At CityHope Church in Alabama, DiGiCo’s Quantum338 does the job of three consoles
CityHope Church in Mobile, Metro Alabama just took another leap forward with the summer installation of a new DiGiCo Quantum338 consoles at its flagship Malbis campus, just north of Daphne.
It is the centerpiece of a larger audio upgrade which also includes two integrated DMI-Dante cards, an Orange Box interface for MADI, an integrated DMI-KLANG card for mixing in-ear monitors, an SD- Rack equipped with a 32-bit “Ultimate Stadius” microphone preamps, SD-MiNi Rack used for broadcast audio-to-video I / O (including video mixer, computers and hall audio processor power supplies) and Rack-mountable Quad MADI DiGiGrid interface that allows recording up to 128 channels at 96 kHz. The T338 console, SD-Racks and KLANG audio are all on a newly installed Optocore loop network.
The set was specified, designed and installed by Springville, Ala.-Based AVL ESB Group, the same trusted integrator that installed CityHope six’s L-Acoustics Kara (i) and ARCS WiFo speaker systems. years earlier when the rapidly growing church first moved. in its new 1,400-seat worship center, which at the time more than doubled CityHope’s worship space.
Installation of the new DiGiCo T338 console represents an inflection point for the church’s audio infrastructure, literally replacing three existing consoles with one T338 office. “The consoles they had in the front of the house, monitor world and broadcast were showing their age and lack of support, but installing the DiGiCo Quantum console was more than just an upgrade. – it was an order of magnitude improvement, ”says Drew Breland, ESB Group Solutions Architect / Design Engineer. “For starters, he completely eliminated two entire consoles, in terms of monitors and broadcasting. The Quantum console at FOH and the KLANG card take care of all the sound in the house, from the PA to in-ear monitors on stage, ”where, he adds, the regular church staff is five singers, two electric guitarists, Acoustic guitarist, electric bassist, keyboardist and drummer quickly and completely embraced KLANG’s immersive mixing.
And the same can be said for the church’s live sound engineers, who embraced Quantum’s powerful Mustard and Spice Rack processing. “CityHope Production Manager Adam White comes from the recording studio world he previously worked in and planned to run external plug-ins on the console,” Breland explains. “But once he started hearing what he could accomplish with Quantum processing, he knew he had found his console.”
White confirmed this scenario. “Coming from a studio background, for me mixing is always first and foremost about creativity, and I was amazed at what I could find once we got into Mustard and the Spice Rack. He said. “The treatment immediately struck me as familiar. I was able to achieve the same results that I was used to working on ProTools and a DAW, without having to use third-party plugins.
He says he appreciated the fact that he was able to train his associate FOH engineer on the T338 quickly and efficiently, allowing her to keep abreast of her other responsibilities in church. “He was able to jump on the console from day one,” he recalls.
White also discussed the economics of moving to the Quantum console, noting how now being able to manage FOH, monitors, and streaming from a single worksurface has saved money. and time while improving workflow. “The flexibility of Quantum routing and assignment is pretty amazing,” he says. “I can create a mix for the home, then use the bus structure to create completely separate mixes for streaming and for areas like the crying rooms and the overflow space in the lobby so that each use is perfect.” tailored to its needs – and for a fraction of what it would have cost to buy three consoles to cover it all.
The switch to the KLANG system for scene monitoring was also its own turning point. “KLANG was a game changer,” he says. “Before, we had a control console, but no dedicated control mixer, so musicians had to go to the control console to adjust the volumes, and that was all they could really adjust. Now, with the DMI-KLANG card, I can send the band a fully processed mix that they can individually control on stage. “
Just as the mixing team was able to dive right into the Quantum console, White says the musicians immediately became familiar with KLANG’s immersive abilities. “They were blown away on the first soundcheck with KLANG,” he says. “They said it was like hearing music for the first time.”
The addition of the SD-Rack’s 32-bit “Ultimate Stadius” mic preamps made a noticeable difference in the sound quality of the Cult Center. “We haven’t touched the sound system at all; the transparency of the 32-bit mic preamps really made it even more alive, ”says Breland. “They played recorded songs in the worship center and they literally hear the sound system in a different way. And the SD-Rack’s AES cards allow us to stay digital directly to the amplifiers in the sound system, so the signal path is cleaner and more direct. All of this helps to improve the overall sound of the room.
At the same time, two 64-input DMI-Dante cards feed 128 channels to the ProTools system in the church recording studio, while a DiGiGrid Rackmount Quad MADI interface provides 128 channels at 96 kHz for recording. redundant and virtual soundchecks, further streamlining musical performance. “In fact, the virtual soundcheck capability turned out to be even more important than we expected,” he says. “They were able to take previously recorded tracks and use them to set up the routing and preliminary EQ for the new console in the one rehearsal they had before the first Sunday church service.”
At CityHope Church, the new audio upgrade paid off from day one. “And that would be a victory for any church,” adds Breland.