Our simplified solution for large church productions


With their large theatrical performances, Blythefield Hills Baptist Church in Rockford, Mich. began to experience difficulties with their analogue patch bay and their limited 72-input console. Oncore AV was approached by the Worship Arts Technical Director Don Hamblin with a vision of simplicity for their audio needs. Together, we focused on creating and installing a new system that no longer needed an analogue patch bay and increased their available inputs, while allowing for two board operators. We also hoped to achieve a versatility of work surfaces for the vocals, worship team and wireless microphones.

Oncore AV began the project by considering several manufacturers, but for the church we decided the Allen and Heath iLive products were ideal because it was the most cost effective, while still meeting all the ministry’s needs. We used an iLive-144 connected to two IDR-64 stage boxes that allowed 128 inputs to accommodate their 96 available input points in the sanctuary. The Allen and Heath ACE Network connected the surface and stage boxes on each side of the stage with a single Cat-5e cable. When the symphony is on-site, the stage right IDR has the option of being moved up to a separate location, which consists of all the inputs for the instrumentation.

During a large performance for Christmas or Easter, the church uses up to 48 wireless microphones. Facing this, we did not want to take away from the 128 inputs we currently set up for instrumentation. So we used the Allen and Heath IDR-48 connected to an iLive-T112 through the ACE Network and then connecting the outputs via Audinate Dante technology off port B of the IDR-48 and IDR-64 Slave. This gave them a full digital system with up to 176 inputs between the two systems. For personal monitoring they use a mixture of wedges and Aviom A-16II personal monitor systems. Having the D800-Dante from Aviom allows use of 16 outputs from either console while not using any of our 32 analogue outputs.

Between Hamblin’s vision of simplicity and versatility and our trained professional opinion, we believe this system will work smoothly for their large upcoming productions. Blythefield Hills Baptist Church will now have an easier understanding of how to incorporate numerous elements that engage well throughout the entire performance, making it less confusing by incorporating two separate surface boards.