Beltway Park Baptist Church in Abilene, Texas, has enjoyed tremendous growth since 1996, doubling its original building to 80,000 square feet in 2009 and expanding again with the opening of a newly constructed satellite North Campus in March 2015.
Audio at both campuses is networked via Focusrite RedNet interfaces, which enable the distribution, routing and recording of services, praise bands and religious and secular events anywhere within the respective locations.
Jacob Moore, creative director at Beltway Park is responsible for all media for the church.
He designed the audio, video and lighting systems at both locations as well as the electrical distribution at the new campus. He oversaw the installation of the equipment at the North Campus by an in-house team through his consulting company, Earsight Design.
Sound Productions in Dallas, the church’s preferred provider for the past 12 years, supplied the new equipment.
At the new North Campus, which officially opened at the end of March 2015 and is located 12 miles across town from the site of the original church, RedNet 4 microphone preamps provide a 40-channel split from the worship center stage. The DiGiCo SD9 front of house console accesses the Dante network via a RedNet 6 MADI bridge.
At the South Campus, a similar RedNet Dante network has been deployed that supports 48 channels from the stage, with a split, also via a RedNet 6, to a Digidesign Venue front of house console. Audio at both campuses may also be routed to a RedNet 5 Pro Tools interface for recording to a computer fitted with a Focusrite RedNet PCIe card as well as computers equipped with Dante Virtual Soundcard.
The campus-wide Dante networks enable events taking place anywhere within the respective church facilities to also access the Focusrite mic preamps and various recording systems. At both locations a variety of other Dante-enabled equipment is also connected to the network, including I/O interfaces and Behringer mixing consoles, for use in smaller venues around each campus.
The Dante networks run on an HP ProCurve 10 Gigabit Ethernet backbone that carries additional traffic, including other audio transport protocols, DMX lighting command data and multiple streams of IP-based HD video. The North Campus has its own worship leader, live praise music band and campus pastor, and additionally receives an HD video stream of services being held at the South Campus.
RedNet is both cost effective and flexible, according to Moore. “When you’re spending someone else’s money—because people have donated money to the church—you want to maximize that. What RedNet offers is a cost saving, because you can not only utilize audio in different venues on the campus simultaneously but also utilize the high-end mic preamps by re-routing the audio. The system is the same price as an analog split, except now I have high-definition audio anywhere and everywhere I want it with the click of a mouse.”
For example, he continues, “Say there’s a wedding reception and a band in the concourse. I could utilize my wireless microphones from the worship center as if they were in the concourse, and route that audio through RedNet to speakers in the concourse. There’s a handful of classrooms that will be connected to the network and have access to audio from anywhere in the building. We’ve also got a coffee shop that will utilize the equipment for singer-songwriter events.” The RedNet network offers another benefit, he adds: “I don’t have to deal with patchbays or multi-pin connectors, which are just fraught with issues.”
Already familiar with Focusrite equipment from the ISA and other vintage outboard units installed in the recording studio at the South Campus, Moore, a longtime musician and studio owner, appreciates the way that the brand’s sound quality has evolved in the newer RedNet series. “What impressed me with the RedNet 4 is the design of the preamp stage, the converters and the circuitry,” he says. “It’s refreshing to hear something that is that musical and open.”
Beyond church services and activities, says Moore, Beltway Park typically hosts as many as six conferences each year, including two- and three-day events, plus another half-dozen events such as leadership training and business expos that are open to the community. With the new equipment now in place, he adds, “We’ll also do a dozen concerts each year—not just Christian artists, but also mainstream acts that appeal to the community.”
Kurt Howell, RedNet Eastern regional manager, added, “Focusrite is fortunate to be chosen by Beltway Park Baptist Church for their ‘Audio over IP’ needs. We are pleased to work with their supplier Sound Productions. We are blessed to work with such professionals.”