Summit Church simplifies audio system management
USA: Summit Church in Spokane, Washington has seen audiovisual technologies become a key part of its worship services, just as they have with many other HOWs around the world. The church's congregation has also grown, surpassing the 1,000 mark and therefore its sanctuary also needed to grow. With a larger building and an ever-expanding flock, Summit Church looked into how it could improve and simplify its A/V solutions.
‘We view technology as a set of different tools,’ says Eric Larson, technical director at Summit Church. ‘We look at what we hope to accomplish and then identify the best tools to achieve our goals. When we embarked on the building expansion, we wanted to simplify the church’s audio system so our volunteers could interact more with each other and congregants, rather than navigating the intricacies of a complex audio system.’ With those criteria in mind, Summit Church’s recently upgraded A/V system was conceived in part to provide church leaders and volunteers a way to easily manage events.
The church’s audio system previously consisted of non-powered speakers connected to amps in a separate room, which often required untrained volunteers to interact with complex and expensive hardware. As part of the expansion, Mr Larson replaced the old speakers with powered models, most of which hang from the ceiling above the seating and pulpit areas. Since those speakers are out of reach, he powered them through Furman CN-15MP units and a Furman CN-1800S Advanced SmartSequencer. ‘Our ultimate goal is to set up our team to serve others well,’ shares Mr Larson. ‘Making our audio system launch with a single button has given volunteers more interaction time and simplified the process for people running events.’ In addition to improved control, the Furman gear at Summit Church provides power conditioning for the audio system.
'The truth is we couldn’t serve as many people as we do without a robust, reliable audio system,' Mr Larson adds. ‘With regular attendance of 1,800 to 2,000, it’s crucial that we are able to ensure that every person can hear clearly to get the most out of each service or event. In the same way, we couldn’t serve smaller groups without making the system easy to use. Right now, we have a midweek women’s bible study group where one of the leaders controls the system, with no training or technical skills required.'
The audio system includes a Midas Pro2 mixing board, powered QSC speakers, six wireless microphones and four wireless personal monitors. Six subwoofers are installed underneath the pulpit, out of reach, requiring additional Furman CN-15MPs so they can easily be powered on and off.
‘It’s a wonderful feeling to know that the system will work every time, for every user, at every event,’ Mr Larson concludes. ‘Volunteers are very happy with the new, simplified system and we’re thankful it’s helping us engage in community without worrying about the details of technology. It may seem like a small change, but it makes a big difference.’