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Pro16® System Delivers Better Audio for South Africa’s Annual Event

GREYTOWN, KWAZULU-NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA, NOVEMBER 10, 2008 — More than 60,000 men from all over South Africa gathered for Mighty Men 2008, one of the country’s largest Christian events, to listen to Angus Buchan, farmer, writer and missionary of Shalom Ministries. Housed in the largest outdoor tent in the world, the theater-in-the-round stage presentation offered unique challenges for the technical staff trying to make a connection between those onstage and the audience. Aviom’s Pro16® system solved a major feedback problem for the minister and the six-member house band at the event, keeping communication and monitoring clear while not interfering with the front-of-house mix. aviom_mighty-men-2008_1.JPG

“When you have an event where the stage is in the middle of the audience, all technical problems revolve around keeping the audience’s line of sight with the presenter,” says Nik Fairclough, owner of Northwind, system designer for the event. “For Mighty Men, we built the stage with the house band sunk down so they were only partially visible to the audience. By using the Aviom system for monitor mixing, we eliminated the need for a wedge monitoring system, gaining more control over the monitor mix for the worship leaders and the band while taking feedback out of the loop.”

The monitor system for Mighty Men 2008 was based around a Yamaha M7CL digital console with an Aviom16/o-Y1 A-Net® Card inserted in a console expansion slot. The A-Net signal was distributed through an Aviom A16-D Pro A-Net Distributor. The system for the two worship leaders was set up using the Aviom A-16R Rack-mount Mixer controlled by the Aviom A-16CS Control Surface. A Sennheiser wireless IEM Transmitter was connected to the A-16R and the A 16CS units were clamped to the trussing and were readily accessible to the worship leaders. The band members each had an Aviom A-16II Personal Mixer with in-ear monitoring.

Due to the large number in attendance, it was not just the balance between the front of house and the monitor mix that Northwind had to contend with but also the sound from the audience competing with the worship leaders’ and the band’s ability to hear their monitors. “Breaking the distance barrier between stage and congregation in order to bring back some of the lost intimacy that automatically occurs with large events was a challenge,” Fairclough explains. “This was overcome by providing large 6m x 4m video screens above the stage and ensuring that the front of house audio coverage was loud and focused. If you add the sonic explosion of having 60,000 voices singing, it is easy to see how the worship leaders and the band would be swamped if we were using wedges. By giving each person their own in-ear mixing capability, we didn’t need to constantly raise the monitor system level when the house level peaked. The Aviom provided an elegant solution to this physical problem.”

According to Fairclough, other important features of the Aviom system include fast setup time, easy operation and a punchy, clean audio signal. “For the first time, the musicians and performers can now tweak their own monitor mixes. The Aviom system is simple for non-technical people to operate. I am no longer simultaneously bombarded with requests from six musicians to raise this or that level, allowing me to concentrate on the front of house mix. The Aviom system works so well that it is amazing that we got by without it in the past.”

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.

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November 2008
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