Gwinnett Church, a campus of the popular North Point Ministries group comprised of six churches in the Atlanta area, opened a new 1,300-seat auditorium this past January as the main sanctuary for the three services that 3,000 congregants attend each Sunday. But what might be the end goal for some churches is only phase one for Gwinnett Church’s long-range strategy—steel girders and other structural materials are already in place for a planned expansion in years to come that will accommodate upwards of 3,000 people per service.
When a church plans that far ahead at that kind of scale, it has to make wise capital-investment decisions. One of those for Gwinnett Church was its choice of two DiGiCo SD10 digital audio consoles to be used for FOH and monitor mixes. The new DiGiCo SD10 consoles, the centerpieces of a new sound system that also includes Martin MLA loudspeakers and d&b audiotechnik J-Sub cardioid subwoofers, were sold and installed by Alpharetta-based dealer/integrator Clark ProMedia.
Discussing the thought process behind the decision to acquire the two SD10 desks, Gwinnett Church Technical Director Adrian Varner explains that the non-DiGiCo consoles the church had been using in its previous building were nearing the end of their useful lifespans (the manufacturer discontinued their sales at the end of last year). The need was for a platform that could accommodate a large number of inputs—the church’s eight-piece worship band alone requires upwards of 60 inputs—and offer the flexibility needed for ancillary functions such as multichannel recording of services.
“We needed a high channel count, for the band and because we have other mixes going to other parts of the building, such as overflow rooms, and to do mix-minus mixes when they’re needed,” says Varner. “We required a console that was more powerful to move beyond just mixing a left-right PA system.”
Varner says that a smooth workflow is critical: “We had become very used to using plug-in processing on our previous consoles, and we wanted to maintain that kind of workflow and not have external plug-in processing as it would have been with some other console choices. The fact that the DiGiCo consoles have Waves plug-ins fully integrated into their workflow is a huge plus. It makes using plug-ins easy and quick.”
In addition, both consoles share the same two DiGiCo SD-Racks, located near the SD10 used for monitors, on a shared fiber loop, with direct home runs between the racks and the consoles. The SD-Racks will also support these and any additional DiGiCo consoles once the new auditorium is finished.
“Because we know growth is coming down the road, we can’t make purchasing decisions just for today,” says Varner. “DiGiCo gave us the best options for now and also the bandwidth to go into the future. We feel comfortable that the SD10s will still have plenty of life left in them years from now.”