Backbone of an Audio System
A Walk Through Summit Audio System
The backbone of the Summit audio system is Dante. Dante is an Audio-over-IP protocol that allowed us to create an audio system that was both functional and reliable, but also gave Summit church the ability to grow and change as the situation dictated now and down the road.
Now, an Audio-over-IP system is only as good as the network it is built on. Most Dante enabled devices allow you to run gear on two separate networks, a primary and a secondary, at the same time. To make sure we built in as much redundancy as possible, we ran the entire system with a complete separate secondary network so that if one network failed at any time, there would be a backup. So, let’s go on a virtual tour of the system!!
At Front of House we replaced the Midas M32 with a Yamaha CL5. This brought them from 32 input/16 outputs to 72 input/24 outputs! A big change to say the least. We didn’t get rid of the M32 however, but we’ll come back to that later.
Feeding the CL5 via Dante is a Rio3224. This is a stage box with 32input/24outputs. Now, to eliminate any unnecessary cable on the stage we fed 8 stage boxes with the Elite Core Cat-SASS. This set up allows up to 4 analog channels to be sent over one shielded cat cable. This allowed the Summit tech team to be strategic where they plugged in their 4 channel “snakes” and allowed them to have very few cables running on the stage cutting down on stage “clutter”.
Another element of Dante that we utilized was Dante Virtual Soundcard, or DVS for short. Using DVS allowed us to feed both Ableton and keyboard sounds running through Mainstage into the CL5 via Dante and not take up any input channels on the Rio. Since they run 8 stereo and 2 mono channels out of Ableton and another 2 stereo channels out of the Mainstage, you can see how that would add up quickly!
Yet one more use of Dante we were able to utilize was with the vocal mics. We replaced Summit's Shure BLX mics with Shure ULXD4Q receivers. With this little switch, we were able to get 8 vocal mics all fed via Dante. We topped the transmitters with an SE V7MC1 mic capsule. This is a favorite mic capsule of ours! It gives a great dynamic range with a super-cardioid polar pattern. Going from a cardioid mic to a super-cardioid mic was a huge change for the Tech Director Andrew Serr. After working to build much of the other system with Andrew and knowing what he and his team were looking for, Andrew was able to tell Lambda’s team, “Just get me new mics,” and we did! Our experts worked to really understand Summit’s vision and needs, so when Andrew asked us to find him new mics, our Audio expert, Trevor, was able to pick out the mics that would work best for them! And they loved them! It made a world of difference to the team at Summit to have an expert they knew would give them the best solution.
So, the whole audio system was being fed via Dante into 4 Danley amplifiers. One amp was for the 2 subwoofers, and the other 3 amps were for the LCR array of speakers. So, now that we've covered where the inputs were coming from, let’s talk about the speakers for a minute. One of the big goals that Summit brought to us was a sound system that gave as full and even coverage as possible. After building a CAD model of the room we sent it over our friends at Danley Sound Labs and their design team.
The audio tour would not be complete without talking about the in-ear monitor system. The in-ear monitor (IEM) system highlighted another example of why using an AV system integrator can be so valuable and can end up saving you money and time in the long run. Over a year before we began work on this complete AVL overhaul for Summit they wanted to upgrade their IEM system to provide wireless packs for their musicians on stage. The system we upgraded them to at that time used 16 outs from the M32 to feed an Elite Core PM16, which then individually fed wireless IEM packs: the MIPRO’s MI909.
With this solution we implemented over a year ago, we were then able to integrate into the new system seamlessly. For the wireless IEM packs, MiPro’s MI909, we used the Rio’s 24 outputs to feed those 7 stereo mixes and 2 mono mixes. The Elite Core PM16 we fed via 16 analog outs off the Yamaha CL5. This gave them 9 wireless units that can receive all the channels from the CL5 and can be individually controlled via an app on the musician’s phone. In addition, they still have use of the wired PM16 system for times when they may have extra musicians on stage for a special event.
Now, I know you all have been on the edge of your seats to know what we did with the M32. Well the wait is over! The M32 got a Dante I/O card and became the broadcast console! One of the benefits of Dante is that we can send all the inputs to multiple locations! So, the Rio can feed both the CL5 for FOH and also feed the M32 for broadcast. Now the actual analog gain of the Rio can only be controlled from one location, but that’s where proper gain level setting comes into play! Check out our Audio Resource guide for a
I hope you guys have enjoyed this virtual tour of the new audio system at The Summit Church! There’s still one more piece coming at to complete our look at the Summit system: Lights! We can’t wait to share the details with you! We know you will walk away with some great ideas and tips from their incredible looking lighting system!
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