KLANG’s flagship IEM mixing system addresses every one of several unique audio challenges for the church’s extensive systems upgrade, and its interface with the monitor console reflects the brand’s near-seamless universal connectivity
Brentwood Baptist Church was officially constituted on Easter Sunday of 1969 in the Nashville suburb of Brentwood, Tennessee. In the past half a century, it’s grown to nine campuses around the region and consistently averaged over 5,000 worshipers in weekly on-campus attendance, along with an estimated 4,000 additional online viewers. The current main campus’ church was built in 2002 and had a few updates along the way, but last May it completed a complete refresh of the sanctuary’s audio, video, and lighting systems, in concert with leading AVL systems integrator Diversified. And the finishing touch on the updated audio infrastructure is a new KLANG:konductor, the most powerful and versatile immersive in-ear mixing processor ever.
“We had a few periodic updates to the systems over the years, such as going from analog to digital audio and upgrading our video to HD, but it was mostly untouched since the beginning,” says Brentwood Baptist Technical Services Director Darby Gilmore. “We were not only due for a technical refresh but an aesthetic one, too. We wanted to modernize, and the KLANG:konductor was part of that.”
Tim Corder, Diversified’s Vice President of Faith & Performance, brought the KLANG:konductor to the church’s attention, seeing it as a solution that fit the church’s situation perfectly. “Brentwood Baptist has a very diverse, multi-generational worship style,” he says, one which can toggle from full orchestra and choir one week to a high-energy rock-style band the next. “It can be a challenge to adapt a sound system for that kind of diversity—one that also has a very high input-channel count—as well as a challenge to find console combinations that support a large number of stereo mix busses. Furthermore, as a church that relies on a lot of volunteers, they may have people with a very wide range of abilities managing all those mixes. So they needed a platform that could manage high channel and stereo-output counts, would have an easy-to-use interface, and also sounded great. KLANG is the only one that checks all those boxes.”
Corder also emphasized that KLANG’s manufacturer support is excellent and was critical “for a project where the stakes were this high,” he says. In fact, to allay any concerns the church committees might have had when it came to implementing new technologies in a church this large, he specified that the Apple iPad employed as the user interface with the KLANG:konductor be hardwired for PoE, to assure uninterrupted power and broadband connectivity for every use. “It’s been in use now for nearly a year and it’s been flawless,” he says.
The KLANG:konductor is integrated with Lawo mc236 MkII consoles at front of house and monitors. “The console has several 64×64-input MADI interfaces and we’re using two of them for a 128×128 input matrix,” Gilmore explains. That same large musician and vocalist complement also argued for the KLANG:konductor. “At first we looked at the cost of an additional console for monitors and the staffing cost of a dedicated monitor engineer, and tossed around the idea of using a pair of KLANG:konductors instead,” he says. “However, the vocal team preferred having the personal touch of a monitor engineer, so we decided to go with a console and a KLANG:konductor; we can use the KLANG alone for the backline on smaller events and use both for full services. That way, everyone has the benefit of the KLANG’s audio quality and it gives us tremendous flexibility in terms of how we allocate our monitor resources. That was a huge benefit of going with KLANG.”
Furthermore, he points out, the KLANG:konductor’s interface with the console was straightforward and effective. “We can’t control the KLANG:konductor directly from the desk; instead we use a VNC remote-desktop connection to a computer running KLANG:app, which gives us control access from the console through that interface,” he explains. “We also have access to KLANG:app via a number of KVM remote stations, including FOH, so we have a high degree of submixing control and a ton of routing options. Diversified had suggested that and it’s been working flawlessly. Everybody’s happy.”