BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND — Transitioning to digital was the ultimate goal of a recent major audio upgrade at Belfast's Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle, where the original equipment was installed more than 15 years ago. Supplied by Amber Sound, a Pro16® mixing system comprised of Aviom A-16II and A-16R Personal Mixers became the key element in the project. The Aviom system enables the church to distribute 16 digital audio channels to its musicians and has greatly decreased cable clutter throughout the auditorium.
When Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle was founded 50 years ago, the congregation consisted of 10 members who held services in a rented room. Today, the church has grown to host over 2,000 people during Sunday evening services. The recent system upgrade was essential to meet the audio needs of the expanding congregation. “Getting the Aviom system in and improving the experience for our musicians was key and the very first stage of our PA refurb,” says Ian McAlees, audio and IT manager for Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle.
For years, musicians at Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle used custom built personal mixers for monitor mixing. The new Aviom gear rewards musicians with reliability, expanded audio channels, ease of operation, and the ability to have balanced outs which feed amps and wireless IEM transmitters. The Aviom system at the church includes an
A-Net output card installed in a new Studer Vista 5 digital console, which sends the audio signal to two A-16D Pro Distributors. The distributors send A-Net and power to each of the seven A-16R and six A-16II Personal Mixers controlled by the musicians.
The A-16R Personal Mixers are connected to A-16CS Control Surfaces on the platform. Musicians use this setup to create a customized mix of 14 auxiliary channels, the front of house mix, and a channel dedicated to click plus talkback, for their wireless in-ear monitors. The Aviom A-16II Personal Mixers are used by musicians sporting wired in-ear audio monitors. As one of the most essential fixtures of the installation, the Aviom system was chosen for its reliability, ease of operation and sound quality.
“The Aviom mixers are great, rock-solid technology,” says McAlees. “The musicians love the system and now that they are accustomed to using in-ear monitors with the Aviom Personal Mixers, they say they'll never switch.”
The Aviom gear was so well received by the house musicians that the church has now made sure to install a similar network in its new 350-seat youth center auditorium. Connected to a Yamaha LS-9 console, the system currently features two Aviom Personal Mixers which are used by the youth worship band. Plans to further expand with additional mixers are on the horizon.