Welcome Church in Woking, UK, recently became the first UK installation of a new Allen & Heath Avantis mix system that’s at the center of a major sound reinforcement renovation in the sanctuary.
Supplied by AV company SFL, the Avantis system is located at front of house, and is fitted with a Dante card for multi-track recording. It’s joined by GX4816 and DX168 boxes for further remote I/O expansion. In addition, 14 A&H ME-1 personal mixers are used for the band’s in-ear monitors, providing musicians with control over their own mixes.
“As an organization that has a lot of volunteers, we needed a system that had an easy-to-use, yet professional workflow but also had access to other, in-depth features and processing tools,” says Charles C, who serves as production lead at the church. “Avantis has a similar workflow to the previous A&H desks we’ve owned, such as the GLD and SQ, but incomparable benefits such as the channel count, processing, displays and design, to name a few.”
Andrew Hardiman, project manager at SFL, notes, “Console options from several major manufacturers were considered, however when the new Avantis console was announced, it clearly became the console of choice for Welcome Church. Filling the product gap between SQ and dLive, Avantis offers the church a natural progression from their GLD systems, direct compatibility with the existing ME-1 personal monitoring systems and the opportunity to later expand.”
With limited time available, the team wanted to get the new system up and running as quickly as possible, and within hours of receiving and getting hands-on with the console, the production team had connected and configured it. “We had three services to run to around 500 people per session that day, so we were under quite a bit of pressure to get the Avantis up and running in time. The desk was used pretty much straight out of the box and within three hours, we had unboxed, connected and configured the ME-1s, Dante outputs for recording and various other nuances and, most importantly, had a working mix,” Charles C explains.
He concludes, “The Avantis didn’t miss a beat, the Continuity UI worked perfectly and once our sound engineering team have tuned their muscle memory to using it, I’m confident it will make our workflow more efficient.”