Symetrix saves the day as Oklahoma City’s Southwest Church of Christ needed new audio equipment to keep up with its ever-growing capacity.
Since its founding during the hard dustbowl years, Oklahoma City’s Southwest Church of Christ has grown steadily in membership. A series of buildings and sanctuaries of ever-growing capacity trace a path from the church’s first meeting, which took place in a member’s living room, to its modern 700-plus-seat sanctuary. Although only a decade old, Southwest Church of Christ’s latest building quickly amassed an ad hoc collection of sound reinforcement equipment that strained the capacity of the technician’s booth and often flummoxed the volunteer technicians who attempted to use it.
Hoping to maintain its functionality while greatly simplifying the user interface, the church contacted Robert Rogers, senior design consultant with Audio Video Designs (AVD) of nearby Moore, Oklahoma. AVD used a cost-effective Symetrix Jupiter 12 app based turnkey DSP to replace all of the analogue clutter. The church was so pleased with the improvement that they asked AVD to integrate their three fellowship halls, and AVD obliged using a Symetrix Jupiter 8 running the Sound Reinforcement #6 app configured to combine rooms. “The audio booth was cluttered with consoles, switches and dials, with a few computers and screens thrown in for good measure,” explained Jeff Brocaw, design consultant with AVD. “They just kept adding on as new needs presented themselves. Not only was the sanctuary system controlled from the booth, so too were the more modest systems in the three fellowship halls.” Because the input sources and loudspeakers were all still in fine shape, AVD was able to leave them in place. However, new Crown and ElectroVoice four-channel amplifiers now power the system. “Of course, money was a huge factor, and the Symetrix Jupiter 12 DSP was the logical choice,” said Brocaw. “We could eliminate all that clutter with the processing power in that single rack space unit, and they wouldn’t have to pay for a digital console.” The Jupiter 12 collect outputs from all of the stage microphones, as well as from video playback devices and a pair of ambient microphones for use in recording. The Jupiter 12’s four outputs send signal to the main sanctuary system, the three fellowship halls, and a computer-based recorder, as well as hallways and other areas of the building. One of the outputs is currently unused and awaits future expansion. Partly because there are a lot of open microphones on stage, Brocaw used the “Gating Automixer” app with the Jupiter 12. The gates effectively eliminate feedback problems that the church was having with the old system. For Sunday service, the system operator makes adjustments from a computer running the Symetrix Jupiter software. The church was so pleased that it requested a similar transformation of the ad hoc room combining system that they had constructed. With eight inputs, eight outputs, and an app easily-made to perform room-combining (Sound Reinforcement #6) the Symetrix Jupiter 8 was the obvious cost-effective solution. “As with the Jupiter 12, the Jupiter 8’s interface is sufficiently simple that church staff and volunteers can use it reliably,” said Brocaw. “That simplicity, together with processing power and affordability, made the Jupiter 8 the right choice.” The Symetrix Jupiter 8 takes its inputs from each of the fellowship halls, and sends outputs back to each of the fellowship halls. Additionally, three hard disc recorders stand ready to capture events that take place in the fellowship halls. Users execute room combining by opening the matrix from within the Jupiter software application. Any input can be sent to any output, and by incorporating input from and outputs to the main sanctuary system, all four rooms can be combined in any desired configuration. www.symetrix.co