‘America’s largest church’ chooses Studer Vista X

Lakewood Church – said to be the largest in the United States – has selected a Studer Vista X digital console for its live sound and broadcast productions.

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. With the largest congregation in the country, it welcomes more than 43,000 attendees and produces a series of broadcasts that are seen by more than ten million viewers in 100 countries every week.

“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 uses Quad Star technology to deliver what the manufacturer describes as a ’powerful, dependable and flexible broadcast audio mixing solution with a compact form factor.’ Studer’s Vistonics user interface and FaderGlow technology create a stress-free operator experience, while the Infinity Core provides ‘unprecedented’ levels of CPU-based processing power.

“With the intensity at which we operate, we really need fast, smooth operation,” Duryea continued. “The console has the I/O counts and channel counts that we need as well as several newer features that are really helpful. 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.”

Lakewood Church also has two broadcast rooms and two editing rooms, in which 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.

“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,” Duryea concluded. “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.”