Resi Blog

How Elevation Church Live Streams: Production Tour

By Joel Lombardo

For Elevation Church, excellence isn’t just an ideal to strive for; it’s a part of their culture. According to Nick Dooley, IT Director, the entire staff holds to the philosophy that “excellence honors God and inspires people.” This can mean anything “from making sure that trash is off the floor to putting the best quality experience together that we can for people.” Let’s see how Elevation streams.

With 19 sites and over 25,000 in attendance across North Carolina, Florida, and Toronto, creating an engaging and inviting experience with excellence every week isn’t always easy, but it’s integral to Elevation’s mission “so that people far from God will be raised to life with Christ.” As Zach Kimrey, Technical Director explains, it’s all in an effort to create a distraction-free worship experience where guests can connect with God. “At the end of the day, that’s what we want,” he states, “so we strive to have the gear and the people in a position to make a zero-distraction worship experience.”

Whether a guest is attending Elevation at the broadcast campus, one of the multisite locations, or online, production staff at Elevation make sure that each environment is designed to be as distraction-free and engaging as possible for them.

We toured Elevation’s broadcast site in Ballantyne, NC to see how they stream and produce consistently excellent services across their many physical locations and online.


Elevation’s worship experience begins in the Auditorium at the Ballantyne location. They utilize 7 Panasonic Varicam LT cameras throughout the room, including mounted on a jib, dolly, and a unique “towercam” angle to achieve their iconic sweeping room and stage shots.

At Front-of-House, a Digico SD10 audio console is used for the auditorium experience and to ensure necessary audio is sent to multisites and online. For multisites, offering flexibility through a customizable mix is key so that each campus can mix for their unique space. Elevation sends 8 channels of audio to these sites, including:

  • Video Left
  • Video Right
  • Sermon Keys (pad)
  • Timecode
  • Click Track
  • Musical Director
  • Pastor’s Mic
  • Worship Leader

Audio Control

The Audio Control Room at Ballantyne was recently designed so that engineers could create the best mix for Elevation’s growing online audience. The room was built to be isolated and controlled, ensuring that online viewers would have a high-quality experience, no matter where they are watching from or what device they are watching on.

A Digico SD5 is used to craft an online mix including audio from the Ballantyne auditorium as well as online-only content, such as host segments, and pre/post service elements hosted around campus.

Video Control

In Video Control, two program cuts occur simultaneously. A team is dedicated to what is happening in the room and other campuses through a Ross Acuity 3M/E switcher while another team manages the cut for online audiences. “It’s fun tension to manage,” says Dooley, “as we’re really calling different shots for online versus the room. At any moment in the worship experience, you can have what the campuses get … and then our room may have a different shot … and then online is establishing the room. So as our director is calling shots we’ve got camera ops hearing and following not just what is in the room, but also online, and really trying to make the experience tailored for the person who is on the other side of it.”

Master Control

Master Control is where Elevation keeps their finger on the pulse of what is happening in all of the campus environments. The room is set up as a monitoring station for everything going in and out of Ballantyne. Multiviewers and audio meters are set up for every video source as well as return video feeds from every campus.

Multi-Site Streaming/Distribution

The last step in Elevation’s production process is video delivery to the other multisite locations.

“The challenge that we faced,” Dooley states, “was as we began to set up in different venues and across the way, not every venue we were able to get our own connectivity in, especially our own private network connectivity. We were in a position where we had to figure out how to deliver a live signal over the public internet and have it be reliable and still create the same experience that we wanted people to have, and we weren’t always successful with that.”

After experiencing issues with other platforms, Elevation turned to Resi.

Resi’s Multisite Platform is utilized to ensure reliable video delivery and playout with 8 channels of audio to campuses over the public internet, an option that Dooley explains has opened new doors for the church. “The network doesn’t have to be the most reliable robust thing like it used to be, he explains. “In the early days, if we couldn’t get a private connection in, we were really nervous if church would be successful. And those days seem to be behind us at this point.”

Between Ballantyne and the receiving sites, Elevation utilizes the ability to set cues through the Resi platform to keep campuses in sync and provide ease of use for volunteers. Kimrey explains, “That it is essentially a DVR built in … that we can set the cue point and they can just hit play … the flexibility of the platform has been great for us.”

As Elevation continues to grow and expand to more locations and campuses, they will continue the focus of creating excellent, distraction-free worship experiences where visitors to connect with God. Key to this, Dooley explains, is learning from others, understanding what you have, and using it well. “What people see when they watch Elevation is really us standing on the shoulders of churches that came before us and helped us,” Dooley says. “We’re just a bunch of guys that love Jesus and want other people to connect with Him doing the best we can with the resources that we’ve been given. And we’re resourced well and we’re thankful for that, but it really is just about taking the idea and vision and supporting it the best you can with the resources that you have.”

Thank you to Nick Dooley and Zach Kimrey for the tour and interview!

Joel Lombardo

Joel is an Online Pastor, Web Developer, and Digital Marketer. Joel has been helping churches and organizations live stream important moments for almost 10 years.

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