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COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, MARCH 7, 2011—As First Nazareth Baptist Church in Columbia, SC placed the final building blocks on an addition to its sanctuary, it readily became apparent the structure would present several complex audio challenges. To combat these issues, the church turned to Acoustical Design, LLC, the systems integrator which designed and installed an audio system prominently featuring an Aviom Pro16® personal mixing system.


180-degree, octagon-shaped facility accounts for an audience area that takes up five sides and is 30 percent larger than the sanctuary portion of the room. The pulpit was placed on a thrust stage, which protrudes into the 2,500-person audience section. A front-of-house mix room is located at the back/center area of the balcony, used for additional audience seating, and is acoustically isolated from the main sanctuary. This layout caused both mixing and stage monitoring challenges as the audio engineer was isolated from what was going on in the main sanctuary. Acoustical Design rectified this issue with the implementation of the state-of-the-art audio setup featuring Aviom.

At the heart of the solution are Aviom’s personal mixers, which not only eliminate the need for a separate monitor console but also improve the sound in the sanctuary by significantly reducing stage volume and feedback. The eight A-16II Personal Mixers in this system are connected in parallel to an A-16D Pro A-Net Distributor, which distributes the 16 channels of audio via Aviom’s A-Net® transport protocol. An Aviom AN-16/i-M Input Module (connected to a Soundcraft MH3 console) sends signals from the console to the distributor. To ensure uninterrupted access to the A-Net signal, Acoustical Design wired Cat-5 connector boxes throughout the sanctuary and performance area to allow for flexibility in setup.

“The Aviom Pro16 system gives us easy-to-use monitoring capabilities for all of the singers and musicians, without a lot of feedback problems,” says Frank Ward, owner of Acoustical Design. “Additionally, the Aviom Pro16 gear provides a system which does not require a separate monitor console and engineer to control the monitor mixes. With musicians performing from different areas of the sanctuary, this is a plus.”

The A-16IIs are being used by the choir, soloists and band, which includes an organ player and two keyboardists, to control a combination of submixes and individual signals for monitoring. With the use of the submixes, this setup allows the church to maximize the 16 channels. The Aviom personal mixers provide the performers with easy management of the monitor mixes, with individual control over pan, grouping, stereo spread, channel volume, and master volume and tone. The personal mixers feed a combination of Apple iPod ear buds, AKG 240M headphones, Westone UM1 in-ear monitors, and Tannoy i5 MP active monitors, placed on mic stands for the keyboardists, pianist and organist.

The system also offers the simplicity of running on a single Cat-5 cable, which helped cut down on the cost and installation time. “Overall, the Aviom Pro16 system provides for a cleaner stage, reduced hassle and cost of maintenance, and increased reliability,” notes Ward. “The entire design has been very successful for the church. The audio quality is crisp and clear and the music performances are rich in tone without becoming overbearingly loud. Everyone is happy with the results.”

In addition to the Aviom gear, Acoustical Design installed a Renkus-Heinz ST4 and TRX 82 speaker system with BagEnd subwoofers, controlled by the Soundcraft MH3 console, which handles inputs from as many as 48 microphone and instrument cables, with the remainder supplying the CD, VCY, DVD and computer audio. Crest CD 1000, 1500 and 2000 power amplifiers are used for amplification. The entire technical package is controlled by a Creston CP2E Media Manager control system.

First Nazareth Baptist Church has served the people of Columbia, SC for more than 133 years, upgrading its original 1881 building twice to meet the needs of the growing congregation at that time. Since then, membership has increased tenfold and two new sanctuaries, which include a day care and administrative offices, have been constructed, including the current location on Gervais Street. Today, there are more than 5,000 members of the congregation.

Aviom pioneered personal mixing with its Pro16® Monitor Mixing System and continues to break new ground with the revolutionary Pro64® Series of audio networking products. With tens of thousands of products in the field today, Aviom has set the standard for high performance, scalable digital solutions. All Aviom systems harness the power of A-Net®, Aviom’s innovative digital audio technology that simplifies system design while enhancing flexibility and fidelity. All Aviom products are designed, tested, and manufactured in the USA.