The Christian Worship Center in Manteca, California recently purchased a Harman Soundcraft Vi6 digital console to better accommodate the Sunday and Wednesday services at its 2,000-seat venue.
While most of the Center’s previous equipment was analog, current Lead Sound Engineer Bill Clark relayed how the construction goal was to implement state of the art sound reinforcement gear through digital technology. Hence, the church set stringent design requirements for the new console and with the assistance of San Francisco’s Novo Group and consultant Art Yeap, it was determined only the Vi6 could satisfy.
As a serviceman with 35 years in the U.S. Army, the last 18 in the Army Music Program, Clark is also responsible for the sound reinforcement of his Army unit, the 191st Army Band in Dublin, California. Having experienced Soundcraft as one of his first digital consoles in the past, he appreciates the brand and recommends Vi Series consoles for their channel capacity, rich feature set and cost-to-performance ratio.
Additionally, the Christian Worship Center plans to create a production company utilizing its current platform for theater and music. In order to suit the audio needs of artists and actors, the owners required a well-polished MADI implementation of the new console. The Vi6 can more than provide for this need, as Clark recently demonstrated with the recording of two albums so far.
“We wanted to do a lot of things with our new console, and we went with the Vi6 because it’s superior in many ways,” said Clark. “Whether used for touring or fixed installation, from a safety and logistics standpoint, it cuts the weight and equipment count by so much, allowing us to replace all those equipment racks with onboard features.
“With regards to capacity, we never reach the limit with our 64x32 mono-outs, despite having a big worship team of eight vocalists, a full-sized band with a horn section and 18 channels of wireless handhelds and body-packs.”
All the feeds are routed into a PC, which gives Clark the ability to come back later and audit the mixes. As an additional benefit, this allows him to train new volunteers more efficiently, leading to more consistent operations of the intuitively designed console. For example, training a student who is obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in music production was as easy for Clark as training his own son, who has had limited sound engineering experience.
“Not only does the console run continuously with no problems [I’ve tested it multiple times on 16 hour runs non-stop], it sounds great!” said Clark. “There are a lot of subtle things that my ears don’t hear anymore, but with a digital signal path, the marvelous compressors and the onboard effects, I can definitely hear the improved clarity. Frankly, it all sounds nothing short of astounding.”