Milwaukee, Wisconsin area Eastbrook Church recently completed a challenging upgrade to their main sanctuary audio infrastructure. Church leadership wanted to ensure the audio components didn’t distract visually and could be easily accessed and utilized by all technical staff. Since sections of the ceiling in the venue were well over 20 feet tall, overhead runs were out of the question. With the flexible Allen & Heath dLive Digital Mixing System already in place in the facility, Eastbrook tapped into the comprehensive ‘Everything I/O’ range of hardware options to overcome these logistical challenges.  

“We knew that Allen & Heath would have a good solution to our tricky cable run requirements,” notes Nick Snyder, Junior Engineer, Avenue Systems. “With Eastbrook’s dLive DM48 MixRack at the back of house, the stage pocket cable runs couldn’t be ran anywhere but into the basement. With a single CAT cable and robust locking EtherCon ports, we could feed between each stage pocket and connect everything up as needed, though. We installed two of the DX164-W Wall Mount DX Expanders in another project recently, so we knew how cool they are and went that route again here.”  

The DX164-W is a wall mountable expander that adds remote I/O to a dLive, Avantis or SQ mixer, or to the AHM-64 audio matrix processor. Designed for wall mount or dip trap installation, DX164-W (and the Dante-enabled DT164-W) offer 16 mic preamps with independent Phantom Power LED indicators, 4 balanced XLR outputs and 96kHz converters. While up to 46 units can be added to a dLive system via a DX Link card or DX Hub (offering support for up to 808 analog inputs and 224 analog outputs), the Eastbrook Church project was able to directly connect without an additional card or hub.  

The Expander’s design allows for wall mount operation or, alternatively, installation in a stage dip trap making it perfect for fixed installations. Compatible with ACE Backstage 174SLBK stage pocket system, mounting of the DX164-W was a breeze. In addition to the 174SLBK, ACE Backstage manufactures a full product line of flush Stage Pocket Systems which provide utility, protection, and easy installation of connectivity for projects of all sizes. 

“These DX units are really a great piece of gear and they fit beautifully in the ACE Backstage box,” adds Snyder. “The DX and ACE mount came together to make life a million times easier and time efficient on the install side. What could have been a multi-day, six-person job with other I/O and mount solutions became an easy half-day, 2-person job.” 

“We’ve seen so many projects come along lately where the I/O requirement pointed to something other than a traditional ‘live sound’ stage box or rack mount form factor,” comments Allen & Heath USA Marketing Director Jeff Hawley. “Eastbrook Church is a great example of this trend, and Nick and the Avenue Systems team stepped in with the DX164-W and ACE box combo for the win.”  

Summing up the project results, David Price, CEO, Avenue Systems, adds, “Thanks for making such a stellar product. The client loves them. We’re gonna spec this I/O and mounting solution on every project if possible.”