Churches’ audio needs have evolved with many focused on accessing music through Spotify and other digital sources. Integration firm Horizon AVL knows that well and was ready when long-time customer Medford, N.J.-based Fellowship Alliance Chapel relocated to a new construction church. It responded by leveraging Dante Audio over IP to create a digital-focused audio solution that saves the customer money.
Horizon AVL accommodated all multichannel audio routing, distribution and management without the time and labor expenses of a legacy system, according to a press release by Audinate, developer of Dante.
Along with building out an extensive Dante Audio over IP network built to handle up to 64 channels of low-latency digital audio distribution, Horizon AVL added Dante Via to the mix. Using Audinate’s answer to low-cost computer-to-computer networking, the forward-looking firm saw an opportunity for Fellowship Alliance Chapel to use Dante Via for moving Spotify streams and other digital music around the facility, according to Audinate.
Dante Via integrates with Renewed Vision’s ProPresenter 6 software, a PC- and MAC-based media and lyric presentation system used by the church.
“One thing we focus on at Horizon AVL is remaining on the cutting edge of technology, as changes happen fast,” says Joshua Kell, CEO, Horizon AVL.
“We want to offer our clients a way to seamlessly move forward with digital formats and technologies that allow them to accomplish more. When we looked at audio networking, Dante Audio over IP stands out as the most versatile option. They continue to add products and manufacturers under their umbrella. The list keeps growing, and they continue to find new ways to add more channels, more equipment and more opportunities to the network.”
Dante Audio over IP Helps Reinvent Church Audio Networking
Kell adds that Dante has made it easy to extend Spotify digital music networking straight to the loudspeaker. Horizon AVL specified Dante from a front of house Allen & Heath S7000mixer through to steerable line arrays from PreSonus, which integrate Dante-enabled amplifiers to slim down the infrastructure.
“This is the first line array to move beyond steerable FIR filtering for sound management, and this is the first house of worship to integrate a steerable line array with Dante capability,” Kell says. “In fact, the only analog component is a legacy stage box that runs wire to the Allen & Heath S7000, and it’s all digital from there, including our Shure ULXD wireless microphone system. It doesn’t move out of Dante.”
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This provides several benefits, beginning with Horizon AVL’s integration work through to the weekly worship services using Dante to move audio around the campus. This includes a separate Allen & Heath GLD console used for live TV broadcasts that is fully Dante-enabled, eliminating the need for analog splits in the integration phase.
“We knew immediately that we wanted everything running over shielded Cat6A network cable to accommodate 4K video, so we worked with the electrical contractors to run the appropriate conduits to house network cable for Dante and all video needs,” Kell says.
“As we started running the cable to support the Dante audio network, it quickly became clear how much time and labor we would save. It would have taken three weeks to do it the conventional way, considering the soldering, testing, snaking and signal splitting required. With Dante, the total time to run the cables, punch it down, and configure the network and switches was well under a week – and that includes the consoles and other equipment on the Dante network. In terms of overall costs, we easily saved one-third the amount compared to the traditional way.”
More from Audinate’s press release:
Beyond the flexibility of using the Dante network to route, distribute and manage audio – as well as Dante Via and Dante Virtual Soundcard to incorporate computer platforms into the mix – Kell points to scalability and audio quality as two important benefits for Fellowship Alliance Chapel.
For scalability, Kell is only using about one-fifth of the 64-channel capacity for Dante signals in the Allen & Heath S7000, and he expects to transition that mixer to a higher capacity 128×128 Dante card as more channels are added to the system.
“Before Dante, the Fellowship Alliance Chapel team was dealing with numerous problems that required continual work around adding transformers, isolating hum and managing ground noise,” said Kell. “That all goes away in the digital realm with Dante, because phase grounding issues are eliminated all the way to the electrical panel.
The speech and overall intelligibility through to the steerable line arrays are top-notch – you can hear every syllable, every nuance in the vocals and every instrument. The clarity is there, as is the low latency that is important in live worship. It’s night and day from their old sanctuary, and they immediately were comfortable with how Dante can work in a worship AV scenario.”
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