SSL keeps it simple for Northside Christian Church
USA: Having grown from a small basement in 1970 to serve over 5,000 people each weekend at its present-day location, Northside Christian Church has recently embarked on a new audio console investment. The church, which already owned a digital console but found it was being underused due to its complicated user interface, has since grown the technical aspect of its services as a result ‘of all the functionality’ the new desk provides.
Administrator at the church, Ted W Roberts, provides oversight of the technical infrastructure, drawing on his live sound and touring experience. ‘They had barely scratched the surface of the console’ he explains, of the existing audio desk. ‘There wasn't anyone who used the console effectively because it got dicey so quickly. Everybody quit touching it - only using it at the surface level. It was time for us to find the next generation.’
Hoping to avoid the pitfalls of the past, church leaders approached local vendor, Acoustical Audio Designs, to suggest consoles that were ‘reliable, modular enough to grow into the future with us and could produce the end-results we were looking for’. During the decision making progress, Mr Roberts ran a shoot-out for sound quality in the church’s auditorium. ‘It was night and day,’ he says. 'It was one of those great confirmation moments for us. The whole team was standing there and just went wow.’
A typical service at Northside features a complete live music mix plus spoken word. An SSL L300 console now takes care of both the FOH and monitor feeds to an Aviom IEM system. ‘There are 56 channels in constant use over a weekend,’ explains Mr Roberts. ‘As well as that, we have to deal with specialty, bigger production needs like the Christmas events – with large choirs and whatever else our senior pastor can dream of.
‘That's a great thing about the desk,’ Mr Roberts continues, ‘it's easy to be flexible. The volunteers have just loved it because they've found that it is intuitive. Once you understand the layout and flow it's easy to move your way through what you want. Everything is right where you would expect it to be.’
Now fully-catered for on the control side, the church is looking for a new PA to complement the L300. ‘We're growing what we can do because of all the functionality it provides us,’ concludes Mr Roberts.