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Pressed into service at Korean church: first Asian installation for Midas XL8

The system simultaneously provides both FOH mixes and numerous monitor mixes and has been installed into the church’s central broadcast suite, which relays services throughout the building.

The SaRang church has a main hall which can accommodate a congregation of 2,300, with 12 auxilliary rooms seating between 300 to 1,000 each. Depending on the service, anywhere between 4,000 – 8,000 people can participate in each one, and there are six services every two hours. On a typical Sunday, this means that the church attracts a total of around 33,000 worshipers. Each service features a 120-piece Gospel choir, a full orchestra, 13 vocalists, drums, percussion and various other instruments, requiring 50 mic input and 30 line input channels.

“For some years we have been looking for a digital mixing system that could handle the very specific and complex demands of our application,” says broadcasting director and chief sound engineer Mr Ki Min Koo.

“Other digital consoles on the market were difficult for us to operate, as we were only experienced in using analogue consoles. Up until now, we haven’t been comfortable using digital consoles to solve the problems that can occur in a live situation. That was until we heard about XL8, and we decided that it was worth waiting a year, until December 2006, when it became available.”

The church’s new Midas XL8 has many features that are useful for its programme of live work. These specifically include the unique SOLO A/B function which allows completely independent simultaneous dual audio monitoring of any inputs and/or outputs, plus the POP (population) Groups, which facilitate input paging by musical function rather than by numbers, but without VCA gain control. “These features are particularly useful to us as they allow two people to work side by side, using the XL8 for FOH and monitor duties,” says Mr Ki Min Koo.

“In our church, many of the services and programmes are repeated each week,” continues Mr Ki Min Koo. “In such an environment, a digital console became a necessity and for this reason we selected the new Midas XL8. Now that it’s installed, we are sure that our choice was the right one.”

Launched in 2006, the XL8 live performance system represents a new generation of networked systems, requiring only mics, amps and speakers to provide a complete audio system. However its open architecture ensures that third-party devices can easily be integrated into the system. It has been designed to address the way in which sound engineers approach the task of mixing. A large part of the three-year development project has been to devise a work surface that can be operated from scratch quickly and easily – even by engineers new to digital control surfaces.

Combining sound quality, flexibility and reliability with an ease and familiarity of use, XL8 is the first of a new generation of open-architecture, cross-platform, integrated audio control and distribution systems, which brings control of not only audio, but other aspects of live performance to a single, intuitive control centre.