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St. Louis-Area Faith Lutheran Church Upgrades Oakville Campus With Roland M-5000 Console

Meets growing audio needs in services with an emphasis on music while offering operational familiarity to volunteers

The worship sanctuary of the Oakville campus of St. Louis, MO-area Faith Lutheran Church has been outfitted with a new Roland Professional AV  M-5000 OHRCA console.

Like many modern churches, Faith Lutheran places an emphasis on music, both for the pastoral aspects and to get talented individuals involved in the service on a weekly basis. “At the Oakville campus, we usually have a drummer, one or two electric guitarists, an acoustic guitarists, keyboards and a handful of singers each week, plus the volunteers that control the audio, video and lighting,” notes Andy Weiss, worship & media coordinator for Faith Lutheran Church.

Recently the church moved its Columbia campus to a new facility and wanted to upgrade the A/V infrastructure in both facilities, and the solution was found in products from Roland. An existing Roland M-400 48-channel digital console, which had been used for years at the Oakville campus, was moved to the new Columbia campus, which made room for the new Roland M-5000.

“Our audio needs have been growing here at Faith, especially with the move to a new facility for our Columbia location,” Weiss states. “We had been using the M-400 in our Oakville worship center, as well as in our student facility, and our volunteers were very familiar with the Roland format and how everything works.

“In expanding, the M-5000 was a natural upgrade for us to meet the needs of our ministries. This allowed us to increase our channel count at Oakville and move one of our existing M-400 consoles to the Columbia campus. The flexibility of the Roland M-5000’s architecture allows us configure the channel count, AUX’s, and monitor buses as needed, plus we can add more REAC system components as we continue to grow.” 

The M-5000 is the first product based on the OHRCA platform, which stands for “Open, High Resolution, Configurable Architecture,” and it’s designed to provide this with freely definable audio paths, support or multiple audio format protocols, and 96 kHz sound quality. The internal mix architecture is not fixed and can be freely defined for mixing channels, auxs, matrices, subgroup buses, and mix-minus buses within a range of up to 128 audio paths, allowing users to create a console structure to suit the needs of the application.

Weiss brought in Phil Mahder, who leads HOW A/V consultant firm Film Otter, to source and install the new M-5000 and peripherals. “I’ve had a long relationship with Faith Lutheran,” notes Mahder. “I was a consultant in 2007 or 2008 when we put a Roland M-400 in their youth center, and it’s served them extremely well. We wanted the M-5000 right away, and we got one of the first ones that shipped. It was a relatively seamless changeover. Much of our existing infrastructure, including the existing Roland digital snakes, worked great with the new console.

“The existing snakes provided a seamless install of the M-5000, plus allowed the church higher sound quality at 24-bit 96 kHz. The Roland way of doing things is consistent enough that it wasn’t a big learning curve for the church’s people to acclimate themselves to the 5000.”

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The M-5000 has two built-in REAC ports, plus two expansion card slots with seven expansion card options including Dante, MADI, Waves SoundGrid®;, or more REAC ports, as well as audio embedded over video protocols. The back panel includes 16 x 16 analog I/O, 4×4 AES/EBU, a 16×16 USB audio interface, connection for control via an iPad connected or wireless, and control ports including footswitches, GP I/O, RS-232C and MIDI. All of this capability enables the console to see up to 300 inputs and 296 outputs, all at 96 kHz and even more at 48 kHz.

“We’re using the M-5000 for everything, all of our services, in our main worship center at Oakville – full praise team, preaching, a live stream between campuses, and more,” Weiss concludes. “We also occasionally send a feed to a facility down the road that we have some ties with. Response from the congregation, and our A/V volunteers, has been stellar. Everything sounds very clean to my ears, and the volunteers say the M-5000 is even more intuitive to operate than the M-400. Plus, when Phil made us aware, after signing off on our budget for the M-5000, that Roland had a loyalty rebate program in effect, the started to sound even sweeter.”

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