Emmanuel Presbyterian Church’s new facility uses Symetrix SymNet to handle all the processing for its massive EAW loudspeaker system.New York (February 4, 2008)–Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in San Jose, CA recently moved to a new facility–a building that formerly housed a tech company. Wanting to update its audio beyond the meager system in its old facility, church staffers contacted Mike Sokol of Fits and Starts Productions to design a new system. Although Sokol agreed to consult, he recommended Rodney Wright, a systems designer for Southern California’s JD Audio Visual, to handle most of the project locally.
With the team in place, Sokol flew out so that he and Wright could spend some time with Pastor David Parks, staff members, and the congregation. As is t he case with many HOW projects, budgeting was a concern. Sokol noted, “We were especially careful to use products with unusually good value for the money to keep the budget from ballooning without compromising the system.”
Emmanuel Presbyterian wanted to use many of its existing microphones and stage equipment in the new building. Wright only augmented them with a small number of Shure ULX-series wireless and KSM-137 series wired microphones. He connected all microphones and line level sources on stage to Aviom AN-16 series mic/line inputs with integrated AD converters, which interface with a 48-channel Yamaha M7CL digital console. “Since they were moving from an analog console, the technical staff approached the M7CL with some trepidation,” recalled Wright. “But once they got it, they loved it!”
From the console, signal travels to a pair of SymNet 8×8 DSPs, which supply all of the speaker processing for the LCR and distributed systems. “Symetrix’s SymNet DSP became the heart and soul of the whole system,” said Wright. “I had never installed SymNet before, but when I researched our options, I found that SymNet was remarkably affordable given all that it could do. It was the good fit.”
They went with an LCR system for two reasons. First, the sanctuary is decidedly fan-shaped, making a three-way distributed system more sensible than a single huge cluster. Second, and perhaps more interesting, the church’s active youth department wanted the ability to put on contemporary music events, with a high caliber of sound. Of course, the capabilities of such a system would make their regular services, which mix traditional and contemporary elements, that much more engaging. Also included was a delay ring to ensure that SPLs would be consistent from the front seats to the back seats.
A combination of four EAW KF730P bi-amp three-way line array cabinets and two EAW SB625 subwoofers per side, along with three EAW AX366 bi-amp three-way center fill cabinets, and two EAW JF60s comprise the center cluster. A delay ring of seven EAW MK2396 full-range speakers balances out the coverage, and EAW SM20iH wedges combined with Aviom A-16II monitor mixers handle the stage. In addition, a distributed system of Tannoy 70-volt CMS501DC ceiling-mounted speakers deliver sound to the main lobby and two cry rooms in the back of the sanctuary.
To allow the SymNet system to address all of those speakers, a SymNet BreakOut12 adds a dozen outputs to the 16 that come with the two 8x8s. “The SymNet 8×8 DSPs are incredibly powerful,” said Wright. “You can do anything with these boxes. I admit that when I first saw the SymNet Designer software, it was a little overwhelming, but as soon as I started working with it, I understood its simplicity. I had a few questions along the way and Symetrix was right there to help me out.” SymNet also offered elegant ARC-K1 volume controllers for the lobby and cry rooms. Apart from those controllers, the rest of the DSP is locked down.