Chief audio technician Kelly Olp (pink shirt) and volunteer Tim Kiser at Faith Chapel Foursquare Church’s new Soundcraft Vi6. Billings, MT (October 10, 2007)– Faith Chapel Foursquare Church of Billings, MT, has a sizable, 1,100-seat sanctuary, and is hard at work on a new 1,800-seat sanctuary, which is scheduled to open next summer. As it happened, the facility needed a new console, so it began looking at desks that could best accommodate not only present needs but future ones as well. In the end, the sound team chose a Soundcraft Vi digital console.
Chief audio technician Kelly Olp, remarked, “It’s an unbelievable sounding board with a great variety of routing options, onboard effects processing, and equalization. We couldn’t be happier with the purchase of this outstanding console.”
“Since the Vi6 digital console is used to mix both front-of-house sound and onstage monitoring, we needed to make sure that it would handle not only current requirements but future one as well,” says Jeff Sanderson from Onpoint Designs, the Olympia, WA-based consulting firm that served as consultant on the project. “While conventional wedge monitors are used at the moment, we have specified an Aviom in-ear monitoring system [integration card] for the new venue; the Vi6 will interface perfectly with the digital IEM system.”
“As everyone knows, there are many choices for a new front-of-house audio console,” Olp continues. “I’ve mixed audio on analog boards for over 20 years, but I was encouraged by Jeff Sanderson to consider going digital. After I got my hands on a Soundcraft Vi6 at the AES Convention in San Francisco [Fall, 2006] and compared it to other digital consoles in the same price range, I totally fell in love with it. What’s even better is that it’s tremendously easy to train volunteers how to operate the Vi6.”
The new Soundcraft Vi6 digital live sound console replaces a larger conventional analog console. “The Vi6 offers all of the advantages of digital topologies,” Sanderson considers, “including enhanced sound, total reset, and a free-form assignability. The church’s services are very music-heavy with large bands, which means that there is a lot happening on stage. The original console was located on an upper mezzanine level – not the best place to mix sound for such ‘energetic’ events. Because the Vi6 is small and compact – and connects easily via a Cat-5 digital snake to the onstage mic racks – we were able to relocate the mix position to the main floor of the auditorium, with far better sight lines.”
“We have four services every weekend and maybe two or three events during the week, plus weddings and funerals,” Olp says. “A typical service will involve up to 40 channels of onstage sources, including a choir and full band. Vistonics II simultaneously displays 32 channels, which lets the operator see all of the sources. I love the ability to save and recall templates of Vi6 system settings for each type of service, and then let our volunteers take over mixing duties. That ability makes it very easy to train our volunteer staff; they found making the transition from the original analog console to the new Vi6 was very easy. It’s been a fun experience for everyone.”