ASHEVILLE, NC 2.4.21—The Austin Stone Church (ASC), established in 2002, is one church offering 12 Sunday services at six locations. They currently host socially distant Sunday indoor and outdoor services at most locations, while still offering a live broadcast online!
Austin Stone Worship is a family of worship leaders, storytellers and artists serving The Austin Stone church in Austin, Texas. They equip the global Church with content rich in theology and expression through their music and film publishing. Their monthly Worship Collective gatherings bring 250 artists, musicians, songwriters, and filmmakers together. These gatherings inspire and encourage them in their craft and love of Jesus. Starting as a small gathering of 10, ASC has grown to nearly 8,000 weekly attendees throughout the six locations.
The 6th campus was added to their multi-campus lineup in the Austin NW area during 2020. The ASC team coordinated with Brown Note Productions (BNP). They provided numerous AV updates over the past year to the existing church facility. The work culminated with the installation of d&b audiotechnik Y series line array system running ArrayProcessing (AP) and E-Series loudspeaker for fills. ArrayProcessing is a unique d&b technology which optimizes tonal balance and level distribution over the entire coverage area. The goal is to provide a consistent listening experience for the congregation, regardless of seating position.
“This campus is being outfitted to become their primary broadcast campus along with offering regular Sunday services,” states Zach Richards, Director of Integration, Brown Note Productions. “They also plan on hosting a wide variety of other events including conferences, performances and special gatherings. ASC is set up to offer multi-site simulcast of their main sermon (lead pastor is streamed from one campus to all other campuses live) as well as live streaming services.”
At any given sermon, the new 832-seat contemporary worship campus typically has 7 musicians/vocalists. This includes drums, keys, guitar, bass, and playback, as well as 3 lead vocalists. There are 2 services per week at the new campus.
Designing the New System
“The main challenge with this install was the raked, fan shape of the space and trying to deliver a similar experience to every seat,” states Ryan Robertson, Production Audio Manager, Austin Stone Church. “The previous system was an old clustered point source system that really did a poor job of that; you could move what felt like five feet in any direction and have a very different experience.
“One of our main objectives with any of our new venues is to give each person that attends the same experience, whether in the front row or way back in the corner,” Roberston continues. “No other manufacturer does as good of a job of that than d&b in my opinion. Every system really does follow the ‘more art, less noise’ motto by putting sound only where it needs to go, especially when ArrayProcessing is deployed. I always feel confident when mixing on a well deployed d&b system that what I’m mixing at front of house is being heard and felt in essentially every seat in the venue. This install is no exception. On top of that, there is a clarity and sonic signature of d&b that fits perfectly with the style of music we are mixing and is highly preferred.”
System highlights include 8 x Y8 and 8 x Y12 loudspeakers, 3 x J-SUBs ground subwoofers. Additionally, it includes 2 x d&b J-INFRAs on the outside of the sub array, 8 x E6 loudspeakers for front fills, 1 x Y10P loudspeaker, 2 x Y7P loudspeakers for out fills, 8 x 30D amplifiers, 1 x 10D amplifier, and 1 x DS10 Dante bridge.
The front of house is outfitted with a DiGiCo S31console with Dante I/O and Focusrite AES interface. There’s also a Q-SYS Control system utilizing a d&b plug-in for complete AV system control. Automation was also included, allowing for “self-serve” AV modes for a wide variety of uses. A Panasonic Laser projection system with a 24’ wide motorized projection screen is installed for multi-site simulcast. An Avid Pro Tools Dante-enabled broadcast package is provided for livestream and post-production use.
“The new d&b system sounds fantastic,” adds Robertson. “The power and clarity of the system really draws you in as a listener. It was fun to see the reactions and smiles on the face of our leadership team as they listened to it for the first time. Their main reaction was how intelligible everything was. They felt like they could actually hear distinctly everything that was happening in the mix, not just a wall of sound. The band has said they have a new level of confidence in what they play and sing and that it is accurately being conveyed into the room. It makes them that much more excited to get up early on a Sunday and lead our people.”