RIVERDALE, GA-With soaring musical aspirations but only a limited budget, New Macedonia Baptist Church in Riverdale, GA, hired United Technology Service (UTS) to design and install an audio and infrastructure system that requires minimal upkeep and that anyone in the church can operate. Centering its audio processing requirements on a trio of Symetrix SymNet 8x8 DSP units, the designers at UTS maximized the system's automation and intelligence by programming appropriate routings and signal processing for all of the church's common uses.
UTS was able to program a Super-module on the SymNet interface for the EAW line array-the next time they put in an EAW line array, they just drag and drop the Super-module from the New Macedonia system into the new system, saving time in the future.
Since the entire system hinged on the signal processing, UTS systems design engineer Tony Crabtree thoroughly investigated his options. "We demo'd all the major brands. The SymNet 8x8 DSP was obviously the most musical."
The SymNet 8x8 DSP was also CobraNet compatible via the SymNet CobraLink, allowing it to be connected to a local VLAN network and accessed remotely for servicing. Crabtree explained, "If a New Macedonia staff member calls me on Sunday morning because they're not getting any sound out of their main speakers, I can hop on my computer from the office or home and get access to everything in the system. I can see signal flow, trace the good signal to where it's broken, and fix the problem, as long as it's not something physical."
The three SymNet 8x8 DSP units are augmented by a SymNet BreakIn12 and BreakOut12, which provide twelve A/D inputs and twelve D/A outputs respectively in addition to the 24 that come with the three 8x8 DSPs. The system combines live audio with the church's AV system via a Crestron touchpanel controller. Via the controller, users can select between a Sunday service setup and meeting setup. Selecting meeting setup causes the system to bypasses the 40-channel Soundcraft MH4 console so that no sound engineer is needed. The SymNet 8x8 DSPs take over with automatic mixing of five Shure wireless mics, as well as CD player, cassette player, and video system inputs. Using the touchpanel, users simply select their program source and adjust the program and speech audio levels.
Crabtree chose to amplify the EAW left and right line arrays, the EAW center horizontal cluster, and the massive block of EAW subwoofers below the stage with QSC CX and PL series amplifiers because, like the SymNet 8x8 DSPs, they are CobraNet linkable. "We tried to keep the system as small as possible without sacrificing fidelity or usability," Crabtree added. "The trick was in picking the right equipment and positioning the speakers."