La Junta Church updates and upgrades for growth
USA: Located about 60 miles east of Pueblo, Colorado, USA, the town of La Junta is home to about 5,000 residents. Approximately 230 are members of the La Junta Church of the Nazarene, and the congregation continues to grow. The church's contemporary-style services include a full praise band, and sound reinforcement had long been a challenge, due to a very outdated system that fell far short of their needs. ‘The previous system had old, mostly blown speakers that should have been replaced ten years ago, two mediocre outboard EQs, and a crossover that was not doing anything,’ recalls Lucas Lafferty, co-owner of systems integrator DK Audio Video of Colorado Springs.
Mr Lafferty's team specified a new system, including a 1,600 watt Mackie HD1801 subwoofer with an 18-inch speaker that delivered all of the sub-lows required. That left the question of the mixer and processing. After determining that it was time to go digital, eliminate the outboard gear, and get more mixer channels, Mr Lafferty specified a Mackie DL32R rackmount digital mixer.
According to Mr Lafferty, the DL32R delivered the sound quality and feature set the church wanted. The question was how the praise team would adjust to a digital mixer. ‘They adapted to the DL32R very quickly,’ Lafferty reports. ‘They call me up with questions once in a while but most of the time I can resolve it over the phone. Overall they have found the DL32R easy to learn and use.’
The praise team employs 28 mixer channels onstage. ‘They're growing,' Mr Lafferty explains, ‘so they needed a lot of channels, and they love the onboard processing. The old EQs and crossover are gone. The DL32R is reported to have greatly improved the monitor system, as well.
'They have five in-ear monitors onstage, as well as two floor monitor mixes,’ elaoborates Mr Lafferty. ‘With Mackie's Master Fader app, the sound guy can walk around the stage with an iPad, ask each musician what they need, and give it to them. At least two of the musicians are using Master Fader to mix their monitors on their iPhones.'
Another tool the La Junta Church of the Nazarene team is using quite extensively is the DL32R's matrix functionality. ‘We're running in mono,’ details Mr Lafferty, ‘and we matrixed everything into a single channel output. We also send a feed to the subwoofer that uses a DL32R low-pass filter to roll off the highs. With the DL32R processing and routing, we don't need a separate room DSP system.’
Switching from an aging system to state-of-the-art technology could have been difficult, Lafferty admits, but the Mackie's ease of use made the transition a smooth one. ‘Slowly but surely everything has come together really well,’ he confirms. ‘They have been very happy with the overall capabilities of the system and with the sound.’