A pair of Allen & Heath dLive C3500 digital mixing systems are the newest members of the congregation at Olympia, Washington’s Church of Living Water, both of which came to the house of worship recently as part of an upgrade designed to improve audio quality and provide a future-proof template of flexibility and customisable control.

“The church wanted something today that would serve them well into tomorrow,” explains Mark Pearson of CCI Solutions, the Tumwater, Washington-based AV integration firm chosen for the upgrade. “They embraced the idea that technology would always be changing, and wanted consoles that wouldn’t leave them with any limitations as their needs evolved.”

Led by pastors Jon and Fawn Cobler, services at Living Water reach out to 2,000+ members each week. A full band including drums, bass, guitar, and keyboards are regularly heard, and along with all of the other audio elements of the Foursquare church’s contemporary style of worship, an average of 30 input channels arrive at front of house from the stage. With the first of the two dLive C3500 control surfaces serving the congregation out front, the second was installed in the church’s broadcast control room to manage weekly live streaming of events. Signals are split digitally to serve the unique mix needs of each application.

“The audio team at Living Water had an easy time transitioning to the dLive control surfaces,” Pearson happily reports. “Each of the C3500s’ twin 12-inch capacitive touchscreens provide a level of intuitive control for anyone used to swiping away at a smartphone screen. Which, let’s face it, is virtually everyone. For our operators who still prefer the feel and immediacy of rotary controls, there’s a set of those as well, and they all work in harmony with what’s seen on the displays.”

Thanks to the presence of 19 assignable SoftKeys and three pages of six assignable rotaries, the C3500 control surfaces additionally offer each of Living Water’s operators ample opportunity to customise their mix interface however they choose, all within a framework in which every input can be assigned to any bank or layer.

“That gives every member of our team endless opportunities to create a tapestry of sweet sounds,” Pearson adds. “These desks will be around much longer than the ones they replaced. We’ve definitely taken a big step out of the past.”