At the beginning of October 2019, ReDDs Media completed an update and retune of the sound system at Alive Church in Norwich, UK.
After a water leakage issue originating from the roof caused Alive Church to say goodbye to their beloved Yamaha TF5 sound console, we stepped in and provided a Digico D1 Live console for their Front of House FOH sound system. This new sound console upgrade gives the production team at Alive 224 inputs with 160 processing channels to play with, allowing them to scale to any sized band - even an orchestra! The new console also makes it easier than ever for Alive's team to have more than one sound engineer working on the console at once during a live show, thanks to the console's three separately controlled sections and multiple input monitoring options.
To integrate the Digico D1 into Alive Church's existing Audinate Dante network, we had to convert the industry standard MADI dual coax input on the back of the D1 to Dante, a network protocol. Not only did the new Digico console need to receive all the available Dante inputs on the network, the console also needed to be able to output to their FOH system, monitors, IEMs and other Auxiliary mixes too! In order to achieve this, we installed the Verto MX ADAT converter from Ferrofish. Thanks to Turnpike Audio, we were also to source this product as an ex-demo modal to meet the strict budget on this project.
To get the best out of the new console, we worked with the Production Team and sound engineers at Alive Church to re-address gain structures to get the best out of their multiple existing Yamaha TIO 1608-D Dante enabled pre-amps and thanks to the R Remote utility produced by Yamaha, we were able to have full control of the pre-amps in the stage rack from the FOH position. Alive's In Ear Monitoring (IEM) rack was also moved away from their existing backstage audio rack to eliminate issues they had been experiencing with RF interference causing the signal of the mics to occasionally breakup.
To make the new system sound even better, we performed a re-tune of the PA system making use of Rational Acoustics' Smaart audio measurement and frequency analysis software to dial in the FOH systems' frequency response to closer match the intended frequency response of the content playing. Many things affect how a system sounds much more than the cabinets and drivers on each speaker and one of the biggest factors is the room in which the speakers are placed. Using Smaart allowed us to tailor the sound out of the speaker system to take the frequency response and acoustics of the room into account. When working with Alive, they specifically requested that the system be tuned to accentuate the style of the music played by their in house band, instead of having a flat response in their system. This leads to an overall better experience for worship-goers and removes the need for the sound engineers to mix this style from FOH.
Finally, ReDDs Media provided and will continue to provide training and support to the Production Team at Alive Church. We covered the new Digico D1 Live console, how to use it and how to get the best out of the new equipment. We taught a basic understanding of MADI to go along with their existing knowledge of Dante and how the two technologies can interface together. Training of gain structures with the team helped re-enforce their already excellent knowledge and we re-addressed EQ and how to properly EQ a channel.