Now outfitted with a pair of Allen & Heath dLive S7000 mixing systems at front of house and onstage for monitors, plus an S5000 standing-in for broadcast needs, Wave Church’s Great Neck Campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, recently completed a major audio upgrade. Engineered and implemented by Virginia Beach-based S&S Productions, the system improvements bring new levels of control and flexibility to the campus.

Future-proofing the system was addressed in the upgrade, as was the need to provide the volunteer staff with gear that was intuitively easy to use. “Even if you’ve never seen them before, Allen & Heath dLive control surfaces have an air of familiarity,” S&S Productions’ Cory Sprenkle relates. “A world of control opens up on the touchscreens that’s as simple as the smartphones we use every day. Our volunteer operators were up-and-running in no time with little instruction.”

The 12-inch capacitive touchscreens on the dLive control surfaces feature dedicated “widget” areas that can be set up to keep track of scenes, meters, FX, and other user-created control functions. Scenes are widely used at the Great Neck campus by all system operators, including Sprenkle, a member of the church himself.

“Every operator has a different way of doing things,” he adds, “and with the dLive systems we can customise our template of controls, save it, and even import it within other shows so we can always mix in the fashion we’re used to.”

There were other benefits too, including the ability to monitor and control the church’s Shure wireless microphone systems directly from the dLive interfaces or via a laptop computer using Allen & Heath dLive Director software. With 64 busses available at each control surface, stereo mixes became a routine reality in both the house and onstage, where over 14 IEM mixes were created. Networking capabilities were expanded with the use of Waves, Dante, and AES I/O cards, the latter of which were used to carry digital input to the system amplifiers. As a safeguarding measure, each of the new dLive mixing systems is equipped with dual redundant, hot-swappable power supplies.

Further complementing the upgrade was an Allen & Heath DM64 stage box and several DX32 and DX168 expanders. “We can use 128 inputs simultaneously,” Sprenkle points out, “with far more than that available throughout the building. Fortunately, our DX32 and DX168 expanders will keep up with just about anything—including future dreams—for years to come.”