Houston, TX (February 22, 2006)–The 5,000-seat West Campus of the Second Baptist Church in Houston installed two DiGiCo D5 digital live mixing desks last year, but the highpoint of the church’s relationship with digital desks so far has been the candlelit Christmas Eve mass that brought together all five campuses of the church in one place–Toyota Center.
The two DiGiCo D5s used for Christmas Eve at Toyota Center in Houston get prepped for the big night. ‘Christmas Eve at Toyota Center’ took place in Houston’s 20,000 seat Toyota Center, where the church deployed four rented D5s–two on FOH, one on monitors and one for broadcast–as well as two DiGiCo D-TuBes and an Aviom module for personal monitoring. The system was connected via a mere four 492-foot lengths of Optocore optical loop and 14 BNC cables, with the FOH desks controlling an Electro-Voice X-Line line system provided, along with the D5s, by local hire company LD Systems.
The program included a 300 voice choir, 60 piece orchestra, 75-strong children’s worship team and 15 featured vocalists, as well as audio playback from video. A full mix was done for live broadcast, plus a 168-track recording ADR digital recording system was implemented, 128 tracks of which were used. The recording aspect was overseen by Bob Boyd, Second Baptist’s broadcast recording engineer, whilst the church’s David Hartung manned the FOH position with Andy Seale on monitors.
“The greatest challenge was the lack of rehearsal time,” said Hartung. “The Toyota Center is the home of the Houston Aeros Hockey team, who had a game the day before. As a result, our allotted time to set up, soundcheck and rehearse on-site was limited to nine hours. Considering we were using 168 inputs, that works out at less than five minutes per input!
“We rehearsed during the week before at Second Baptist’s West Campus to make use of our two installed D5s, and then we transferred the settings to the four rented D5s at the Toyota Center,” he continues. “This also allowed us to use existing settings from earlier orchestral concerts at the West Campus, to get a headstart.”
To control such a large amount of inputs, two FOH engineers were operating the two D5-surfaces in mirror mode. This gives the effect of controlling one console from two surfaces, providing each engineer to control their own area of the console but, at the same time, the ability to access all the other areas of the console.
“The whole event was a great success but the audio quality was widely considered to be the best aspect of the service,” said Hartung. “Even now, weeks later, the congregation is still talking about how good it sounded. All of the church’s audio staff and the audio vendors agreed that the sound quality was first rate.”