Fusion Church

When Fusion Church of Suwanee, Georgia, decided to upgrade to a digital mixer, it was up to Worship Service Producer Chad McIlvenna to find the right product. An experienced musician and engineer, McIlvenna directs audio, video, and photography for Sunday services, and it didn’t take him long to contact Sweetwater Sound and find a solution. “The PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2 console was a no-brainer because of its excellent-quality XMAX preamps and JetPLL [clocking] technology,” he begins. “And the price is unbeatable for the quality and value you get. I have been using PreSonus gear for recording for many years, and I can say without a doubt that with the StudioLive 16.4.2, PreSonus has brought to live sound the same great quality and value that they have been delivering to the studio world for years.”

Fusion Church is a nondenominational, evangelical church led by Senior Pastor Tony McCollum. About 250 to 300 people attend services each week and, according to McIlvenna, “the number is growing rapidly as the church reaches out to its community, presenting the gospel in new and innovative ways.” Those new ways include podcasts. “One thing that attracted me to the StudioLive was the ability to multitrack-record each service, using Apple Logic or PreSonus Capture 1.5 software [a new version, currently in beta testing, that can record unlimited tracks], and then mix the tracks, post-production, in our studio so we can use the recordings in our audio and video podcasts.”

The ability to daisy-chain two StudioLive 16.4.2s was very important. “We had to have 32 physical inputs and at least 6 aux mixes in order for any console to be a viable option for us,” explains McIlvenna. “Daisy-chaining allowed the StudioLive 16.4.2 to meet all of our requirements for a front-of-house mixing console. We also love that with two units daisy-chained, we get a total of four effects sends.”

Because Fusion Church is a portable church that meets in a high-school theater, volunteers have to set up and tear down the sound system each week. “We rely heavily on the StudioLive 16.4.2’s ability to save and recall scenes and channel presets,” observes McIlvenna . “We save time during setup and soundcheck by recalling the settings from the previous service. We may have different musicians, guitars, or amps on any given Sunday, but we have a place to start. When going from scratch is the best thing to do, no worries: we just recall the StudioLive 16.4.2’s default scene and are ready in a flash!”

McIlvenna is a fan of the StudioLive’s unique Fat Channel. “Having full EQ and dynamics control for each of the 32 channels of our setup is invaluable for us,” he explains. “Our budget would not allow us to add all of that outboard gear to an analog console. And the StudioLive’s EQs are super responsive and the compressor sounds musical and fairly transparent. I love that the Fat Channel is available for the subgroups as well as the aux sends. We use the Fat Channel on all of our subgroups, as well as to record our stereo mix. It sounds great!”

Clearly, McIlvenna is sold on the StudioLive. “I would recommend this unit to any church who is looking to significantly improve their audio experience on a budget,” he concludes. “It is only a matter of time before the StudioLive 16.4.2 is seen as the digital workhorse in houses of worship all over the world.”

Sound Samples

  • Fusion Worship Band - You You Are God