Ruch, OR (September 20, 2004)–When it finally became time to revamp Applegate Christian Fellowship Church’s audio system, the congregation turned to Anderson Group International of Eugene, OR, which had a number of changes in mind, among them the addition of an InnovaSon Sy40-8 digital live mixing desk.
Like many houses of worship, Applegate has had its fair share of audio problems, most of which stemmed from an aging audio system. Part of the problem, too, was that the main mixing desk was used for both indoor and outdoor services, and the bulky console was simply a pain in the neck to move back and forth all the time. After each Saturday night’s indoor service, the church stages Sunday morning services in an outdoor amphitheater. Before the Sy40-8 racks and racks of sound equipment and an analog console had to be repositioned from inside the church to the outside venue every week. Plus, setup and soundchecks took considerably longer. This was a problem given the growing need to limit early Sunday morning noise in an area increasingly populated by more single-family homes.
The Sy40-8 has greatly simplified that task. Church sound manager, Joe Fritts, noted, “One of the neat things about the InnovaSON is that we can quickly recall Saturday night’s settings for the Sunday morning service. Its recall capabilities give us a way to have a mix dialed in before we turn anything on. We can move outside, power up and do line checks before we do anything with the amps. Then when the band shows up, we power up, the monitors are mixed off the console, the front-of-house is mixed and we’re good until the 10 a.m. service.”
AGI general manager Jeff Weinkauf, added, “The amount of time and effort it took to load in and load out the system from the sanctuary to the amphitheater and back again was challenging. The Sy40-8 has proven to be a real time and space saver, replacing numerous racks of outboard gear with those functions now residing in the console itself.”
Apparently the desk has changed Fritts’ approach to his creative work: “I’ve had to learn how to mix in a different way. With the old system, I used to approach mixing by trying to separate musical instruments; now it’s a matter of the instruments automatically having their place in the mix. With the Sy40-8 everything is easy to pick out in a mix. Now, instead of separating the mud, I can focus on uniting all the instruments and blending the vocals. It’s a new way to approach it, but the quality of the sound has improved dramatically.”
Although the Sy40-8 is the backbone of the church’s improved sound system, it’s just the first step in a multi-phase upgrade that AGI is overseeing. Another part of the first phase included new Sennheiser EM 3032-U wireless receivers, SK50 UHF body pack transmitters, and SKM5000 handheld transmitters fitted with Neumann KK 105-S capsules.
“We’ve really been wanting to do a better job,” said Fritts. “The way we look at it, anything we present to our congregation represents God, so we want it to be the best.”