Voice of the Pentecost
Mid-Sized Church Gets Big Sound with StudioLive
Voice of the Pentecost is a media-savvy church with a modern outlook and a contemporary worship style. It has a lively service and a fun-loving congregation, and music plays a major role in sharing the message.
The church recently upgraded their aging analog console, bringing in a PreSonus StudioLive™ 24.4.2 digital mixer. As Media Tech Glen Hallmark explains, the new desk has made a world of difference.
"Our old console was very constrictive for the things we wanted to accomplish, particularly for the musicians," he says. "We have anywhere from six to ten musicians up on stage at any given time. The band is on in-ears, and the singers are using wedges. With the old mixer, we were only able to provide them with four monitor mixes. Everyone's mix was a poor compromise, and no one really got what they wanted. Needless to say, it didn't contribute to their performance."
It also affected the sound in the sanctuary. "We were pumping so much volume into the monitors that we'd have to compensate by making the front-of-house mix louder," says Hallmark. "At a certain point the service becomes less than enjoyable."
The need for a new console was clear, and the church started researching their options. "We knew we needed a digital console to get the features we wanted, and we started researching our options," Hallmark explains. "The StudioLive console had all the features we were looking for, and the price point was very economical - so economical, in fact, that we were initially a bit skeptical. But the more we looked into it, and the more we compared features, sound and build quality, the more impressed we were."
Sound quality in particular was a major factor in selecting the StudioLive. "The preamps on this console are just fantastic," Hallmark exclaims. "We're using the same microphones we had before, but the choir sounds so much better."
Hallmark states that the availability of more monitor mixes has also done wonders for the singers. "With our old console, all the singers got one monitor mix. Now we're able to create three separate mixes for the singers, so we can give the altos, sopranos and tenors individual mixes. It's been great for their performance."
The StudioLive's remote-mixing feature was an unexpected plus. "I'm using the iPad® to mix pretty much every service," Hallmark reports. "It enables me to sit with the congregation and hear what they're hearing and to be a part of the service, rather than being tied to the console. My wife is on the prayer and worship team, and we've got a young daughter, so the iPad remote also allows me to go out and sit with my family."
The band wasted no time in learning how to adjust their own monitor mixes. "QMix™ is great," Hallmark says. "Each of the musicians has their own little iPod touch® for controlling their mix levels."
The StudioLive desk does more than just deliver a great in-house mix, though. "We archive every service online," notes Hallmark. "We record CDs and DVDs as well. We record everything to Capture. I'm able to fine-tune the mix and adjust the vocal levels, and I save a backup file of every service. I dedicate one monitor mix specifically for the Web feed, so I'm able to create a different mix from what's in the room, and easily monitor what it sounds like going out over the Web."
Those recorded services are also useful for other purposes. "I can pull up a mix when the room is empty and try out different compression and effects settings, without worrying about affecting the live sound," says Hallmark. "And because our audio staff is largely volunteer-based, I can pull up a mix to train a volunteer on how to run the console, without the stress of teaching them during a service."
Hallmark says the congregation has also noticed the improvement. "People have been complimenting us on the sound of the services," he reports. "It is just incredible what this console has allowed us to do."