The 5,200-plus capacity worship sanctuary on the campus of World Harvest Church in Columbus, OH recently expanded its existing DiGiCo infrastructure with the addition of a new Quantum338 console for monitors, while the SD8 console at front of house and an SD-Rack have also been upgraded to include 32-bit “Ultimate Stadius” microphone preamps.
Further, all of the DiGiCo platforms moved to an Optocore fiber network in a project handled by Orlando-based Owens Audio Video Design, which also sold the DiGiCo systems, as well as a Nexo PA, when they were installed earlier this year.
“World Harvest Church tends to hang onto their systems and get the most ROI from them as possible, which isn’t unusual,” says Bob Owens, owner of Owens Audio Video Design. “They’re a long-time customer and a long-time DiGiCo user—we sold and installed the DiGiCo D5 console that they had in the sanctuary for monitors before we sold and installed the SD8 there in 2010. The Q338 is a great choice for them. It takes them light years beyond where the D5 was, with more faders and layers and inputs, but at a very cost-effective price for all that additional capability, plus the Quantum processing, which is a super plus for them.”
The church’s audio team now has 56 32-bit mic preamps to work with as well as 64 AES and analog outputs at monitors. In addition to the new preamps, the SD-Rack also has new interface cards added, including five analog cards, two AES cards, a Dante card, and an Aviom interface card for the church’s in-ear monitors. “World Harvest Church’s pastor is pretty outspoken,” Owens notes. “When he doesn’t like something, he’ll let you know. But when he does, he’s happy to tell you that, too, and he’s noticed how much better and how much the cleaner the sound in the church has been this year. In fact, everyone’s noticed.”
World Harvest Church audio director Joe Cooper adds, “It made a huge difference for us from the very start,” he says. “For starters, the 32-bit mic pres mean we can operate at 96k, which makes a big difference in the quality of the sound and gives us so much more headroom. And now that all of the consoles are on an optical loop, we can use the Q338’s control sends to move audio around the network easily if, for instance, we want to send audio back to the front-of-house console for playback for training, virtual soundchecks, or to troubleshoot issues. The flexibility is incredible.”
Cooper, who is the church’s main audio mixer in addition to overseeing a small crew of contract mixers, says training was not an issue since he and his staff have been progressively moving from previous iterations of DiGiCo operating systems—“it was a logical progression from the SDs to the Quantum,” he says—and he credits DiGiCo’s unwavering customer support over the years for making sure any question gets a fast, accurate response.
The addition of the Q338 and the fiber loop is changing the church’s workflow. In addition to the improvements it’s made for monitoring, Cooper says he plans on extending the network fiber to the church’s Pro Tools-based recording studio, again something the Q338’s control sends will facilitate. And the future holds even more expansion: Cooper says he’s recommended the church invest in a KLANG in-ear monitor mixing system for the stage. “Right now we’re mixing Pro Tools ‘in the box,’ but another Q338 would make a huge difference there, too,” he says. “You never know.”