Sojourn Church embraces Dante
USA: Portland, Oregon-based Schoolhouse Audio-Visual has implemented a Dante network at the nearby Sojourn Church in Hillsboro. The company was first enlisted to repair the existing loudspeakers at the 950-seat church, but as the management wanted to bring a number of disparate audio elements together into a single system, the installers looked to Dante. The network has reportedly given church engineers increased routing flexibility and better audio quality.
For Blair McNair, systems project manager at Schoolhouse Audio-Visual, the choice to install a Dante network was simple. ‘Dante is the first and only networking system I have looked at to date that really makes sense out of the box,’ he explained. ‘When looking at this project, it immediately dawned on me that I can incorporate wireless microphones, in-ear monitors, consoles and front of house signal processing all on one network. With somewhere over 210 major manufacturers across a diverse set of markets already jumping on board, it makes me confident that Dante will be around for a long time. I am really excited about how it simplifies our world and unified the ability to transport audio to anywhere you need it to go.’
Mr McMair recommended the church retain its existing DiGiCo console and specified a Focusrite RedNet6 interface to bring Madi channels into the Dante network, and vice versa. The signals are then fed into an Aviom D-800 Dante system for signal distribution, which can deliver up to 62 audio channels to the in-ear monitors used by the church band, in addition to feeds into a BSS Audio Soundweb processor for delivery to the loudspeakers and a Dante Virtual Soundcard for multitrack recording.
‘My choice has always been to stay in the digital domain as much as possible,’ said Mr McNair. ‘We keep the full bitrate count by staying digital, which lowers system noise, increases headroom, and keeps the latency very low – as compared to transitioning back and forth from digital to analogue and vice versa several times. For live sound, if the audio is 3- or 4ms delayed, the musicians feel that – especially the drummers. Dante reduced the latency down to 1ms at the most, in this application, and that’s over the entire network. Latency has always been an especially difficult challenge with in-ear monitors. Dante solves all of these problems, and is the first system to truly deliver a digital transport system with a wide channel count and without the latency penalty usually encountered in these systems. The band was absolutely thrilled when we launched this system.’
The use of Dante also simplified the project for the installers and offers the church the ability to ‘easily’ expand the network as it upgrades other rooms.
‘What I appreciate about Dante is that it gives you more time to think through how to best handle the network, instead of messing with a soldering iron and a crimper,’ furthered Mr McNair. ‘The terminations are easy, and with just two off-the-shelf switches to add, the wiring portion of the project was completed very quickly. Once I got the network cable connected to the various devices, it was just a matter of mapping them out in the Dante Controller software. Everything goes where you want it to go, and it’s a huge operational benefit to shift everything to one network.
‘The ability to pick up audio with Via from an off-the-shelf workstation and network that with other workstations throughout the building is an amazing proposition for shipping audio around to end users,’ Mr McNair concluded. ‘Now, with Dante Via, Dante becomes this post-production backbone as well. Once you are finished with the worship service, you can share audio with the video production team, the youth centre, and so on. The possibilities are endless, and it almost seems too easy.’