BLYTHE, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 2011: Just paces from the Arizona border in Blythe, California, St. Joan of Arc is not your average Catholic church. Father Henri Licznerski stays ahead of the technological curve, as evidenced by the church's video system with three screens, several pan/tilt/zoom remote control cameras, and a digital video recording system. The recent addition of several hot condenser mics for the choir with accompanying monitors left the church exposed to a substantial feedback risk, and its multiple mixer locations invited busy fingers - however well-intentioned - to really mess things up. Licznerski called on San Bernardino's Enko Systems, Inc. to provide a solution. In keeping with St. Joan of Arc's embrace of technology, Enko's Dave Chitty installed two Symetrix Jupiter 12 app-based processors and provided control from Licznerski's Android smartphone via Symetrix' ground-breaking ARC-WEB technology.
"They previously had no auto mixing at all," said Chitty. "And
then they introduced five super-hot condensers for choir pick-up. They sound really nice, but they made the sound tech duties quite a burden. In addition, it opened the system up to the 'more me' dynamic, where everyone wants to turn up his or her own mic. In short, it had all the hallmarks of a well-designed system that was destined to sound unprofessional due to operator error." Chitty installed one Symetrix Jupiter 12 for the choir loft and a second unit for the main house system.
Chitty has experience with all of the Symetrix lines, including the ultra-flexible SymNet open-architecture line, the Integrator Series of fixed-architecture solutions, and the new Jupiter system, which is patterned after the smartphone "app" revolution. "I like the consistency across all of the Symetrix platforms," he said. "They're all easy to program, and moving from platform to platform is straightforward. I'm looking forward to trying out the new Solus open-architecture line." For St. Joan of Arc, the flexible and affordable Jupiter and a "Gain-Sharing Auto Mixer" app had everything needed to keep the professional polish on the newly updated equipment.
Chitty originally thought he would be setting up the Symetrix ARC-WEB for Licznerski's iPhone, but the pastor upgraded at the last minute to a new Android-based model. It ended up making little difference, as setting up the ARC-WEB is akin to setting up a hardware ARC wall panel remote control. The device that uses the ARC-WEB, be it an iPhone, an Android, or a computer-hosted web browser, is incidental to the setup. "Using a secure wireless router on the church's network, I only had to configure a few items to get the ARC-WEB up and running," said Chitty. "I gave the Jupiter 12 a static IP address and made it available on the network. His access is secured by password so that if anyone else happens to find it, they won't be able to access the sound system controls." From Pastor Licznerski's perspective, the sound system controls are just another app on his smartphone. He taps a bookmark and is ready to make adjustments from the pulpit or from anywhere.
Chitty also gave the church a hardware Symetrix ARC-2 wall panel with redundant controls. Both the ARC-2 and the ARC-WEB provide constrained volume control of the choir microphones, from +3dB to -12dB. Similar controls for the video mixer, ambient mic, and podium mic give all the control needed - and no more. "The Father actually controls the sound system right from the podium," said Chitty. "The ARC-WEB is a remarkable advance, and it is a fitting component of a very forward-thinking church."
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