1 stereo inputs, 16 outputs
  • 1-knob Comp and 1-knob EQ for fast, easy control over your sound
  • GainFinder input setup for optimum gain structure
  • QuickPro Presets optimized microphone, music and output presets that include popular model choices from Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, Shure and Ultimate Ears
  • Instant-loading, single-step scene recall
  • Expansion capabilities of up to two stage boxes, as needed
  • TouchFlow Operation for easy, efficient control combining Select Channel and Centralogic interfaces with the touch screen functionality
  • An optional NY64-D Dante I/O card and Tio1608-D I/O rack

While the list price has not been announced, Yamaha says the TF Series Rack-Mount Mixer begins shipping in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Brian Blackmore is editor-in-chief and publisher of Church Production Magazine and Designer Magazine . He can be reached at bblackmore@churchproduction.com.