Posted in projects
on February 9, 2016 12:46 pm EST
Prestonwood Chooses Live Personal Mixers to Accommodate Large Worship & Tech Staff
A Roland M-48 infrastructure provides each section in a large worship orchestra with its own personalized monitoring and grouping.
A view of the orchestra setup for Prestonwood Baptist Church’s holiday program at its Plano, Texas, campus, featuring a large number of Roland M-48 Live Personal Mixers.
Prestonwood Baptist Church, with two campuses in Texas, had been looking for the right audio solution for its Plano home base campus for years. With a large number of musicians every Sunday, as well as an expanded orchestra performing throughout the holiday season, serving the different monitoring needs and preferences of so many musicians has been a challenge for the church.
“Some players just want to adjust volume, and others want to adjust the EQs and add reverb and the ambient mic channel into their personal mixes. And some just want to turn the click track up and go,” states Chris Schutz, chief audio cngineer at the church (and whose credits also include touring with contemporary Christian acts DC Talk, Michael W. Smith and others, as well as mainstream acts like Dream Theater, Alicia Keys and Ozzy Osbourne). The church reportedly chose the Roland M-48 Live Personal Mixer as the solution to satisfy the needs of all musicians and tech staff.
"We basically wiped the slate clean in terms of audio and replaced everything in the room. Clair Solutions did the install. And we’re talking new main P.A., new subs, fill boxes, amps, the stage infrastructure, and beyond."
—Chris Schutz, Chief Audio Engineer, Prestonwood Baptist Church
The M-48 is a live personal mixer that offers musicians the flexibly to control exactly what they want to listen to during their performances. It provides the highest level of individual musician customization with superb sound quality for both headphones and In-Ear Monitors (IEMs), as well as for wedge and powered monitors. The M-48s create the ideal monitoring environment for live performance and recording as well as studio applications, the manufacturer reports.
“The main sanctuary holds 7,000 seats. It’s a big room,” notes Schutz. A regular Sunday morning music ensemble includes a rhythm section, a Latin percussion section, an orchestral percussion section, strings, woodwinds, and brass – essentially a small orchestra with added percussion. For a month or so during the holiday season, the configuration expands even further, and moves in front of the stage for the holiday program, which is run on a nightly basis. Troubleshooting
Monitoring channels for each musician was proving to be a challenge. “As far as monitoring, we needed more flexibility,” Schutz says. “I needed to get more information to everybody on stage, and I needed to do it in a better fashion. It needed to be intuitive because the people on stage have to operate it, and it had to be simple for some and powerful-and-nuanced for the more particular users. We were aware of the M-48 system, and we knew that it would give us what we needed in those regards. Recently, we made the change in infrastructure. We basically wiped the slate clean in terms of audio and replaced everything in the room. Clair Solutions did the install. And we’re talking new main P.A., new subs, fill boxes, amps, the stage infrastructure, and beyond.” Schutz configures as many as 32 M-48 units for the musicians mix, which involves four separate groupings, or “universes” for each orchestral section.
Schutz adds, “One thing I like is how I can monitor different things from the Monitor position using the Engineer’s Monitor function. I can make suggestions to mixes if I need to, and I can pop in, I can listen to someone’s mix, I can solo one of the groups, and it doesn’t affect them for me to hear just the group. For instance, a violin player will say that she can’t hear the mix right. I’ll be able to see from the S-4000 RCS software that one of her channels is turned all the way down – I can tell her what’s wrong and make an adjustment. Troubleshooting is a breeze.”
He sums it up: “The level of customization for each musician is perfect. Everyone is happy – the director of the orchestra told me that the trumpet in the mix now sounds like a trumpet for the first time. Little things like that make a big difference for overall sound.”