A recent audio upgrade at the worship sanctuary of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Fairfield, CA, implemented by integration firm Sacramento Production Services, incorporates numerous Allen & Heath components, including a dLive mix system paired with a CDM48 MixRack and more.
“They wanted a new system that offered personal monitor mixing for the band and multitrack recording capabilities,” explains Keith Wackford, the integrator’s sales and production manager. “They also run a lot of wireless, but with very little personnel to actually monitor and adjust it, so telemetry and control of wireless devices from the front of house console was crucial.”
After researching the market, Wackford’s team landed on a dLive S7000 36-fader control surface paired with the CDM48 MixRack. A 128-channel Waves card was added for multitrack recording purposes, allowing the church to capture and re-mix any performances using the isolated tracks. It also means that tuning the system before a performance is a more straightforward processing using dLive’s dedicated Virtual Soundcheck mode.
A 128-channel Dante module was also included, used to interface with the church’s various Shure wireless devices. The dLive’s Shure and Sennheiser wireless integration feature enables the front of house engineer to monitor battery life of wireless microphones as well as adjust input gains and view metering remotely without having to be near the actual receivers. In addition, the Dante module distributes audio throughout the facility via a Dante-enabled matrix processor.
For personal monitoring, Wackford included a 10-port Allen & Heath ME-U hub that can receive signal from the church’s dLive mixrack and feed that audio to seven ME-1 personal monitor mixers, along with channel names and stereo link information. The ME-U also provides PoE along the same data cables, which eliminates the need for individual power supplies to each ME-1 mixer.
“We were quite impressed with how easily the band took to the ME-1s, after previously using a different system,” Wackford states. “It was really nice, since it didn’t require much input from us as installers or from the main engineer.”
The stage was expanded during the upgrade, so a DX168 16-input, 8-output stage box was added to reduce overall cable runs to the main CDM48 MixRack. Wackford: “Being able to run simple Cat-5e through a floor pocket closer to where the band was made it much easier without having to create a whole panel or wall plate.
“For churches that don’t know where they are going to be four, five, 10 years down the road — to have that expandability is crucial,” he concludes. “You may only have 32 mic preamps in your MixRack, but someday you may need 64 or 128. It’s just a matter of adding another DX stagebox. You may even want to add a separate recording or broadcast desk, all that takes is a gigaACE card and you can easily share audio without needing to rely on a third-party protocol. It’s huge for us and it’s huge for our clients, too.”