Service Inc. (UTS, www.utechserve.com) to design and install an audio and infrastructure system that would require minimal upkeep and that anyone in the church can operate. Centering its audio processing requirements on a trio of SymNet 8x8 DSP units, the designers at UTS maximized the system's automation and intelligence by programming appropriate routings and signal processing for all of the church's common uses. With every element in the system connected to a local network that's password-accessible from the Internet, UTS engineers can monitor signal flow, alter system parameters and troubleshoot from anywhere in the world.
The sanctuary is octagon-shaped with soaring ceilings and a 65-foot stage that sprawls across one-third of the floor space. New Macedonia's grand plan is to build an even larger 3,500-seat sanctuary, at which point the current sanctuary will become a chapel.
With more than 20 years' experience in live sound and degrees in Electronics Engineering Technology and Architectural Acoustics and Sound System Design, UTS systems design engineer Tony Crabtree led the project. He had considerable input and support from UTS president Carlos Rivera.
The SymNet 8x8 DSP was also CobraNet-compatible via the SymNet CobraLink, allowing it to be connected to a local VLAN network and accessed remotely for servicing. Crabtree explains, "If a New Macedonia staff member calls me on Sunday morning because they're not getting any sound out of their main speakers, I can hop on my computer from the office or home and get access to everything in the system. I can see signal flow, trace the good signal to where it's broken and fix the problem, as long as it's not something physical."
The three SymNet 8x8 DSP units are augmented by a SymNet BreakIn12 and BreakOut12, which provide 12 A/D inputs and 12 D/A outputs, respectively, in addition to the 24 that come with the three 8x8 DSPs. Crabtree's turnkey design necessitated the large number of inputs and outputs. The system combines live audio with the church's A/V system via a Crestron touch-panel controller. Via the controller, users can select between a Sunday service setup and meeting setup. Selecting meeting setup causes the system to bypasses the 40-channel Soundcraft MH4 console so that no sound engineer is needed. The SymNet 8x8 DSPs take over with automatic mixing of five Shure wireless mics, as well as CD player, cassette player and video system inputs.
Crabtree chose to amplify the EAW left and right line arrays, the EAW center horizontal cluster and the massive block of EAW subwoofers below the stage with QSC CX and PL Series amplifiers because they are CobraNet-linkable. "We tried to keep the system as small as possible without sacrificing fidelity or usability," Crabtree says. "The trick was in picking the right equipment and positioning the speakers. I modeled the room in EASE and discovered that while the left and right line arrays would work nicely, a center cluster using asymmetrical horns was needed in place of the center line array that was initially called for."
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