America’s Largest Church Chooses Studer by Harman for Broadcasts and Services

With the largest congregation in the United States, Lakewood Church requires exceptional power and flexibility for its live sound and broadcast productions, which has led to the selection of a Studer by Harman Vista X digital console. Located in the former Compaq Center, the 16,000-seat Lakewood Church Central Campus hosts four English services, two Spanish services and a diverse range of other weekly events. It welcomes more than 43,000 attendees and produces a series of broadcasts that are seen by more than 10 million viewers in 100 countries every week. In order to meet the demands of this massive volume of broadcasts, the church’s sound engineers began looking for a solution that could be customised and meet their extensive requirements.

“We started shopping for a new main mixing console a few years back and installed the Vista X about a year ago,” said Brad Duryea, Director of Audio Technologies, Lakewood Church. “Not surprisingly, we have a pretty hefty requirement for I/O count, channel bussing count, feature set and expandability. We looked at all the major brands and Studer clearly met our needs.”

The Vista X console harnesses Quad Star technology to deliver a powerful, dependable and flexible broadcast audio mixing solution with a compact form factor. Studer’s Vistonics user interface and FaderGlow technology create a uniquely intuitive and stress-free operator experience, while the Infinity Core provides unprecedented levels of CPU-based processing power, handling large productions with ease.

“With the intensity at which we operate, we really need fast, smooth operation,” said Brad. “One of the things Studer does better than anyone else is allow us to accomplish complex operations. It doesn’t matter what it is, everything about the Studer console is quick.”

“The console has the I/O counts and channel counts that we need as well as several newer features that are really helpful,” Brad continued. “Dynamic EQ is very important, and we needed it to be integrated into the board. Studer is great to work with, and they made this happen. The new Follow Solo feature is excellent for fast monitor work as well. It’s all easy, powerful and sounds great.”

Additionally, Lakewood Church has two broadcast rooms and two editing rooms. All consoles are connected via MADI over fibre. Live sound is routed from the arena to the editing suites for TV, web and/or satellite post production and broadcast without any lapses in sound quality throughout every step of the production.

“When we installed the Studer console, we knew we’d hear a difference in our live sound, but we didn’t expect our broadcast folks to notice the jump in quality like they did,” said Brad. “Even the musicians were amazed. We have a keyboard player who has a dedicated speaker for an organ, and he started to recognise a ‘noise’ from the rotating cabinet until we realised he was just hearing a whole new level of clarity.”