Mill City Church is a portable church that operates out of the University Center for the Arts building on the Colorado State University Campus, Ft. Collins, Colorado every Sunday. After leading the college and 20-somethings ministry at New Life Church in Colorado Springs for eleven years—Pastor Aaron Stern and his wife launched out to plant a new church a couple of hours north. The new congregation has grown to over 500 in weekly attendance with two services at 9am and 11am in the new location. As a portable church, all the production equipment is loaded in at 7am every week, set up, operated, then loaded back on the truck after services around 1pm. Because of the transient nature of the venue, Stern worked with Kris Johnson at Sight and Sound Technologies Inc., who specialize in working with churches all over the country helping them with their audio, video and lighting equipment needs, to find a compact, portable console that would fit Mill City's unusual needs. Ultimately, they went with the DiGiCo SD11.
"One of the main reasons I wanted to use the compact DiGiCo SD11 was the small footprint yet very powerful mixer and for its digital snake," says Johnson, "which are both extremely helpful when there is complete set up and tear down each week in a very tight time frame that is executed by volunteers of the church. Plus, the features included on the SD11 made it the perfect fit for a portable church of this nature. With the DiGiCo SD11 package that includes a Digital Snake, a D-Rack and an Aviom card, we can simply drop a rack near the microphone sources and run a CAT5e snake to the mixer.
"Once we were able to identify and meet the most important requirement of a fast and simple system for our portable church," Stern continues, "we found that the recommendation of the SD11 by Johnson has proven itself to be one of the best investments we could have made especially with our tight budget. The system is very easy to use, but also gives us the same flexible features and room to expand similar to that of what a megachurch budget can afford in one of DiGiCo's much larger offerings. The SD11 is not a stripped down version where you lose the ease of use and features that you want and need. Included in the system we specified for Mill City is a full Aviom system, Tannoy VXP12Q main speakers, two VNET DR218 subs and an Ashly Protea 3.24CL processor."
"The fact that DiGiCo had incredible sound quality in a compact footprint that was still capable of handling many inputs was a strong selling point," Stern elaborates. "We had to design a system that was versatile because sometimes the system has to be set up in a different room. It also had to have enough punch to send quality sound up to the back seats of a raked seating auditorium. Portability was key but I didn't want to compromise audio quality or features. Also, our audio engineers had very little experience when we began, but they were able to get training and learn the basics of the system quickly. The DiGiCo SD11 was very intuitive and easy to use. All in all, we found that the SD11 has been a perfect fit in every respect."