DiGiCo Technology Enhances Odessa Christian Faith Center’s New Sanctuary

January 31, 2019 Off By Christopher Shuler

The Odessa Christian Faith Center’s newly opened $20 million-plus facility in this well-known west-Texas city represents the church’s steady growth over the last 35 years. Its new 2,000-capacity sanctuary more than doubled the size of its previous 825-seat room, and the OCFC now also has a sound system to match its bigger space, centered on a new DiGiCo SD10 console at front of house backed by a pair of SD-Racks and connected to the DiGiCo 4REA4 processing and distribution engine.

The DiGiCo systems feed a new EAW discrete LCR sound system, which is in part why AV consulting firm Idibri specified the SD10 and its capacious channel count. “This combination of systems and platforms makes it a strong solution for Odessa Christian Faith Center’s new church building, to support Sunday worship and large presentations, while addressing budget and operational concerns,” explains Idibri Senior Consultant Ryan Knox.

Audio engineer Latrell Bledsoe running the house mix on the DiGiCo SD10 console in Odessa Christian Faith Center’s new 2,000-seat sanctuary (credit for all photos: Ryan Knox, Idibri)

The new SD10 console’s large channel capacity—up to 132 configurable channels, as well as up to 56 Aux/Group busses and a 24x24 Matrix—combined with the new 4REA4 platform fit the church’s needs, from front of house to the stage. And the new PA system’s LCR array setup is fully discrete, fed from the SD10’s LCR Master buss. “Along with the subs, this configuration for the sound system puts a lot of emphasis on individual busses to manage the signals,” says Knox. “The SD10 has the capacity and flexibility the church needs.”

Up on stage, the church’s gospel-praise band and large choir—each individual vocalist is separately mic’d, requiring as many as 30 channels—can demand as many as 65 channels for a normal Sunday service, and push that into the mid 90s or even low 100s for special events, all running at 96kHz. In any other situation, that would likely necessitate the use of a second console to handle monitoring.

Instead, the SD10 is paired with the new DiGiCo 4REA4 engine, which is used here to manage the large number of in-ear monitors being sent through the church’s Digital Audio Labs Livemix personal monitoring system, through the 4REA4’s Dante output card. “In this application, the 4REA4 is being used as a Dante bridge, between the console and the IEM system,” says Knox. “The 4REA4 also takes some of the load for a large monitoring requirement off of the FOH console.”

Odessa Christian Faith Center’s high-energy worship team is comprised of multiple lead vocalists, a full band, and fully mic’d choir—all of which the DiGiCo SD platform handles with ease

Designed to deliver the highest quality performance across multi-space venues and stages, DiGiCo’s new 4REA4 is an highly versatile processing and distribution engine. Paired with numerous DiGiCo connectivity options and powerful 4REA4 control software, the system provides routing, processing, and mix control that allows a performance area to easily expand across both temporary and fixed installations.

The church could not be more pleased with how the new systems are performing. “In this case, the 4REA4 eliminates the need for a second console, which saved us a considerable amount of money during a very expensive new capital project,” says Lowell Hohstadt, the church’s Music Minister and Fine Arts Ministry Director. The SD10 also supports the church’s all-volunteer technical staff, giving them a powerful digital console that’s user friendly and highly flexible, able to easily be configured for the church’s various workflow needs.

But in particular for Hohstadt, a graduate of both the Juilliard School of Music (B.A. 1986) and Eastman School of Music (M.A. 1989), and who has composed over 400 works for worship and seasonal productions, sonic quality is paramount, and the SD10 provides that. “The package that Ryan and Idibri put together is fantastic, and it achieves everything we set out to do, as well as positions us for future planned expansions,” he says. “But I’m especially happy with the way the system sounds. It’s very musical. Combined with the exceptional support we’ve gotten from DiGiCo, I know it was the right way to go.”

For more information on Odessa Christian Faith Center, visit www.ocfc.org. Idibri can likewise be found online at www.idibri.com.