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Immanuel Bible Church First To Take Leap Of Faith With New 42-fader Studer Vista 5 Desk

SPRINGFIELD, Virginia – November 2007 — Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, Virginia, has become the first purchaser of the new 42-fader Studer Vista 5 digital audio console in the United States. The console, which has been installed at front-of-house in the 1,100-seat auditorium, was selected for its input and output capacity, its simplicity of use by novice operators, and its flexibility, allowing simultaneous control of the main house system and monitors under two-man operation.

Services at Immanuel Bible Church range from the very simple, involving a dozen inputs, to large events such as Easter pageants, where 120 inputs are not unusual. Since many of the services rely on volunteers to mix the audio, operation had to be intuitive. Tim Heacock, the church’s Director of Audio, Visual and Lighting, comments, “With the Studer, everything that you need in a live situation is right there, and it’s logical. The stuff that you don’t need in a live situation but you have time to prep is down a couple of menus, but it’s not so deep that you can’t find it. We decided on the Studer because it’s just laid out so well. It has a tremendous design.”

The Studer Vista 5′s ease of use became apparent to Heacock this past summer, when the church’s analog console failed and he had the opportunity to try various potential replacements. He was especially impressed by the speed with which the volunteer operators for the Spanish-language services, who have relatively little engineering experience, became conversant with the Vista 5. “We set them in front of the Studer and literally only had about 15 minutes to explain to them how it works. They did a 45-minute rehearsal with their band on the Saturday and ran a flawless service on Sunday. You couldn’t find that with any other console.”

That belief was later confirmed, says Heacock, when he rented a popular console from another manufacturer for a month. “During that whole month, the two professional guys who work with me and I were struggling with how to get that board to work. My volunteers could not do it; we had to baby-sit them through all four weeks.”

The experience proved enlightening: “I think that was a selling point. The people in charge here realized this is a real nice piece of equipment, and that the volunteers could handle it and really enjoyed working with it. It made it an obvious decision. We decided to go ahead and buy the Studer.”

Now, says Heacock, he and his staff can prepare the console for foolproof operation by even the least experienced volunteers. “With the Studer we can set the system up, program it, adjust mic levels, and have everything ready to go so that all our volunteers they have to do is push up the faders. If he doesn’t know how to set compression or EQ, we can do that ahead of time during a rehearsal. It doesn‘t have to be a perfect mix. We walk out and they take care of it. It’s just fabulous to be able to do that.”

Heacock reports that a planned expansion of facilities to include a video control room — where an additional Studer console is being considered for installation — also played a role in the purchase decision, as it required the selection and routing of more inputs and outputs than any other mixing desk could handle, as he discovered during his research. “I was looking for something with 800 inputs and about 400 outputs,” he explains.

The maximum capacity of the church auditorium is limited by Fairfax County, in which it is located, so there are plans to ‘broadcast’ the sermons to other public areas and even satellite venues. “We want to have the entire facility available to us at the control room, and be able to send out to the entire facility from that room,” elaborates Heacock. “The church wants the studio control room not to just control the next-door room, and not just the worship center, but also have it control sound in the gym and in the atrium.”

There is another advantage to the Studer Vista 5 in the absence of a dedicated monitor desk, notes Heacock. “You can put an operator on a bank of 10 faders and he can sit there and get to any channel and adjust monitor levels. So I can have one person running monitors while I have another person running front-of-house on the other 30 channels. I can have them both working at the same time.”

About Studer:
Studer Professional Audio GmbH, founded by Willi Studer in 1948 and headquartered in Regensdorf, Switzerland, is a leading manufacturer of digital mixing consoles and other high-end products for broadcast and live applications. A subsidiary of Harman International Industries, the company’s products are distributed in the US by the Harman Pro North America. Distribution of Studer’s products in Canada is handled by Studer Canada.

About the Harman Pro Group:
The Harman Pro Group (www.harmanpro.com) is the world’s largest provider of professional audio products and system solutions for commercial sound, contracting, tour sound, recording and broadcast, musician, portable PA and cinema applications. The Group is headquartered in Northridge, California and includes industry leaders AKG Acoustics, BSS Audio, Crown International, dbx, DigiTech, JBL Professional, Lexicon, Soundcraft, and Studer. The Group is part of Harman International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE: HAR), a leading supplier of high-quality, high fidelity audio products and infotainment systems for the automotive, home and professional markets.

# # #

Studer USA / Harman Pro North America
8500 Balboa Boulevard, Northridge, CA 91329
Tel: 866.406.2349 / Fax: 818.920.3208
E-mail: studer-usa@harman.com / URL: www.studer.ch

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November 2007
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