Allen & Heath board revamps, renews church sound
Located in Melbourne, Florida, Church at Viera holds four modern worship services in two different venues each week using Allen & Heath dLive, GLD and SQ Series mixers for FOH and streaming broadcast and an ME-1 Personal Mixing System for monitoring.
Production Director Eli Higginbotham, alongside Technical Director Brock West, leads Church at Viera’s production team. “We had an older digital mixer with reliability issues,” Brock said. “So, when I came on board, I looked for a replacement. We considered several brands but there wasn’t another console in the same class and price range as the dLive.” The church has standardized on Allen & Heath digital mixers for FOH, broadcast and their Youth Center. “The architecture is very similar so it’s easy to train a volunteer to mix in one space and then move them to another,” said Eli.
Church at Viera’s dLive includes an S7000 Surface and DM64 MixRack both located at FOH. Two DX168 Expanders accept sources on stage. Wireless mic receivers, audio from video and Ableton Live tracks connect to the DM64 at FOH. An SQ-6 Digital Mixer serves the church’s Youth Center supplemented by an AR2412 AudioRack. A GLD-112 Digital Mixer mixes streaming broadcast for the church’s website. Dante cards in each mixer implement audio networking throughout the church’s systems.
Brock West trains the Church at Viera Production Team volunteers. “We want them to be engaged with the band and be in tune with what’s happening on stage,” he said. Each FOH volunteer starts from a personal dLive scene and uses layers to manage as many as 60 sources adding dLive internal compressors, EQ and effects where needed. Eli added, “The quality of the dynamics and effects built into the dLive are so superior that we don’t need external effects. We have world-class tools sitting at our fingertips.”
Twelve ME-1 Personal Mixers with a ME-U Hub are what Brock and Eli describe as “a killer rig” monitoring system. Six ME-1s, located backstage, feed wireless IEM’s for vocalists who can adjust their mix during rehearsals. The other six serve static locations like the drum enclosure and keyboard rig. Eli commented, “When we installed the dLive, the congregation erupted with positive comments about the sonic quality and I kept hearing this for months. The dLive is warm and musical and I love it. Even if I had $100,000 to buy another mixer, I don’t think I would do it.”