You have probably been in one. If you are a live audio professional they have no doubt made you a little crazy as well. We're describing what you find in many House of Worship sanctuaries' dating back to the 1960's or 1950's. Though they may be comfortable, those rows of thickly padded pews; and that carpeting everywhere may look warm and welcoming, but to a Front of House audio pro there is just one thought: Yikes! Sound absorption! On a big scale!
Originally built in the 1950's, Zion Lutheran Church of Anoka, Minnesota was ready for a facelift, a big one. "Five years ago I got called back to oversee the new audio system for the church" relates Mark Braaten, AV Coordinator for Zion Lutheran. "I have played in bands for years and they (the Church committee) trusted me" The church congregation has been growing steadily over the past few years given the popularity of the pastor who mixes positive energy with new and old school approaches to his ministry," relates Braaten. Having grown to over 2500 congregants, it was time for some improvements. And that meant reconstruction and expansion, as well as an audio upgrade.
Begun in early 2013 and completed in late summer, the Zion Lutheran renovation included some extensive architectural additions. A series of skylights were added as well as an expanded sanctuary area. "The project had a lot of design challenges that added time to the build calendar." shares Jeff Geisler of EMI Audio, the AV design/build contractor for the project.
Along with the Allen & Heath GLD 80, with its MMO card there is an AR2412 Mix Rack, and 2 GLD AR84 expanders. This is the heart of the new audio system for the church which also includes Bose Control Space ESP signal processing, Bose PM-8500 Amplifiers, Bose LT 9403, LT-9400, 402 Speakers, Shure ULXD wireless Microphones, My Mix Monitor System and DPA Instrument Mics.
"I was old school knobs and switches, the Allen & Heath console was unknown to me-but the GLD -80 has an old school feel with new technology-nice." relates Braaten. Previously, the church audio set up consisted of three mixers linked together with a multitude of 40 some cables running from stage to the FOH position. According to Braaten, switching from a two or three microphone set up on a Saturday evening into a full ten to fifteen microphone set up for Sunday consumed hours of time and, fingers crossed, hope that everything worked. "For being relatively worried about going digital, my fears were gone quickly with the GLD 80." affirms Braaten.