Symetrix SymNet 8×8 DSP, coupled with an ARC-SWK interface controller, handles the audio systems for the new 80,000 square-foot youth-centered facility at Rock Harbor Church.Costa Mesa, CA (November 2, 2007)–Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa recently purchased the 80,000 square-foot building across the street from its church to use it for high school and junior high classes, offices, youth services, and community meeting rooms. Their request to AV system designer Paul Dexter was to provide audio and video integration among the building’s seven meeting rooms (including the 200-seat and 500-seat EAW rooms) so that each could accommodate overflow for any of the other meeting rooms. Dexter used a SymNet 8×8 open-architecture DSP processor to deliver Rock Harbor’s request.
Several of the audio-oriented staff were wedded to the idea of using a DSP other than SymNet because it was what they knew other churches were using. “What changed their minds wasn’t the DSP capabilities of the SymNet 8×8. They weren’t system designers and therefore couldn’t appreciate its strengths,” he said. “What sold them on SymNet was the ARC-SWK interface controller. It has four buttons on the left and a knob on the right. It’s elegant, solid, and remarkably easy to use. They thought it was totally cool.”
The two larger rooms weave more elaborate stage inputs through Soundcraft GB2-24 mixers. The mixer outputs feed some of the twenty inputs to the SymNet system, achieved by adding a SymNet BreakIn12 to the 8×8 DSP core. The SymNet 8×8 DSP provides all of the processing for the host of EAW MK2396 mains, EAW SB180 subs, and Yamaha monitors used in these two rooms. A SymNet BreakOut12 brings the SymNet output count to twenty as well.
The smaller rooms use a similar setup, replacing the larger desks with Allen & Heath MixWizard 16:2s and the larger speakers with SoundTube RS600is and Sonance 623tsqs. QSC CX-series amplifiers provide power for all of Rock Harbor’s new speakers. An iPort in-wall iPod dock allows the receptionist to play music that any room can access with the push of a button on the SymNet ARC-SWK controller. Alternatively, two additional iPorts allow the iPod-toting kids of Rock Harbor to provide their own entertainment in the rooms where they hang out.
In a nutshell, every room has two outputs: one from its AV desk mixer and one from a “worry free” microphone. Each mixer output is maintained at unity so that any other room that listens in can get a good level. Room volume is controlled from the SymNet ARC-SWK. The “worry free” microphone bypasses the mixer and goes straight to the SymNet 8×8 DSP, which uses an autogain module to achieve a perfect output level that’s buffered against poor microphone technique.
Although he could have integrated the SymNet 8×8 DSP to handle the video switching, Rock Harbor requested that the two systems remain independent so that one room could listen to another room while focusing on their own visual information (usually PowerPoint). A camera in the back of each room feeds an RF modulator. Each room is on a different frequency and a channel-selectable DVD player in each room can tune across those frequencies to select the channel (room) they want to watch. Dexter’s design originally called for video projectors, but an $80,000 budget cut forced him to make changes in the least noticeable places. As a consequence, 60-inch Panasonic plasma displays provide video in the larger rooms while 47″-inch Vizio LCD panel displays provide video in the smaller rooms.