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Faith Lutheran Church Upgrades its Campuses with New Roland Mixing Console

Music brings in the faithful after church upgrades A/V infrastructure at two campuses

Faith Lutheran Church in in the Oakville area of St. Louis, Mo., recently acquired a Roland M-5000 OHRCA live mixing console.

OAKVILLE, Mo. Music is at the very heart of the worship program at the Faith Lutheran Church, a church that has been a spiritual home for thousands of parishioners over the last six decades.

And like many houses of worship, Faith Lutheran has placed an emphasis on music, both for the pastoral aspects and to get individuals involved in the service on a weekly basis at the church’s two campuses.

“At the Oakville campus, we usually have a drummer, one or two electric guitarists, an acoustic guitarist, keyboards and a handful of singers each week, plus the volunteers that control the audio, video and lighting,” said Andy Weiss, worship and media coordinator for Faith Lutheran Church.

Recently the church wanted to upgrade the A/V infrastructure at both campuses. An existing Roland M-400 48-channel live digital mixing console, which had been used for years at the Oakville campus, was moved to the new campus in Columbia, Ill., which left room for something new at Oakville: the Roland M-5000 OHRCA live mixing console.

“Our audio needs have been growing here at Faith, especially with the move to a new facility for our Columbia location,” Weiss said. The church had been using the M-400 in its Oakville worship center, as well as in their student facility, so the volunteers were familiar with the Roland format and how it worked.

“In expanding, the M-5000 was a natural upgrade for us to meet the needs of our ministries,” Weiss said. “This allowed us to increase our channel count at Oakville and move one of our existing M-400 consoles to the Columbia campus. The flexibility of the Roland M-5000’s architecture allows us configure the channel count, AUXs, and monitor buses as needed, plus we can add more REAC system components as we continue to grow.”

The Roland M-5000 live mixing console is based on the OHRCA platform, known as an open, high-resolution, configurable architecture, which includes definable audio paths, the ability to support multiple audio formats and 96 kHz sound quality. The Roland M-5000 can be defined by mixing channels, AUXs, matrices, subgroup buses, and mix/minus buses within a range of up to 128 audio paths.

The A/V consultant firm Film Otter Inc. sourced and installed the new M-5000 and peripherals for Faith Lutheran. The switch to the M-5000 was a relatively seamless changeover, said Phil Mahder, president of Film Otter, adding that much of the existing infrastructure, including the existing Roland digital snakes, worked well with the new console.

“The existing snakes provided a seamless install of the M-5000, plus allowed the church higher sound quality at 24-bit 96 kHz,” he said. “The Roland way of doing things is consistent enough that it wasn’t a big learning curve for the church’s people to acclimate themselves to the 5000.”

Additional features include two built-in REAC ports; two expansion card slots with seven expansion card options; a 16×16 analog I/O, 4×4 AES/EBU, a 16×16 USB audio interface; and connection for control via a iPad tablet. This capability enables the console to see up to 300 inputs and 296 outputs, all at 96kHz, the company said.

The transition has been a successful one for Faith Lutheran – it shows in terms of the scope and reach of the system, Weiss said.

“We’re using the M-5000 for everything – all of our services, in our main worship center at Oakville, [with our] full praise team, [for] preaching, [with] a live stream between campuses, and more,” he adds. “Response from the congregation and our A/V volunteers has been stellar.”

Not only does everything sound clean, the church’s volunteers say the M-5000 is even more intuitive to operate than the M-400, Weiss said.