CASE STUDY: Summit Church, Spokane

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At Summit Church in Spokane, WA, the recently upgraded AV system has given church leaders and volunteers a foolproof way to easily manage events that can attract around 1,000 people. According to Eric Larson, Summit Church’s technical director, one of the major improvements to the AV system was the addition of a Furman power system that allows volunteers to turn on the soundboard, speakers and subwoofers with the push of a single button.

“We view technology as a set of different tools,” Larson said. “We look at what we hope to accomplish, and then identify the best tools to achieve our goals. When we embarked on the building expansion, we wanted to simplify the church’s audio system so our volunteers could interact more with each other and congregants, rather than navigating the intricacies of a complex audio system. Our ultimate goal is to set up our team to serve others well, and making our audio system launch with a single button has given volunteers more interaction time and simplified the process for people running events.”

Previously, the church’s audio system consisted of non-powered speakers connected to amps in a separate room, which often required untrained volunteers to interact with complex, expensive pieces of hardware. As part of the expansion, Larson replaced the old speakers with new powered models, most of which hang from the ceiling above the seating and pulpit areas. Since those speakers are out of reach, he powered them through Furman CN-15MP units and a Furman CN-1800S Advanced SmartSequencer. That way, every speaker plus the soundboard can safely and quickly be turned on and off, while also providing enhanced protection from power surges and equipment issues.

“The truth is, we couldn’t serve as many people as we do without a robust, reliable audio system,” Larson added. “With regular attendance of 1,800 to 2,000, it’s crucial that we are able to ensure that every person can hear clearly to get the most out of each service or event. In the same way, we couldn’t serve smaller groups without making the system easy to use. Right now we have a midweek women’s bible study group where one of the leaders controls the system, and with no training or technical skills required.”

The audio system includes a Midas Pro 2 mixing board, powered QSC speakers, six wireless microphones, and four wireless personal monitors. Six subwoofers are installed underneath the pulpit, out of reach, requiring additional Furman CN-15MPs so they can easily be powered on and off.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to know that the system will work every time, for every user, at every event,” Larson concluded. “Volunteers are very happy with the new, simplified system, and we’re thankful it’s helping us engage in community without worrying about the details of technology. It may seem like a small change, but it makes a big difference.”

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