Easter is a time of rebirth, and that’s what Easter 2018 was for Castle Hills Church, which reopened its sanctuary after two years of renovation and repair work in the wake of massive flooding and hail damage in 2016. At that time, San Antonio, Texas experienced some of the largest hail that the United States had ever seen, which wrecked the glass peaked roof over the 1,000-plus-seat sanctuary, allowing wind and water to wreak havoc on the congregation’s main worship space.
As part of the rebirth of the church—which changed its name in January of this year to Mission City Church—a new L-Acoustics Kiva II-based sound system now provides the space with excellent speech intelligibility while delivering full-range sound for the church’s contemporary worship team, as well as for Christian artists and bands that pass through the venue on tour.
“They spent the better part of two years focused on reconstruction and rebuilding, so they only began to think about the sound system towards the end of that period,” recalls Steele Beaty, operations manager at Oklahoma City-based Skylark AV and the project manager for this installation. “We recommended that they look at the L-Acoustics equipment, and they immediately recognized the brand. Once they realized that the system we could assemble and install for them was also affordable and attainable, they said, ‘Let’s do it!’”
An L-Acoustics Kiva II line array is now arranged in a left-right configuration on either side of the stage, with ten loudspeakers per side, backed by three flown SB15 subwoofers per side and buttressed by four ground-stacked subs. Flanking the main stage are ARCS WiFo clusters as outfills for the stadium-type seating areas, using four boxes per side consisting of three ARCS Focus over one ARCS Wide enclosure. Along the tiered edges of the rectangular sanctuary seating area—uniquely designed with couches and stairwells between levels—ARCS WiFo hybrid arrays are perfect for complex geometries like these. In addition, two coaxial X8 front fills for spot treatment sit in the front corners of the room.
Oklahoma City-based Skylark AV designed and installed the sanctuary’s compact-yet-powerful L-Acoustics system
All of the L-Acoustics loudspeakers were acoustically and mechanically modeled using the manufacturer’s Soundvision 3D simulation software. The sound systems are powered and processed by five LA4X amplified controllers, with one LA12X dedicated to the four ground-stacked KS28 subs and another LA12X for the six flown SB15m subs.
The systems were all installed by Skylark AV, which also integrated a full AVL package, including an Allen & Heath dLive mixing console, Canon cameras, Clear-Com intercoms, lights, projectors, and an updated video control room.
Beaty says the Kiva II system is the most efficient and powerful Kiva design yet, so Kiva II offered the church more than enough SPL, and the Soundvision 3D simulation software assured that the system would cover the entire seating area.
The discreet Kiva II and SB15 arrays visually melt into the worship space’s rigging and architecture
“The coverage we’re getting between the Kiva II and the ARCS WiFo is simply awesome,” he says. “The church absolutely loves the system, because it gives them the power and intelligibility they wanted. We love it because L-Acoustics just sounds fantastic, and with tools like Soundvision, we know what it’s going to sound like before we hang the first speaker.”
Don Long, executive pastor of Mission City Church, describes the new sound system as “perfect, and that’s coming from someone who cares about sound quality from an audiophile perspective.” He adds that the music and entertainment shows that have been through the renovated sanctuary note that the L-Acoustics sound system is the same brand they specify on their tour riders.
“They’ll call their crew and say they’ll be using our system, no need to bring theirs,” he says. In fact, Long continues, the L-Acoustics system has worked out so well at the original church location that he’s already green-lighted Skylark AV to put the same system into the church’s planned second location, which will open in 2020, he estimates. “The new location will have about the same size sanctuary as we have here, so I told the folks at Skylark to do it all over again there, just like they did it here,” he says. “L-Acoustics has exceeded our expectations.”