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Soundcraft Si3 Digital Console Upgrades Sound Quality At Thornapple Evangelical Covenant Church

A 48-channel analog mixing console was originally installed in the church, the digital Si3 replaced it with minimal infrastructure changes, immediately providing 64 input channels

By PSW Staff May 19, 2009

The new Soundcraft Si3 digital console in use at Thornapple Evangelical Covenant Church in Grand Rapids

In a significant audio upgrade project at Thornapple Evangelical Covenant Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the first Soundcraft Si3 digital console sold to a house of worship was recently installed to help deliver better quality sound for the 750 who attend services and participate in ministries every week.

The church has been established in the Grand Rapids neighborhood since 1979 and continues to uphold the history of The Evangelical Covenant Church.

The church decided to upgrade the audio system after their original analog system started to deteriorate; a 48-channel analog mixing console was originally installed in the church, the digital Si3 replaced it with minimal infrastructure changes, immediately providing 64 input channels.

“There were a lot of factors that we needed to decide upon prior to purchasing a digital console, however we knew we wanted to upgrade to digital,” said Rick LaPorte, Sound Engineer, LP Consulting Services LLC. “We were very comfortable on analog desks, but our church required a digital console. For us there were three vendors, but Soundcraft had the best price point, ease of installation, convenient user layout, programability and availability.”

LaPorte and the other engineers at the Thornapple Church are extremely satisfied with the Si3 and they have taken advantage of its ability to store presets from previous sessions. This capability, along with cue and recall settings, are an integral part to any event at the church and helps eliminate sound variances between individual sound technicians preferences and allows flexibility to their FOH engineers to quickly restore audio order if the church service does not follow script.

“We purchased the Si3 console a few weeks before our biggest production of the year,” continued LaPorte. “Once we had the initial programming and audio adjustments for the sanctuary set, we began to program the services and show. Les Ruster, our senior technician, created a different cue for each of the 45 different scenes in the production.

“On the night of the show, all he had to do was press the next cue button to jump seamlessly between the many different settings that the acts required. These features really made this show our best show ever from a technical perspective,” added LaPorte.

The console is user-friendly and takes minimal time to transition from an analog desk to a digital. “I play drums in the church’s praise band and since the installation of the new console, I finally have a tight, clean and full sound of everything I need to hear,” stated LaPorte. “I have had more joy in playing thanks to the capabilities of the new Si3 console.”

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