For a few of these posts, I’d like to give you an overview of our production equipment and tell you a little bit about how we utilize it. These posts will only be about our main auditorium, but I will discuss in other posts how we utilize equipment in our other venues. Also please understand this, in a world of new and shiny gadgets it’s easy to see things other people have and want those things, but part of my responsibility as the Media Director is to be a good steward of the finances I’ve been given to oversee. So remember this, just because someone else has something doesn’t mean you need it. Get what you need and not what you want.
Over the last year or so we have made a significant upgrade to our audio system in our main auditorium. At front of house (FOH) we are using a Digico SD10. This console fits our needs well. The biggest challenge for us and the reason we decided on this console was the output capability. On any given Sunday, we have roughly 30 mixable outputs between in-ear mixes, wedges, main out puts, and other peripheral mixes that go throughout the campus.
Previously, we had a Digico SD8 at FOH, but it didn’t have the output capability we needed. We decided the SD8 would best be suited in our Production Suite as our Broadcast Console. Both the SD8 and the SD10 have basically the same layout, and they both look very similar, so cross training on either console is very easy.
Within our audio system, we have a total of 3 digital splits to manage audio. The first two are our audio consoles, but the last split is used for our multi-track recording. For our digital spliting we use a device called a MADI Bridge built by RME. This device allows all of the control devices to see all of the inputs from our MADI racks. Each device, the consoles, and the multi-track computer see the inputs at the headamps and can affect change all on their own. In other words, mutes, EQs, FX, Channel names, and anything else other than Gain can all be applied differently at each location.
As far as our speaker system goes, we utilize a EAW KF730 line array system for our main arrays, and then supplement for coverage in different areas of our auditorium. This system suits our needs well for our style of music and size of our room.
For a reference, I’ve put a pretty high level list together below that talks about our main components of our system. We use far more gear to make services happen on a weekly basis than the list below. Cables, microphones, mic stands, DI boxes, and audio interfaces. If you have questions about those, I would be more than happy to tell you what we use and the experience I’ve had with them.
- Digico SD10 – FOH
- Digico SD8 – Broadcast
- Digico MaDi Rack – Audio input racks
- MADI Bridge – RME
- EAW KF730 Line Array – Main Array
- EAW SB730 Line Array – Main Sub Array
- EAW SB1000z – Aux fed subs on the ground
- Audio-Technica 5000 Series Wireless – Wireless microphones
What is the primary gear you utilize on a weekly basis?