BRISTON, ONTARIO: When the Community Christian Reformed Church (CCRC) decided to upgrade its audio system, their main concern was having room to grow. “We started with a small sound system and over the years grew out of it,” says Dave Verburg, Head of the Dixon’s Corners, Ontario church’s audio department. “The idea was to get quality audio gear now that will last, so we don’t have to revisit the system every few years.” That led them to outfit their main sanctuary with a system comprised of an Outline PA system, a DiGiCo console, and a KLANG immersive monitoring system as part of a multi-phase renovation of the facility.
It began, Verburg notes, with the purchase of a DiGiCo S21 console in 2018. The remaining elements were installed over the course of 2020 by Alex Benn of Dominion Sound.
Benn got involved after he and Verburg met following a concert at another church. “We started chatting and Dave told me they were looking at renovating and getting new gear and were poking around for ideas. I suggested the DiGiCo S21. They went that route, and shortly after that, asked me to install the rest of the system.”
CCRC’s modern style of worship, in need of a user-friendly system, and with the limitations of their previous audio system, all figured into Benn’s choice of system components. “They typically have a five-piece band on Sundays and at other times throughout the week. A lot of churches have limitations because often, their operators are volunteers, so they have a genuine concern about making sure the musicians have good in-ear mixes without needing a dedicated monitor tech. Klang certainly helped there.”
Klang, Verburg says, seemed like a big step at first, but with the DiGiCo S21 in play already, it made perfect sense. “Timing-wise, it was great because we could get the Klang DMI card for the S21 when we started construction. Then there’s the bonus of Klang’s 3D mix and the fact the app is user-friendly, flexible, and easy to navigate, likening it to stepping up to Klang’s immersive monitoring capabilities moving from mono to stereo sound. Speaking as a drummer who performs at the church in the band as well, I wouldn’t go back. Having the power to create our own mixes and saving them, so the FOH person can just mix; that’s great.”
In addition to the DiGiCo S21, DMI-Dante card and Klang, the system includes two DiGiCo A168D stage boxes and a comprehensive suite of Outline loudspeakers, one Outline Vegas 15CX per side, suspended from the ceiling, one Eidos 215S subs per side placed beneath the stage (powered by two T Nine power amplifiers) and an Outline’s iP24 DSP.
“Their long-term plan is to build out their multimedia facilities, so they wanted to implement a Dante system,” Benn says. “The DiGiCo A168D stage boxes give them all the channels they need over Dante. Right now, it’s only going from stage boxes to console, but they plan to connect that to their network and make it available elsewhere.”
“The move to Dante was “for expandability and future flexibility,” Verburg puts in, “and the reason we liked the S21 is the workflow. The console was the only thing that changed in Phase 1. I wasn’t expecting much difference, but the sound quality changed noticeably just by switching to DiGiCo, which was pretty amazing.”
In phase two, when the Outline PA was installed, the quality jumped again. “The upgrade to Outline provides more headroom, clarity and a more natural sound,” Verburg explains, adding that, “our mic pack stayed the same for the band and for speech and once while I was mixing, a boom stand gradually started lowering, to the point where it was a couple of feet away from the musician playing. But I just kept riding the fader. There was no feedback. The fact that I could do that was an eye-opener. It’s a huge difference. There are also some older members in our congregation, and it was imperative to have the sound be equally clear and intelligible for them.” Additionally, the Outline PA is lighter and more compact than their previous PA.
Both Benn and Verburg also praise the support and knowledge base GerrAudio brought to the table during the design/install process. “I used to be a service manager at Wall Sound, so I’ve been back and forth with GerrAudio for various service-related things previously; but this is the first time I’ve worked directly with them. They were super helpful; helping with recommendations and answering the client’s more detailed questions about Klang right away.”
Verburg concurs: “Their offices are really close to us and not only have they been really nice to work with, but I have had that support when I was first setting up Klang as well.”
While the pandemic added a layer of complexity to the project and the church has only had limited opportunities to use the system as intended, CCRC is now set up to cope not only with their present needs but for their ongoing, future requirements. “We were able to have some in-person services last Christmas – not at full capacity, but still using the new system,” Verburg sums up. “So, we did get to test the system and we’re very impressed; the guitars and vocals pop, and you can distinguish the different instruments a lot more clearly.”
Written by: Kevin Young
Published: April 2021