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Quantum 338 works triple-time at CityHope Church

Quantum 338 works triple-time at CityHope Church

Quantum 338 works triple-time at CityHope Church

USA:

Mobile, Alabama’s CityHope Church has completed the installation of a new DiGiCo Quantum 338 console at its flagship Malbis campus. The console is the centrepiece of a larger audio upgrade that was specified, designed and installed by AVL firm ESB Group, the same company that installed CityHope’s L-Acoustics Kara(i) and ARCS WiFo loudspeaker systems six years earlier when the fast-growing church first moved into its 1,400-seat worship centre.

CityHope Church’s three mixing consoles have been replaced with a single DiGiCo Quantum 338 desk
CityHope Church’s three mixing consoles have been replaced with a single DiGiCo Quantum 338 desk

In addition to the Quantum 338, the CityHope project also included two integrated DMI-Dante cards, an Orange Box interface for MADI, an integrated DMI-KLANG card for in-ear monitor mixing, an SD-Rack fitted with 32-bit Ultimate Stadius mic preamps, an SD-MiNi Rack used for broadcast audio-for-video I/O (including video switcher, computers and lobby audio-processor feeds) and a DiGiGrid rackmount Quad MADI interface that allows recording of up to 128 channels at 96kHz. The console, SD-Racks and KLANG audio all operate on a newly installed Optocore loop network.

The installation of the new Q338 console represents an inflection point for the church’s audio infrastructure, replacing three existing consoles with a single desk. “The consoles they had at front of house, monitor world and broadcast were showing their age and lack of support, but putting in the DiGiCo Quantum console was more than just an upgrade – it represented an order-of-magnitude improvement,” explained ESB Group Solutions architect/design engineer, Drew Breland. “For starters, it has completely eliminated two entire consoles. The Quantum console at FOH and the KLANG card take care of all the sound in the house, from the PA to the in-ear monitors onstage.

L–R: Nathan Prive and Adam White at the church's new Quantum 338 console and KLANG display
L–R: Nathan Prive and Adam White at the church's new Quantum 338 console and KLANG display

“CityHope production director Adam White comes from the recording studio world he worked in before, and he was planning on running external plug-ins on the console,” furthered Breland. “But once he started hearing what he could accomplish with the Quantum processing, he knew he’d found his console.”

White brought up the economics of the shift to the Quantum console, noting how being able to manage FOH, monitors and broadcast from a single work surface has saved money and time while improving workflow. “The routing and assignment flexibility of the Quantum is pretty incredible,” he said. “I can create one mix for the house, then use the bus structure to create completely separate mixes for streaming and for areas like cry rooms and overflow space in the lobby so that each use is perfectly tailored for what that use needs – and for a fraction of what it would have cost to buy three consoles to cover all of that.”

The shift to the KLANG system for stage monitoring has also been a “game-changer”, White explained. “Before, we had a monitor console, but no dedicated monitor mixer, so the musicians would have to walk up to the monitor console to adjust volumes, and that was all they could really adjust. Now, with the DMI-KLANG card, I can send the band a fully processed mix that they can have individual control over onstage.”

Furthermore, the addition of the SD-Rack’s 32-bit Ultimate Stadius mic preamps has made a noticeable difference in the worship centre’s sound quality. “We didn’t touch the PA system at all; the transparency of the 32-bit mic preamps really made it come alive even more,” explained Breland. “They played back tracks recorded in the worship centre and they’re literally hearing the PA system in a different way. And the AES cards in the SD-Rack allow us to stay digital directly to the PA system amplifiers, so the signal path is cleaner and more direct.”

At the same time, two 64-input DMI-Dante cards feed 128 channels to the ProTools system in the church’s recording studio, while a DiGiGrid Rackmount Quad MADI interface provides 128 channels at 96kHz for redundant recording and virtual soundchecks. “In fact, the virtual soundcheck capability turned out to be even more important that we’d expected,” Breland furthered. “They were able to take previously recorded tracks and use them to set up the routing and preliminary EQ for the new console during the one rehearsal they had before the first Sunday church service.”

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