New DiGiCo Desk Helps Worship Center Celebrate 40th Anniversary
Lancaster, PA’s Worship Center began with 30 people gathering for the first time on March 20, 1977 at the Sheraton Conestoga Hotel. Forty years later, the non-denominational church has grown to over 4,000 congregants and become a regional beacon for effective, efficient church operation, with a 106,000-square-foot church site and adjacent pre-K/elementary school and high school facilities.
Most recently, Worship Center has become a beacon of another kind as it shares the experience of a DiGiCo SD10 digital FOH console installed there in July of 2016 by AV integrator Clair Solutions. Worship Center Audio Director Anthony “Tone” Stephens notes that not a week goes by when he’s not FaceTiming, doing an in-person demonstration or Q&A session about the console with area churches curious about the kind of power and flexibility that the SD10 has brought them.
“We’ve become a resource for other churches to see what our experiences have been, including how we came to choose the SD10 and how we’ve been integrating it into our workflow,” says Stephens. “We’ve quickly landed on a workflow that is getting consistent results with volunteers running the board, which is exciting. My passion is to help people get the best results, so I choose products based on their ability to achieve those results.”
The SD10 has certainly done that at Worship Center. With a crew of mostly volunteers, Stephens says he is able to use the SD10’s fader-configuration ability to create a template that provides a familiar starting point for every application during the week, from Tuesday services to Wednesday music rehearsals through weekend services. Different FOH mixers handle each application but individual mixers can use a common baseline setup and then refine those settings to meet the exact needs of each application, storing changes as they progress. This, says Stephens, has tremendously bolstered the confidence of the church’s volunteers.
In addition, he’s found that virtually all of the church’s processing needs can be accomplished using the SD10’s onboard effects processors. “It’s done so well for us that I forgot to finish hooking up my Waves rig!” says Stephens.
Other features that have proven valuable include the SD10’s large matrix—a good fit with the church’s d&b Q Series main PA system. And the SD10’s scalable resolution lets them operate it at 24-bit/48kHz so that it acts as a perfectly compatible feed for the church’s Aviom personal monitor mixing system via a 16-channel digital Aviom output card residing in the 56-input SD-Rack.
Then there’s the SD10’s sound. “We talk a lot at Worship Center about our quality control meeting the needs of the ten-percenters—the techies and audiophiles—versus the 90-percenters who never notice any sound issues,” says Stephens. “But we’ve still had some 90-percenters come and compliment us on how much better things sound, without even realizing that we’ve installed a new console.”
Stephens says the step up in console technology was a long time coming at Worship Center, delayed by economic uncertainties and other worldly considerations. But when the time finally arrived, the SD10 was the solution that they’d been waiting for. “We had budget approval for a flagship level console and essentially could have picked anything we wanted,” says Stephens. “But the DiGiCo SD10 gave us the quality we were looking for and met our needs without having to go to the extreme price-wise. It gave us everything we needed in an affordable package that was easy to learn and use.”