Mt. Zion Baptist Church (MTZBC), a large house of worship in Greensboro, North Carolina, has outfitted its 3,000-seat sanctuary with a trio of Roland M-5000 OHRCA Live Mixing Consoles, purchased through and installed by Carey Sound. The installation of the Roland consoles completely revitalizes the church’s audio media infrastructure: with Roland M-5000 consoles at front-of-house, monitor and broadcast positions, the church’s technical team is able to link them through Roland’s acclaimed REAC (Roland Ethernet Audio Communication) protocol, which enables up to 300 channels of audio with the Input Patch bay, at 24 bit/96 kHz to be transferred across a single Cat-5e cable. This establishes the church’s first digital backbone for all of its audio media requirements.
“This was a great transition for the Mount Zion Baptist Church family” says Keith Stewart, Sales Associate at Carey Sound, also in Greensboro. For years, the church was an all-analog environment, going through a series of analog consoles running audio over copper cabling. Eric Jones, the Chief Audio Engineer at MTZBC, discussed with me that he was seeking an all digital platform and infrastructure. He expressed that he had considered multiple models from other brands, but he expressed his needs and concerns, and that he was not completely settled with those options. I asked had he heard the new Roland M-5000 series, and he replied no. I advised him that I could offer a demo at the MTZBC church so that he can hear what the desk would sound like in his own environment, with the levels he desires instead of a shop. Jones immediately agreed. The MTZBC media team had previously made tentative moves toward adding a digital infrastructure in the past, but not until the installation of the three M-5000 consoles and Roland’s REAC network did they realize the full benefit of an all-digital infrastructure. The REAC network gives them a total signal transport ecosystem, combined with the M-5000’s superior sound and operational capabilities. Three Roland 2416 Digital Snakes serve as the main I/O for all band and microphone inputs. Two Roland 1608 Digital Snakes were added to serve as drop snakes to offer additional thirty-two inputs and sixteen outputs, as not to interfere with the Microphone/Line inputs at the 2416 snake inputs. This is a great addition to offer visiting bands, orchestras or ensembles.
“Carey Sound had previously installed an Electro-Voice XLC line-array, but it wasn’t until the M-5000 was installed at the FOH position that they were able to fully experience what the PA could produce” says Stewart. “It’s amazing what a difference a great console can make with an already spectacular PA system. In addition to the M5000’s and M5000C, Carey Sound also installed a digital monitoring system, the Roland M-48 digital mixing station, for all six-band members. Members of the band stated that the M-48 was more robust and easier to use than the previous system.”
Stewart says the M-5000’s proprietary Open High-Resolution Configurable Architecture (OHRCA) was also a factor in the church’s choice. OHRCA brings a new level of adaptability to the world of live audio mixing. It conforms to the needs of both the application and the operator by delivering 128 freely definable audio paths, expandable protocols, multi-format I/O choices, and flexible user interface and workflow, all delivered at pristine 24-bit / 96k-Hz quality.
The M-5000’s internal mix architecture is not fixed and can be freely defined within a range of up to 128 input/output channels/busses. This allows users to configure a console’s workflow based on the immediate needs of each application. In the case of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, that means the same type of console can fully accommodate the specific needs of front of house, monitors and broadcast. “That was another major factor in their decision” adds Stewart. “Any of the church’s staff can work at any of those positions and know the work surface as soon as they sit down at it. They can all train on one console and be ready to work at any position immediately.” And then there’s the M-5000 sound. “Bright but never brittle, with plenty of solid bass” says Stewart. “It’s a very analog-sounding desk, but with all of the benefits of a digital console and network. The M-5000 blows away anything else considered comparable.”
More info about Roland M-5000 OHRCA Live Mixing Consoles you can find here.