Christian House of Prayer transitions to digital with Rednet
USA: Located in Killeen, Texas, just outside the Fort Hood United States Army base – cited as the largest military installation in the free world – the Christian House of Prayer (CHOP) was founded in 1980. From both its main location in Killeen and a satellite location in Copperas Cove, CHOP provides a ministry that reaches across the country and into Europe. As the need to improve the sound at the main sanctuary became increasingly apparent, Chris McKinney, the church’s head audio engineer and production manager, began researching the best way to go about modernising the system. His inquiries led him to the Focusrite Rednet suite of Dante-networked audio converters and interfaces, which he determined would serve to bridge the church’s existing analogue sound system to the Danley PA system they intend to install later in 2017.
Supplied by Sound Productions of Irving, Texas, a system of numerous Rednet components was installed as the foundation for the larger transition to a more advanced sound system. Eleven Rednet MP8R 8-channel remote-controlled microphone preamplifiers and A/D link directly to CHOP’s digital consoles and, via a pair of Rednet HD32R 32-channel Pro Tools Bridges, link with the Pro Tools HD recording system located in the church’s broadcast control room.
‘We knew we needed to transition to a more contemporary and more digital sound system in the future, so I looked into the available technologies and products,’ Mr McKinney recalls. ‘Looking at the features that Rednet offered, including the Dante connectivity and the amazing mic preamps, it was clear pretty quickly that Rednet was the key to our sound system’s future.’
The 11 Rednet MP8R’s are housed in a rack in the Killeen location’s choir area and are connected to the Soundcraft Vi Series consoles used at the FOH, monitor and broadcast positions by two strands of Cat-6 cabling. Mr McKinney points out that only a single run of Cat-6 is necessary, with the second run used solely as a back-up. Testing confirmed that if the network cable failed, the back-up took over the signal transport seamlessly, without dropping a note or a word, he notes, adding that, ‘We had 128 analogue copper cables before Rednet; now, we have two Cat-6 cables, and we only really need one of them. That really shows you the scale of the transformation that we’ve been able to accomplish just with Rednet.’ The two Rednet HD32R interfaces enable CHOP to connect the stage outputs directly to the multitrack recording system, bypassing the consoles and directly feeding Pro Tools, which Mr McKinney says makes recordings clearer and editing easier. ‘Once the new sound system is installed next year, Rednet will have already provided us with the foundation for a digital signal transport that will make the new sound system perform even better,’ he says. ‘Rednet makes a big difference.’