From its historic beginnings in 1849, Black Rock Church in Fairfield, Connecticut has grown to become one of the largest evangelical churches in the northeast USA.
Each week, the church hosts two contemporary worship services, a traditional worship service and a young adult “Sanctuary” service all mixed on an Allen & Heath dLive S Class S7000 surface with DM64 MixRack at front of house and a recently added Allen & Heath SQ-5 digital mixer at monitors. Separately, an Allen & Heath SQ-6 serves the church’s youth program.
Designed and installed by DNR Laboratories of Watertown, CT, Black Rock’s Allen & Heath systems also support the church’s frequent special events and its streaming broadcast. An Allen & Heath DX168 expander helps connect up to 72 microphones, recorded tracks and other sources at the stage and a second DX168 supplements the S7000’s inputs at front of house for 16 wireless mic receivers and audio for video sources.
DNR’s Ian Jones notes that Black Rock’s special events may include an orchestra and a choir and the dLive makes it easy for the church’s volunteers to manage all of these inputs. “They don’t have to hard-patch dozens of XLRs at the console. They can just drag-n-drop everything using the touch screens on the S7000. This kind of easy setup and operation along with the dLive’s great sound and functionality were big reasons we recommended it to Black Rock.”
Jim Bodine is technical director at Black Rock Church and mixes most worship services and special events. He uses dLive layers to manage the church’s many microphones and other sources and sets up dLive scenes for different worship services, special events and songs. Black Rock’s dLive includes a Waves card but Bodine loves the dLive’s internal effects as well. To help train the church’s volunteers, Bodine records worship services and plays them back using the dLive’s Virtual Sound Check.
For monitors, an Allen & Heath SQ-5 digital mixer sits at front of house receiving its sources from the dLive via an Allen & Heath gigaACE connection. For contemporary services, many of the musicians and vocalists on the stage use the “SQ4You” smartphone app to mix their in-ear monitors. For traditional worship, the SQ-5 mixes wedge monitors on the stage.
Bodine, who also works as an independent front of house engineer, says the Allen & Heath dLive, the SQ-5 and SQ-6 were the right choices for Black Rock. “And, I’d like to buy a dLive for my own use,” he adds.