Chris Truter, a software engineer and volunteer at Oakhill Church with DWR’s Kyle Robson.
South Africa - Cape Town-based Oakhill Church, formerly known as Durbanville Family Church, has invested in a Waves eMotion LV1 and DiGiGrid portable desk from DWR Distribution. The church was established 20 years ago by Louise and Lizette Du Piesanie and has become a place people call home. The volunteer-driven worship ministry is part of the glue that creates community, and Oakhill Music released its first single in 2022.
Chris Truter is a software engineer and volunteer at Oakhill Church, and as part of the audio industry from a young age, he has always kept his eye on DiGiCo which is how he discovered Waves in the first place. For some years, Chris had been using Waves in his studio, but wanting to keep up with technology, he pitched the idea of Waves eMotion and received a resounding "yes" from everyone on the team.
The church technical team, mostly volunteers, are forward-thinking. Back in 2019, the operational pastor, Pastor Grant Gerber, decided to upgrade the church’s studio environment to also include streaming, not knowing what was coming! “When Covid-19 arrived, this made it very easy for us to migrate to small, intimate online sessions and sermons,” Chris explains. “We also constructed a portable set during the hard Covid-19 lockdown when people could not travel. It was set up at our head Pastor’s house for sermons and we had pre-recorded worship sets available, prepared ahead of time.”
Before the church took ownership of their new gear at the end of last year, comprising of an eMotion LV1 (64 Channels), a Waves Soundgrid Extreme-C, 2 x DSPro StageGrid 4000 Stagebox, DiGiGrid D Desktop and 3 x Netgear GS 108V 8-Port switches, they had an old 32 Channel digital desk that only had the basics, gate, compressor and equaliser.
“Coming from that to the Waves desk has been a big jump and the team is learning every day to get the best out of the system without getting overwhelmed,” said Chris.
The new system is all about flexibility, modularity, and sound quality and discussions to go this route started some years ago between Chris and DWR’s Kyle Robson. “Super friendly Kyle is the best,” says Chris. He had the willingness to keep answering all our questions and send us updates, making him a great and patient guy! Johnny Scholtz from DWR Cape Town also assisted and was as friendly and helpful. We will work with DWR again in the future, maybe even in other areas like lights and video.”
While Waves had good backing from top engineers around the world and sounded good, it was important for Oakhill Church to have a system that would have longevity without getting discontinued. “In the case of Waves, the software will get updates and if a screen breaks, we do not lose a desk but just replace the screen," explains Chris. "If a computer gives issues, we can install the software on a different computer in less than a day and be up and running.”
For the church’s Christmas production, 16 wireless headsets and three wireless vocal mics were incorporated, and the system exceeded everyone’s expectations. “Everybody was amazed at the sound coming out of the system and I must say that the pre-amps in the new DSPro StageGrid 4000 are something else. It is very crisp and clear with a nice, clean low end, almost as if it was designed in collaboration with DiGiCo,” he notes.

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