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Old School Gives Way To Modern Audio With Allen & Heath GLD At Zion Lutheran In Minnesota
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Zion Lutheran Church of Anoka, MN recently install an Allen & Heath GLD digital mixing system as part of an expansion of the sanctuary and an upgrade to the audio system.

Originally built in the 1950s, the church has grown to more than 2,500 congregants, presenting the need for the expansion and audio upgrade. “The project had a lot of design challenges that added time to the build calendar,” notes Jeff Geisler of EMI Audio, the AV design-build contractor for the project.

EMI implemented an Allen & Heath GLD-80 mixing console as the centerpiece of the project. “The ease of set up with the GLD-80 helped us make up for lost time due to construction issues,” Geisler says. “Everything about Allen & Heath mixers and accessories worked as billed and are straightforward. Sometimes you have an audio product that doesn’t do everything you expect it to do – the GLD-80 is not one of those products – it worked perfectly right out of the box.”

Along with the Allen & Heath GLD-80 with an MMO card providing a variety of formats of multi-channel digital output, the new system also includes an A&H AR2412 audio rack and two GLD AR84 expanders. This is the heart of the new audio system for the church, which also includes Bose ControlSpace ESP signal processing, Bose amplifiers and loudspeakers, Shure ULXD wireless microphones, myMix personal monitoring and DPA microphones.

“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,” says Mark Braaten, AV coordinator at Zion Lutheran. Previously, three mixers linked together with about 40 cables running from stage to the FOH position. According to Braaten, switching from a two to three microphone set up on Saturday evening into a 10 to 15 microphone set up for Sunday morning consumed hours of time, and, with fingers crossed, everything worked.

“For being relatively worried about going digital, my fears were gone quickly with GLD,” he explains. “Our church has a lot of different types of services. The Allen & Heath GLD-80, with its large LCD panel for scene recalls, makes our different set ups easy to do and easy for the volunteers to learn.”

“What is intriguing to me about the GLD-80 is that our pastoral staff wants to learn the board as well as the volunteers,” he adds. “And it’s easy to begin training them since we no longer have a complicated set of mixers, boxes and cables all around the FOH desk. The GLD-80’s built-in compressors and effects are easy to learn - each channel EQ is right there on the surface so I don’t need additional racks. Plus, the channel strip layout, with its color-coding, has attracted curiosity about the functions of the board.”

Allen & Heath
American Music And Sound


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