Illinois’ Willow Creek Care Center selects Symetrix Zone Mix 761

A Symetrix fixed architecture processor is being used for a new section of the Willow Creek Care Center in South Barrington, Illinois.

The Center is a charitable extension of Willow Creek Community Church – the third largest church in the US.

What began as an off-site food pantry now offers a range of other services, as well as a new $10 million building on the main campus, which includes a grocery store, clothing store, dental and eye care facilities, a car repair shop, culinary training, language classes and much more.

The Zone Mix 761 processor, featuring twelve inputs, six outputs, powerful application-specific DSP resources and flexible user control options, is at the centre of the new department’s music playback and paging system.

Willow Creek’s audio systems engineer Matthew Wentz designed the new sound system with consultation from AV equipment supplier TC Furlong.

“The folks in charge of the care centre wanted to be able to play music from CD, iPod, or a music server and to distribute it to the lobby, the grocery store, the clothing store, the dental/eye care centre, and the corridor that links the care centre to the main church building,” Wentz commented. “In addition, they wanted the ability to send pages to all of those locations with automatic music ducking. Because there are predictable times when the centre is officially closed but when volunteers are still stocking shelves, they wanted to schedule volume changes that would accommodate those different uses. Finally, they wanted the ability to control the volume in each zone.

“I chose the Symetrix Zone Mix 761 because it has all of the features that they were looking for, plus the availability of Symetrix ARC-K1e wall-mounted volume controls that would allow for an easy installation in each location using just a single CAT6 run. Going beyond that, Symetrix’ implementation of the free ARC-WEB interface for use on smartphones was tremendous because I could program certain parameters that they could adjust without having to go to each individual volume control. It also allowed me to create admin-only controls so that I could be in a different part of the building and still control volume, muting, and routing.”

The Zone Mix 761’s paging features also proved to be a crucial part of the overall design. “The paging functionality did exactly what it was supposed to do without a lot of setup and programming,” Wentz added.

A Shure paging microphone connects to one of the processor’s line inputs and is programmed to send to all six zones, duck the music appropriately, and bring the music back in smoothly when the page is complete.

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