Ends Tomorrow: Vocal Plugin Sale | Shop Now »

Networking Consoles, DAWs and Recording Systems at Hillsong Church

Oct 21, 2015

Learn how Hillsong Church enhances its live sound, broadcast and post-production capabilities by using Waves SoundGrid audio processing and networking.

Hillsong Church is a Pentecostal church affiliated with Australian Christian Churches and located in Sydney, Australia. Hillsong Church has international campuses in New York City, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Barcelona, Cape Town, Düsseldorf, Konstanz, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Moscow, Kiev, Lyon, and other cities worldwide.

Hillsong Music has topped Australian charts, with albums achieving gold and platinum sales status. Hillsong is well known through its teaching, album sales and annual Hillsong Conference. Over 30,000 people attend services each week in Australia alone.

Director of Audio Ricki Cook and Senior Audio Engineer Mush Gateri at Hillsong’s broadcast audio room

Ricki Cook, Director of Audio & Infrastructure for Hillsong’s Creative Technology Department, has designed Hillsong’s new live broadcast and post-production facility integrating state-of-the-art Waves solutions.

The setup used by Ricki and the team at Hillsong is a great example of how combining various SoundGrid interfaces can help you network your editing DAW, backup recording system, and mixing console.

The primary broadcast audio room is equipped with a Euphonix S5 Fusion console, a Mac Pro, a Pro Tools HDX system, and DiGiGrid DLS and DLI interfaces. Thanks to the DLS and the DLI, audio can now be distributed throughout the network, parallel to a second control room for backup recording and broadcast monitoring.

Running Waves Plugins – Broadcast and Post-Production

Waves plugins run in two different modes – broadcast and post-production:

1. During broadcast, the built-in server of the DiGiGrid DLS is used to run Waves plugins via the Waves MultiRack SoundGrid plugin host application.

View Large

2. In post-production, Waves plugins run in SoundGrid mode via the Waves StudioRack host application within a Pro Tools HD system. This setup requires two ports on the DLS and one port on the DLI. The remaining DLI port connects to a spare Avid 192 for additional routable local I/Os.

Waves SoundGrid Audio Networking

In each of the aforementioned setups, a 128-channel MADI stream is converted to a SoundGrid audio network via two DiGiGrid MGB MADI-to-SoundGrid audio interfaces. Together with a Mac computer, a Waves SoundGrid server and the Waves MultiRack SoundGrid plugin host application, this setup allows Ricki and his team to run Waves plugins in real time on the Euphonix S5 console.

To extend his audio network cable runs, Ricki uses Juniper network switches that convert the SoundGrid Ethernet cables to optical cabling.

Ricki says: “Waves SoundGrid solutions have changed the way we look at real-time processing and networking in our complex. We are successfully meeting the increasingly demanding production needs that many similar organizations have yet to respond to. We are great believers in Waves solutions for live sound.”

Running Waves Plugins in Live Shows

Hillsong also uses Waves solutions for mixing shows at major locations. FOH engineer Andrew Starke has been using the Waves MultiRack SoundGrid plugin host to run Waves plugins on Hillsong Worship tours. Andrew tours with several different consoles (Yamaha, Venue, Midas), and Waves systems are the perfect solution for the inevitable issues that arise when you need to work with different desks.

Hillsong Colour Conference FOH with Waves SoundGrid Setup

Says Andrew: “For our [Women’s] Colour Conference this year, we are using two Midas consoles: an XL8 and a Pro 9. Sitting neatly in the middle is a DiGiGrid DLS interface and a Mac Mini running Waves MultiRack for both consoles. Each console has a 9650, with both consoles feeding into a single DiGiGrid MGB unit giving us 32 inserts on the XL8 and 32 on the Pro 9 at 96K. We are pretty excited about this, as we are now able to run the Waves C6 Multiband Compressor, the Waves IR-Live Convolution Reverb and a handful of other Waves plugins on the XL8, while at the same time running the Waves Dugan Automixer on the Pro 9. This is the first time we’ve been able to do that at an arena-level conference!”