Birmingham, AL (May 27, 2008)–Shades Mountain Baptist Church’s 3,000-seat sanctuary recently underwent an audio makeover, with the church replacing its aging analog console with a 96-input Digidesign Venue D-Show live sound console and Pro Tools|HD system, and adding a Meyer Sound PA system.
Rob Searcy, the church’s director of technical services, explains that their long-term goals for the new system include podcasting, web streaming, and full CD production. “We’ve got another Pro Tools|HD system in our post-production room downstairs with a [Digidesign] C|24 control surface,” he said. “We typically capture the entire Sunday service, running 74 inputs. We take the Glyph drives downstairs, and do post production and sweetening.”
Rick Shimer of Blackhawk Audio, the company behind the church’s system design, admires the church’s progressive direction: “These guys have really gone the extra mile to put together a system that gives them great sound, the best production tools, and the ability to create the best worship experience possible.”
And the system has greatly rewarded the church and its congregation with dramatic improvements to the sound and workflow. “Evaluating our recordings throughout the year gives us the opportunity to really refine things,” Searcy explains. “We can try out different plug-ins for different songs, and really get the best out of our recordings. That, in turn, helps us be more cognizant of our live performance, which helps us to better connect with our congregation.”
The system’s FOH Rack is loaded with additional DSP Mix Engine cards for added processing power, and an assortment of VenuePack plug-ins. “The plug-ins are just amazing,” says Searcy. “The more I play with them, the more impressed I am. Reverb One, ReVibe, and the Line 6 echo [Echo Farm] get a lot of use.” Searcy also says he’s a big fan of Digidesign’s Smack! dynamics plug-in. “I put that on a lead vocal, and it just really punches through the mix.”
“Another important advantage for me is the training perspective,” Searcy continues. “Most of our staff are volunteers, and the ability to use Venue’s Virtual Soundcheck to train them on a previously recorded session, rather than during the stress of a live service, is just priceless.”
Shades Mountain Baptist Church,