EXTON, PA, MARCH 16, 2010 — WellSprings Congregation has recently installed an Aviom Pro16® digital snake to simplify setup and enhance the overall sonic quality of its services. A portable church, WellSprings hosts its weekly Sunday services at Bell Hall at the Montgomery School, a private local elementary and middle school in Exton PA, which requires the church to set up and break down all equipment before and after each service.
Since its inception three years ago, WellSprings has seen its weekly attendance grow extensively from approximately 20 participants to over 200. WellSprings' services have always incorporated a worship band and video elements, originally mixing from the side of the stage and running video on a makeshift screen that was hung from a beam. Due to the ever-growing size of its congregation, the church decided it was time to upgrade its audio and video equipment to ensure that every member was getting the most out of each service.
The portable nature of the church, combined with the challenges of budgetary constraints and working with a volunteer staff, required the church to look for solutions that would be easy to use, minimize setup time while also maximizing audio quality. One of the congregation members helping to design the new AV setup was Carl Bader, president and founder of Aviom, who knew the company's Pro16 digital snake was the right fit for the application.
Aviom's digital snake runs via Cat-5 cable, so with permission from the school, WellSprings was able to permanently install cabling inconspicuously on Bell Hall's beautiful open-beam structure. WellSprings has implemented a 16x16 channel Pro16 digital snake, which consists of an AN-16i-M Mic Input Module, an AN-16i Input Module and two AN-16o v.4 Output Modules. The gear is mounted in two rolling racks (stage and FOH) that are stowed away after Sunday services. A major benefit of the new setup is that the whole system can be set up in half the time it would take to just get an analog snake out of storage and deployed in the hall where services are held. This is a huge benefit as all of the AV staff for the church are volunteers. The incorporation of the Aviom digital snake has allowed WellSprings to reduce its AV setup time to around 15 minutes from start to finish.
“Basically the nature of the layout in the hall, the fact that it's a volunteer tech team and is a portable- style setup made it impossible for us to use an analog snake,” explains Bader. “For this particular space, we needed to run the snake on the Hall's trademark structural wooden beams. However, that would have required two people on two ladders to run a traditional analog snake for every service, and, all of that would have to be taken down after service because the school asks that we keep the hall virtually equipment free. Going to a Cat-5 cable system allowed us to keep the cable permanently and inconspicuously on the beam structure, saving a lot of set-up and tear-down time.”
Since the mic preamps in the Aviom digital snake's AN-16/i-M Mic Input Module are of such high quality and offer exceptional sonic performance, the church was able to purchase a less expensive mixing console rather than spend extra on a higher-priced console.
“The hardest part, and usually the most expensive part of a console are the mic-pres, but that is being taken care of by the Aviom gear,” Bader continues. “With the addition of the Aviom preamps we are able to turn our relatively inexpensive mixer into a line-level only mixer and have the Aviom's preamps actually provide the resulting sound.”
Even with the addition of the Aviom gear, the church has been able to stay within the storage space allotted to it by the school. The majority of the Aviom equipment is stored in the stage and FOH racks placed in a hatch under the stage while seldom-used gear is stowed in a shed on the premises. Over the past three years, WellSprings has built such a strong relationship with the school that it is now able to house its equipment on site and even keep the speaker system set up. In return, the church allows the school to use the equipment during the week. In all, both the congregation and the school are able to benefit from the new Aviom equipment. Bader commented, “Having a great relationship with our landlord has allowed us to create win-win situations for both the school and our Sunday service tech team, as well as our congregation, and preserving that relationship is a high priority for our portable church.”
Aviom pioneered personal mixing with its Pro16® Monitor Mixing System and continues to break new ground with the revolutionary Pro64® Series of audio networking products. With tens of thousands of products in the field today, Aviom has set the standard for high performance, scalable digital solutions. All Aviom systems harness the power of A-Net®, Aviom's innovative digital audio technology that simplifies system design while enhancing flexibility and fidelity. All Aviom products are designed, tested, and manufactured in the USA.