First Studer Vista 5 For UK House Of Worship
February 24, 2010
BELFAST, United Kingdom – The distinctive Studer Vista technology has proved very popular with the large houses of worship in North America and also in the Far East. Now the first Studer Vista 5 digital console has been chosen for a UK church, the Metropolitan Tabernacle in Belfast, which has been refurbished with one of the highest sound reinforcement system specifications in Northern Ireland.
This impressive installation was completed entirely under the aegis of the Tabernacle’s in-house technical team, led by Trevor Bowron and Ian McAlees, members of which were unanimous in their choice of the 42-fader Vista 5, the first digital console for the church.
“There’s a lot of experience in our team, much of it gained from the broadcast industry,” explains Ian McAlees, “so we were well-versed in Studer’s reputation for reliability. As well as the capability to handle the large number of sources we use, the desk gave us the facilities to drive as many auxes as we wanted, critically for our Aviom in-ear monitor mixers.”
Over the last year, the Tabernacle has installed an extensive digital network infrastructure, completely rewiring its enormous 2,500-seat sanctuary to accommodate a new line-array PA system. “In fact, we double-wired for both desks so that we had a complete set of mic lines for both the old and the new to facilitate the changeover. The church services don’t stop, so the implementation of the front-of-house programme had to be done without any disruption to normal hours of worship.”
Typically a service at the Metropolitan Tabernacle features an on-stage band with 4 or 5 players, a grand piano and a 200-piece choir, as well as the pastor and other speakers. “Normally we use about 70 channels of audio; there are 24 mics on the choir alone. We installed the Vista 5 with 88 mic inputs all patchable from the 140 mic points in the church, plus analogue and digital line-level inputs.” As well as giving quick access to such a large mix in a relatively small space, the Vista 5 impressed with its dedicated Aviom interface, fully integrated into the desk router. All the mixes are generated internally and driven directly from the desk.
“We’re making moderate use of the Vista’s recall facilities, as the services are not a repeatable event,” continues Ian McAlees. “We have been very impressed by how the console saves us set-up time. The surface itself, especially the Vistonics interface, is popular with the church’s engineers because it is so pleasant to work on. Sonically, we expected it to be good – and it is!”