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Kerith Community Church

The Kerith Community Church in Bracknell is a contemporary Christian worship centre that runs a wide variety of events, courses and projects. Their outreach programmes include an extensive range of community-focused initiatives as well as education via the Kerith Academy. Aside from its core worship activities, the church is also hired out as a venue for a variety of other events and functions.

In common with an increasing number of modern worship facilities, Kerith employs a sophisticated sound reinforcement infrastructure to handle the wide range of events that take place there. Centered around a Meyer Sound loudspeaker system previously supplied by Autograph Sales & Installations (designed using MAPP Online prediction software, comprising six UPAs for balcony fill plus four more for main stage stereo system and two 650-P subwoofers), the church naturally turned once again to Autograph to provide the consultancy, design and support services necessary for the system upgrade.

The existing analogue console was due for replacement, and so Autograph Sales & Installations arranged a demonstration of three digital console options at the church. The chosen option was the DiGiCo SD8, configured with a 48 input / 16 output MADI rack located in the amplifier room, fed by existing tie-lines from the stage, plus a 32 input / 8 output D-Rack sited next to the FOH console to handle radio mic inputs and playback. The MADI conversion for the D-Rack is achieved using a DiGiCo Little Blue Box.

Partly as scheduled replacement but also to comply with the forthcoming changes in wireless legislation, Autograph also specified and supplied a complete package of Shure UR4D wireless microphone systems configured with five Beta 58s, one Beta 87 and six UR1 body pack transmitters, all on the new Channel 38 frequencies.

The re-fit also required the company to supply and wire new XLR patch panels to the existing multicores, and also to re-programme and re-EQ the Allen and Heath IDR system that provides overall system control, using Rational Acoustics’ Smaart V7 system for acoustic analysis.

Autograph’s Chris Austin acted as project manager and principal liaison with Kerith. He said, ‘Our product portfolio enables us to offer our clients a wide choice of products from numerous manufacturers, so we are able to recommend and demonstrate products that best suit the individual project. Several options were discussed with Kerith, and following our demonstration it became apparent that the DiGICo SD8 was ideal for them, especially when you factor-in its very musical audio performance, feature set, processing power and cost-effectiveness. It is absolutely ideal for a venue like this which stages so many different types of event, its flexibility and ease of use plus the new patching system makes re-configuration for any use very simple’.

Colin Boyle from Kerith Community Church said, ‘When it came time to upgrade the PA for our 1000 seat auditorium we knew that there would be a conflict between installing a great sound system and retaining sightlines with our central projection screen. Due to Autograph’s extensive experience of installations in theatres, where this sort of conflict arises all the time, we turned to them to specify a system and complete an installation.

The initial recommendation was to install a line array system which did provide the best sound solution for the building but unfortunately a third of the congregation would have had a limited view of the screen. As a result we moved to having four Meyer Sound UPAs for the main stage and six more covering the balcony. This allowed full visibility of the screen but still provided good sound coverage to the auditorium.

Autograph Sales & Installations were incredibly helpful in the process of us choosing the mixing console and provided opportunities for our team to try out a selection of alternative desks before deciding on the DiGiCo SD8. Moving from our existing system to the new installation also involved moving all our A/V equipment from the balcony to a purpose built facility downstairs. Autograph had thoroughly planned the installation before work commenced to minimise the disruption in what is a very busy venue. All replacement work was carried out in the amplifier room with no disruption to our present system and all cables run to their necessary places without compromising the use of the building or the safety of our staff.

Only when everything was in place did the final connectivity take place, and the new system was fully tested and used on a trial basis before we had to use it in a ‘live’ situation. We now have a great sound system, with plenty of scope to grow into that will allow us to produce our live events to a much greater standard than ever before, and gives us great flexibility as our needs change over the next phase of our church growth’. www.kerith.co.uk

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