Chicago, IL (November 18, 2015)—Willow Creek Community Church serves more than 20,000 people every weekend through its six campuses, so when it came time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the congregation on October 18, the only place big enough to hold the event indoors was the 20,500-seat United Center in Chicago on October 18.
Audio production was handled by Morris Light & Sound (Nashville, TN) for design and deployment, with the assistance of TC Furlong (Lake Forest, IL), Yamaha Professional Audio (Buena Park, CA) and Reach Communications (Champlin, MN). Fusion Productions (Algonquin, IL) handled the production under the direction of company owner Todd Elliott, who acted as production manager for the celebration.
The event was held in the round, and between the three sound companies involved, a total of 344 Nexo STM boxes were deployed, the largest single use of STM in the world to date, with Morris supplying the vast majority of boxes. A total of eight main clusters and four subwoofer clusters were required to reach an audience of over 20,000 worshippers.
Also on-hand was Yamaha’s new Rivage PM10 on its first official outing. “I think the PM10 is great,” said Ron Cook, FOH engineer for the anniversary. “I really like Silk, just the smoothness it provides. You turn it on and tweak it a little bit and you feel like you’re 40 percent there with the source, whatever it is, before you do anything else. I love the faders; they feel so good, so smooth. You can make very subtle adjustments and the reaction of the console is so great. Very intuitive.”
Willow Creek has been a long-time supporter and user of Yamaha mixers, having purchased the first dual-PM1D system in the U.S. “Above all else, the Rivage PM10 sounds great,” said monitor engineer Matt “Sators” Satorius, who used 120-plus channels and 25 in-ear mixes. “With all that, it’s hard to sit back and listen to audio quality, but when you do, you can truly sense that this is a great-sounding desk. With the Selected Channel feature, you’ve pretty much got a knob for any parameter you’d want to adjust. Very comprehensive and great to work with.”
The Nexo system configuration consisted of 120 STM B112 cabinets, 120 STM M46s, 32 STM M28s, 72 STM S118 cabinets and 12 RS18 Ray Subs. Additionally, 15 M46/B112s with three M28s were used as down fills for the eight hangs, per hang, while 18 S118 subs in cardioid mode were used for four hangs, per hang and eight M28s were used as front fills at stage level in four groups of two. Finally, 12 RS18 Ray Subs were used as under stage extensions in an end fire array in four groups of three.