There have been a slew of house of worship installs in major metropolitan areas of the country utilizing SD8 and SD9 consoles of late, but DiGiCo consoles of any variety aren't limited exclusively to the bright lights of the big city. In the small town of Stillwater, Minnesota—a dynamic, growing community of approximately 18,000 residents, just 20 miles east of downtown St. Paul— Trinity Lutheran Church is one of the newest owners of an SD9.
Making a concerted effort to replace old technology with up-to-date, state-of-the-art choices, Audio/Visual Director Jake McBroom selected the SD9 specifically after hearing demos of its SD8 sibling and based on recommendations from integrator, Audio Logic Systems—not to mention the specs, DiGiCo's reputation, the console's small footprint, the lack of necessity of outboard processing gear, and its ease of use.
"The SD9 is the FOH console in our main worship space," offered McBroom. "It handles the FOH mix, the monitor mixes, and all of our other sends including video recording and audio recording—which is incredible that we can have all that functionality in just one console. We are using little to no old technology with this new system that is controlled by the DiGiCo. The SD9 is running a hybrid d&b audiotechnik LCR Q series and T-series PA, as well as our Hear Technologies Freedom Back in-ear monitoring wireless system, and is critical to the operation during worship because of it's reliability, flexibility, and ease of training for all of my techs of varying abilities. The console is very visually based, thus creating a good user learning experience. Overall, the DiGiCo has played an integral role in accomplishing getting great audio quality in our church."
Trinity Lutheran also facilitates recordings out of its Lift Bridge Recording Studio, where they've recorded full-length albums, college vocal demos, multitracked live concerts, and recorded worship materials. "It's all run through the DiGiCo using the 8-rack analog XLR outs into a PreSonus Fire Studio Project. For the acts that need it, I use the DiGiCo to drive the monitoring during sessions. Eventually, I'd like to use the MADIFace system digital output from the board to the express slot on my Apple MacBook Pro."
McBroom says he finds the onboard functionality and features particularly appealing on the SD9. "I love the internal effects on this board… they are awesome! I mainly use the delays to thicken up the vocals and guitars, and I use the reverb to make our direct instruments sound like they belong in the same room as the live mic'd ones.
The processing windows and interactions on the console—the ability to mix the graphic EQ's and aux sends on the faders especially—create a very efficient and enjoyable mixing experience. Before we had to rely heavily on a number of old and unreliable outboard units, and it's nice to know all of the processing I'm working with now is reliable. Secondly, the scene recalls and security features are especially helpful for me so I don't have to worry about zeroing out the board before I start. Also, this console is really clean sonically compared to the analog board I was using previously. After its installation, we've received rave reviews from our congregation. I've heard things like a 30-year congregation member say, â€˜This is the first time I've actually heard the sermon!' Although my most common response from people is, â€˜Wow, that console is sick!'"