Calvary Church (Santa Ana, Calif.) opted for a digital audio processing and control system in the form of SymNet Audio Matrix. The church shed racks full of old analog equipment, replacing them with a system easily configured and controlled via computer. Doug Gates, owner of Gates Sound (Buena Park, Calif.), installed SymNet for the church.
"This was the first major upgrade to the church's sound system since it moved into the building it's in since the early 1990s," Gates says. "In the process of putting this system in, we took out about 15 audio hardware units, like mixers, limiters and compressors. Now, all of those functions are handled by SymNet."
To gain digital control over all of the required inputs and outputs for a system that must cover a large 2,800-seat auditorium and adjacent areas, Gates utilized two SymNet 8x8 units and one Breakout12, configured in a network using SymLink, a digital audio and control data bus that runs over Cat-5 cable. Using a left/center/right loudspeaker cluster and a host of delay speakers, SymNet solution’s ability to handle a significant number of outputs was critical.
"The Breakout12 has no digital signal processing capabilities, but it's a way to get more analog outputs to the amplifier," he says. "SymNet also gives the church the ability to send audio to areas in different combinations. For example, the lobby area, which is often used for meetings, can be set up as its own area, with audio directed just to lobby speakers. There are several combinations we can fashion like this."
The SymNet solution also incorporates two adaptive remote-control (ARC) devices. Comprising a small button-controlled LCD panel, the units give church technical staff ready access to system controls and presets. One is located at the soundboard and the other is in an usher's closet.
"The ARCs are handy for making changes, such as turning off the delay speakers if there's not a big crowd in the auditorium, turning off lobby speakers when not needed, or simply adjusting the system volume. There are a host of options available using the ARC units."