Originally built in the 1950’s, Zion Lutheran Church of Anoka, Minnesota has recently experienced a surge of growth that increased the congregation to more than 2,500.
As a result the church leadership decided it was it was time for improvements that included reconstruction, expansion, and 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. “Fortunately the audio system called for an
Allen & Heath GLD-80 mixing console.
“The ease of set up with the GLD-80 helped us make up for lost time due to construction issues. Everything about Allen & Heath mixers and accessories worked as billed and are straightforward – it worked perfectly right out of the box.”
Along with the Allen & Heath GLD-80, with its MMO card providing a variety of formats of multi-channel digital output, there is an AR2412 Mix Rack, and 2 GLD AR84 expanders.
The new audio system 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, it’s very nice,” explains Mark Braaten, AV coordinator for Zion Lutheran.
Because the previous church audio set up consisted of three mixers linked together with a multitude of 40 some cables running from stage to the FOH position, 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.
“My fears about going digital quickly disappeared with the GLD 80,” he adds. “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 it’s easy for the volunteers to learn.”
Because the church no longer has a complicated set of mixers, boxes and cables all around FOH, the site is less intimidating.
“Our pastoral staff wants to learn the board as well as volunteers,” says Braaten. “The GLD-80’s built in compressors and effects are easy to learn, each channel EQ is right there on the surface, I don’t need additional racks. Plus the channel strip layout, with its color-coding has attracted curiosity about the functions of the board.”
Braaten is happy to report that since training the Pastoral staff, he has only been called once with a question about the GLD-80. He has no hesitation recommending the Allen & Heath mixers
“The speaking voice sounds real now – not processed. The GLD-80 has a natural sound that enhances the vocals and makes the Bose speakers come alive in a crisp and clean delivery,” he adds.
Jeff Geisler backs up Mark Braaten’s obvious enthusiasm, “When I recommend an Allen & Heath I know I have the tools I need from matrixes to effects that will please the client- and the smoothness of the sliders makes my point immediately, you can feel the quality.”
With the sanctuary renovation now complete and his initial trepidations about digital mixers relieved, Mark Braaten and his tribe of audio volunteers are free to explore the full capabilities of the Allen & Heath GLD-80 console.
“I can see the future of the digital world much better now,” he says. “I was such an analog guy, but now that my volunteers and Pastors see me get excited about the digital world, they too are becoming fearless when approaching our new audio system – the GLD-80 with its friendly set up deserves a big thank you!”
Allen & Heath
American Music & Sound