Corona, CA US - Crossroads Christian Church has been growing in Corona, California, since it was founded in 1892. Now occupying a large, multifaceted campus including a modern 2500-capacity Main Worship Center, the church welcomes around 7000 attendees every weekend to enjoy its message, and the sophisticated live show that frames it.
Tyler DeYoung is the Technical Director and Front of House Engineer at Crossroads, and has recently specified an SSL Live L500 digital audio console for FOH duties, which was supplied by systems integrator CCI Solutions.
"As well as the three services in the main auditorium, that space is also regularly rented out for music events and used for other special church events, explains DeYoung. "We run about 48 inputs every weekend - full drum kit, tracks, keyboards, two guitars, bass, five vocals, and a couple of acoustic guitars. On top of that we might add strings, horns, or more singers, depending on need."
The facility is currently fitted with 96 channels of SSL stagebox I/O to ensure plenty of capacity, whatever the challenge.
DeYoung's approach to sound at Crossroads is about providing impact, while being mindful of the message. "You'd probably say our services are on the louder side," he notes. "We don't want to hurt anybody, but we want it to feel full... Big. We want it to be exciting so no one will be afraid to sing out."
The sound has to take attendees on a journey that complements the dynamic of the service, from the rousing opening, through communion, reflection, the offering, and the Pastor's message, and on to the finale. "You get them excited," says DeYoung. "Then you calm them down into the very worshipful time, including a reflective song. I definitely push and pull the mix over the course of that journey."
The SSL L500 provides both the PA and the broadcast / record mix from a service. For the main mix, DeYoung uses a basic set-up of input channels and VCA groups, while the broadcast mix is created from a set of post-fader stem groups - a special buss type that can be routed to anywhere (including more Stems), from one of six different feed points on any path.
He also uses Stems for FX sends instead of traditional aux buses so there is no need for a separate return. Almost all additional processing uses the L500's internal effects rack - a range of over 45 different processes assignable to a 96-slot virtual rack that gives control over effects directly from the focus channel controls. DeYoung normally goes for a mix of two different reverbs on vocals: "I use something real nice and warm and fat, and something that's silky smooth at the top. I blend the two to get what I like.
"With delays again I have a nice pulse - a warmer delay - as well as one that will cut through the mix." De Young uses the celebrated stereo buss compressor across the main mix, the record feed, and the broadcast mix, as well as part of a parallel drum compression set-up.
"However," he says, "My favourite thing about this console has been the SSL customer service. The support team has been very responsive, and even came over and gave me some extra training on the snapshot system when I knew I was going to need to do some complicated stuff for the Christmas show!”