Soundcraft Provides Specialized Digital And Analog Mixing Solutions To Suit Any Worship Application;
Engineers And Worship Leaders Gravitate To Soundcraft Seeking Sonic Performance,
Robust Build And Inspired User Interface.
Few application markets in the broader professional AV domain place a greater emphasis on intuitive operation and reliable performance than the worship market, where many system operators are volunteer members of the congregation. Itâ€™s not surprising therefore that Soundcraft, a pioneer in the field of user interface design, has gained such a strong and devoted following among the contractors and consultants that serve this market and end-users within the worship community.
â€œItâ€™s ultimately all about the sound but to extract the best sound from our technology one needs to be able to easily navigate the board,â€? explained Keith Watson, Vice President of Marketing, Soundcraft Studer. â€œWe spent a lot of time with end users and have worked hard to make our mixing consoles the most intuitive and production-friendly in the business. This philosophy extends from the celebrated Vistonicsâ„¢ II interface on the Vi6 and Vi4 right down to the smallest consoles for the portable PA market. Members of the worship community â€” on the integration and operation side â€” appreciate this attention to making their jobs easier.â€?
A notable new addition to Soundcraftâ€™s following in the worship community is the 1,100-seat Faith Chapel Foursquare Church of Billings, MT that added a new Soundcraft Vi6â„¢ Digital Console to mix both front-of-house sound and onstage monitoring. According to chief audio technician Kelly Olp, "It's an unbelievable sounding board and tremendously easy to train volunteers on how to operate it."
The Vi6's control surface is based on Studerâ€™s Vistonicsâ„¢, a patented design that places rotary encoders and switches within a series of ergonomically designed touch screens. Each Vistonics II interface controls eight input channels, with 16 rotary encoders and 16 switches per touch screen. Simply touching the screen immediately opens out that part of the strip onto the real knobs and switches mounted directly on the lower part of the display. All channel functions, including routing, input gain, digital gain trim, delay, high- and low-pass filters, four-band fully parametric EQ, compressor, limiter, gate, de-esser and pan, are easily and quickly accessible. The 32-fader control surface handles 64 mono inputs routing to 32 Group/Aux/Matrix buses plus LCR and Left-Right/Stereo buses, with 24 insert send/return pairs assignable to any I/O channel.
Meanwhile, Eastside Foursquare Church in the Seattle suburb of Bothell made a similarly well-advised decision: Blair Schmautz, the churchâ€™s head sound technician along with Jeff Sanderson of Olympia, Washington-based consulting firm Onpoint Designs elected to purchase a Soundcraft Vi6 digital live sound console to replace a nearly 20-year-old Soundcraft Vienna desk at the nexus of a new PA system for Eastside Foursquare Churchâ€™s 1,250-seat sanctuary.
â€œEastside Foursquare Church chose the Vi6 hands down based on affordability, user friendliness and processing power,â€? Sanderson explained.
Schmautz concurs: â€œThe Vi6 is extremely versatile, sounds great, and is easy to use. Our services typically involve more than 40 channels of live instruments and vocals, while for special events; we might use all 64 channels. The deskâ€™s Vistonics II interface brilliantly displays all parameters for 32 channels at a time, which is something Iâ€™ve not found on any other digital sound console in this price range.â€?
Ease of use coupled with sonic performance were also priorities for the engineers and elders at the Lake Grove Missionary Church in Memphis, TN who commissioned Sound Hill Technologies of Holden, LA to design an AV system for the congregationâ€™s new church in downtown Memphis. Sound Hill made a Soundcraft LX7ii 32-channel mixing console the centerpiece of the system. The LX7ii includes exceptionally easy to use module ID graphics, a new mic-preamp and 4-band EQ, direct outputs on the first 16 inputs suitable for multitrack recording and six auxes for flexibility for effects and foldback.
Soundcraft also recognizes the needs of training in Houses of Worship for such operators, and are currently Platinum sponsors of the How-To Church Sound Workshops tour. Soundcraft also produces its famous Guide To Mixing, both in booklet and DVD form, as an invaluable basic guide to setting up a sound mix. These are readily available for qualifying Houses of Worship, with details from www.soundcraft.com/palz.asp.
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