Mixing in the Worship Center
USA: Located in the Pennsylvania city of Lancaster, Worship Center recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. What began in 1977 as a gathering of 30 worshipers at the Sheraton Conestoga Hotel has grown to become a non-denominational church with more than 4,000 congregants who attend services inside its 9,848 sq-m sanctuary.
With services of such vast size, audio reinforcement is a must. However, with a technical crew made up of mainly volunteers, systems need to be as easy to operate as possible. To this end, Worship Center recently purchased a DiGiCo SD10 console for use at FOH. The digital mixer was installed by A/V systems integration company Clair Solutions.
‘We had budget approval for a flagship level console and essentially could have picked anything we wanted,’ recalls Anthony Stephens, audio director at Worship Center. ‘But the DiGiCo SD10 gave us the quality we were looking for and met our needs without having to go to the extreme price-wise. It gave us everything we needed in an affordable package that was easy to learn and use.’
Mr Stephens reports that he has been able to use the SD10’s fader-configuration functionality to create templates that provide a starting point for every type of service. He also noted that the majority of the church’s processing can be handled by the mixer’s onboard effects processors. The large matrix offered by the console has reportedly proven a good fit with Worship Center’s main PA of d&b audiotechnik Q-Series speakers, while its scalable resolution has meant that it can operate at 24-bit/48kHz and provide a compatible feed for the Aviom personal monitor mixing system.
‘We talk a lot about our quality control meeting the needs of the 10-percenters – the techies and audiophiles – versus the 90-percenters who never notice any sound issues,’ says Mr Stephens. ‘But we've still had some 90-percenters come and compliment us on how much better things sound, without even realising that we’ve installed a new console.’
And it’s not just members of Worship Center’s congregation who have taken notice. ‘We’ve become a resource for other churches to see what our experiences have been, including how we came to choose the SD10 and how we’ve been integrating it into our workflow,’ explains the audio director. ‘We've quickly landed on a workflow that is getting consistent results with volunteers running the board, which is exciting. My passion is to help people get the best results, so I choose products based on their ability to achieve those results.’