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We actually do large events a couple times a year that really do need lots of channels. We got our 48 channel board because our old 32 channel board couldn’t handle enough inputs for our Easter Pageant several years ago. Those kinds of events involve 12-15 headset mics, full pit orchestra/rhythm section, choir, vocal soloists, audio playback, etc. Those are the kinds of things that tend to grow each year, and we’re very close to maxing that board out right now.

The system will be installed in a new sanctuary, so new cabling will have to be run. Obviously the cost of a couple CAT5 cables is much lower than copper for 48+ mic channels. A digital snake would be preferred, but not required. In terms of monitoring, initially we’ll probably have the band on personal mixers, and the vocalists/leader on wireless IEMs run from FOH. I don’t foresee us ever having a separate monitor mix position, but I think it is very likely that at some point in the future the band could move to all IEMs mixed from FOH, so we could potentially need 8-10 sends for IEMs (mix of stereo and mono). On the A&H boards, FX sends don’t burn auxes, right? But you do still need returns… The FX can be returned to “short” channels – are they adequate for an FX return (i.e. full EQ)?