The 2000-capacity St Charles Campus auditorium has a regular Saturday afternoon service and two Sunday morning services, as well as a number of larger events throughout the year, including special worship nights and visiting touring acts. The Sunday services are streamed live over a dedicated fibre network live to the church's other three regional campuses. "We put a high value on production," says Montanari. "Concert-style audio, but probably not at quite as high an SPL!"
As most production crew and artists at the church are volunteers, the challenge for Montanari was finding technology that could deliver a big step up in quality, as well as being intuitive and flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of operators: "We want really high end audio, we want it to be able to handle everything that a professional audio guy can throw at a console, but it also has to be able to be run by a volunteer.
"With the SSL I think we've accomplished a good blend of those two things. We certainly don't sacrifice anything on the weekends when we have volunteers running it - they are up to speed and they love the console."
For monitors, which is almost always run by volunteers, Montanari cites a combination of the large number of fully processed busses available, the flexible routing architecture, the fast interrogation 'Q' (Super Query) function, and the outstanding sound quality as prime factors: "Since we've had the SSL, our Monitors are in a whole other world."
At front-of-house, TC Furlong helped the church re-tune the room when the new console was installed. "We weren't prepared for the difference we encountered when we put the SSL in, says Montanari. "The low end is so much tighter. The top end is so much cleaner. We actually ended up changing out our system processors. They became the bottleneck because the console sounded so amazing."