When Living Hope Church in Piperton, Tennessee, moved into its new 700-seat worship center, one of the main goals was to achieve high-impact, high-resolution sound.
“Having started as a portable church, we wanted our first permanent facility to make a big statement about how far we’ve come,” says Tim Johnson, technical director for the suburban Memphis church. “That meant the best in sound and video, but within a definite budget.”
The church decided that they were very interested in a Midas console, which looked a bit out of their price range. Then Midas introduced the PRO2C digital console and all of the pieces started coming together.
Elite Multimedia of Memphis was engaged to create the AV design, including sound, video and acoustical treatments. The system was designed by Elite vice president and lead designer, B.J. Shaver, with the integration handled by lead systems integrator Wade Russell.
“It was new construction, so we worked directly with the architect,” notes Russell. “Living Hope wanted great sonic clarity and strong stereo imaging even at high SPL. We felt the best way to do that was to design a system to the AES 96k standard, and the Midas PRO2C let us do that without compromising on the rest of the system.”
Before the PRO2 and PRO2C were announced in late 2011, Living Hope was actually planning to defer its console purchase for a year or two. “We were looking at several consoles,” notes Tim Johnson. “I had heard a Midas PRO6 demo and got really excited about it, but it was outside our budget.
“None of the affordable digital desks sounded much different from the one we were already using in our portable system, so we didn’t see any reason to change. In fact, that was the plan right up until the PRO2C started shipping in the U.S.”
At that point, Tim Johnson had the opportunity to hear an apples-to-apples comparison between the PRO2C and his existing console.
“We just swapped the PRO2C into our portable system one Sunday and ran it with all the same gear, in the same room. The difference was amazing,” he reports. “Immediately, the speakers had focus and stereo imaging we had never heard before. The whole system sounded great, and the only thing that had changed was the console. Once I heard the price point, it was an easy decision.”
Johnson then spent a day at Elite Multimedia to learn the PRO2C, working directly with Wade Russell to configure the console to run both front of house and monitor duties in the new 700-seat sanctuary. “Wade and I kind of learned the console together,” he recalls. “It really didn’t take a whole lot to get up and running. In fact, my only problem was a tendency to over complicate things, because I was so used to working in layers and submenus. With the Midas, I just select channel groups and everything is right there in front of me, quick and easy. POP Groups are great. ”
“Tim took to the PRO2 right away,” agrees Wade Russell. “We played with it a bit in the shop, and basically put together his show, which taught him how to use the POP Groups, VCAs, and routing. When we took it out to their portable site to mix a service, he really didn’t need much help. And even though most channels were running with little or no EQ, their old sound system still sounded better than it ever had before.”
The praise band at Living Hope includes electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and percussion, usually with three vocalists. On a typical Sunday, that takes up about 40 channels of the 56 available on the PRO2C. Most of the 24 outputs are in use, feeding both the house sound system and the monitor system, which includes both an Aviom system and four stereo in-ears.
The musicians noticed the change of consoles immediately. “When we used the Midas with our old system, one thing that surprised me was the band members’ reaction,” says Tim Johnson. “They asked what I did to their mixes, because suddenly they could hear everything more clearly. It’s like no matter what you have hooked up to the Midas, it makes that product sound better.”
Both Tim Johnson of Living Hope Church and Wade Russell of Elite Multimedia see the Midas PRO2C as the key to their success in this installation. “Being able to run a full 96k signal from the inputs to the amps means there is no loss of quality,” says Russell. “Having those Midas preamps at the head end and keeping the signal at 96k digital was the difference between a good system and a great one.”