An Allen & Heath Qu-32 Finds A Home In The Blue Grass State.
Deep in the heart of Kentucky, in a county name Barren, is a town with 10 stoplights and roughly eighteen thousand citizens. Among this population one will find a large community of Amish families and Churches as well as a cross section of other religious denominations. Welcome to Glasgow, Kentucky where yes, there are traditional Scottish Games played each summer as the town’s name might imply. A few hours drive from Bowling Green, Kentucky, where its main Church campus lies, the Crossland Community Church has made the transition to 21st century technology in more ways than one would expect by a rural, satellite House of Worship.
In fact, there is very little the Crossland Church hasn’t embraced in the latest audio and video technology. From its beginnings four years ago, Crossland Community Church has been streaming services from its main campus in Bowling Green live or in playback mode via a Kulabyte server
depending on which Sunday service one attends. Housed in a shopping center with 1500 square feet of space, the sanctuary was created using carpeting, padded chairs and an assortment of acoustic panels. When it came time to upgrade the sound system for the room the initial, digital mixing console experience for the Church was not exactly positive. According to Jonathan Jones of JCA Media, the design/ install contractor:
“The Church had been using another digital board that was not very user friendly – something very important for teams of church volunteers with limited audio mixing experience.” Having worked with a pair of Allen & Heath iLive T112 consoles at his own church, Jones was aware of the new Qu Series of consoles from Allen & Heath. “The form factor and the feature set of the Qu series were perfect for this install. We used a Qu-24 model until the Qu-32 became available. We swapped them, and had the Qu-32 up and running in less than 20 minutes.” states Jones. Then, in his classic Kentucky parlance he adds: ‘The client was tickled to death!”
“It’s like switching from a PC to a Mac”
“Our old board had a thousand knobs on it and complex set ups” relates Jason Brooks, Campus and Worship Pastor for Crossland Community Church. “Plus, our room had not been properly tuned for a long time – when we got the Qu-32 we went wow! The board has an awareness to it that is sweeter and warmer - our room really came alive.” he adds.
The new audio system also includes five of Allen & Heath’s ME-1 personal mixers for the stage band and worship leader. “The ME-1’s allow us all to isolate and tune our audio signal for different music styles and set ups” relates Brooks, “it’s a game changer for the services.” The Church sound system includes a set of JBL point and shoot speakers with a pair of single 15-inch sub woofers, Shure Beta 58 wireless and SM58 handheld microphones and a DBX drive rack. As if the great sound of the Qu-32 console wasn’t enough, there is something even more appealing for this small, but growing 400 plus church congregation: Freedom. As Pastor Brooks puts it, “When you have a sound system that enhances your worship of Jesus- it fits right into who we are, and what we are about as a freedom based church without the constraints of a liturgical format. This freedom gives way in a service to what I like to call “Go God, Rockin’ Awesome!”
Another compelling aspect of the Allen & Heath consoles for both Jones and Pastor Brooks is the ease of use inherent in the Allen & Heath consoles.
“If there is any chance to go digital for a job, I’ll recommend Allen & Heath states Jones. “Churches definitely want to update to 21st century technology, but they get intimidated – the Qu series of mixers takes person with limited sound knowledge and opens the doors to let them become good, if not very good at mixing sound. And the instructional videos that Allen & Heath has made available are so great-they help folks get trained in a very concise way” Jones says. “In three weeks I had four people trained on the Qu-32 console, plus myself. I was able to hire two more sound guys; they caught on to setting scenes and gates, using compressors and EQ’s very quickly.” relates Pastor Brooks. “My phone has not rung one time when I am not at the Church for a function” he adds. “We have also begun to cross train persons at our main campus in Bowling Green with ease since they have an Allen & Heath iLive console there.” states Brooks. It sounds like this small but vibrant community has something to teach its Big City colleagues a thing or two about 21st century audio as well.