Calvary Community Church with L-Acoustics sound system
Calvary Community Church with L-Acoustics sound system

A Sound Message: Seven New House Of Worship Systems

Seven houses of worship all approach the redesign of their sound systems in different ways.

Replacing A Bulky P.A. With L-Acoustics

Calvary Community Church, Sumner, WA

After years of wrangling a large, dated P.A. system, Sumner, Washington’s Calvary Community Church turned to Olympia-based CCI Solutions to outfit its 550-seat main campus worship space with a visually discreet yet powerful ARCS WiFo Constant Curvature WST line source system from L-Acoustics.

CCI Solutions project lead Mark Pearson notes that the previous system of “refrigerator-sized boxes” wasn’t up to the task, and created sightline issues. “There wasn’t a high-enough ceiling or proscenium for a true line array system, and a point-source system wasn’t going to cut it there, either,” says Pearson.

The solution: A system comprising two L-Acoustics ARCS Wide and one ARCS Focus per side for a flown system that flanks a four-box center horizontal array of four SB18i subwoofers. A pair of coaxial 12XT enclosures is used as monitors for the stage, and all of the L-Acoustics speakers are powered via three LA4X amplified controllers.

The new system also helped compensate for acoustic anomalies in the converted gym space, Pearson explains. “The WiFo let us fly the system but still keep the energy off of those reflective surfaces, preserving the clarity of both the music and message.”

Faith Sanctuary, Toronto

Finding Clarity With Bose

Faith Sanctuary, Toronto

Toronto’s Faith Sanctuary’s tall, chalet-style structure with its wide, fan-shaped seating area presented acoustical problems when stone walls and other reflective surfaces diminished speech intelligibility and musical nuance; consistent coverage was a constant challenge.

The solution: Toronto-based AV systems integrator Westbury National installed a Bose system consisting of three hangs of four RoomMatch enclosures each, with four RoomMatch RMS215 subwoofers flown above the center array. Three more RMS218 subs are mounted underneath the stage; six more RoomMatch enclosures provide under-balcony coverage, and two more are used as choir fills. Nine networked PowerMatch PM8500N amplifiers power the entire system.

“We are extremely happy with how the sound has turned out,” says Senior Pastor Granville McKenzie, who adds that the church features a live seven-piece band on a regular basis. “Every word is completely intelligible, and the music is clear and powerful.”

Manley Baptist Church, Morristown, TN

Low-Cost Pattern Control With Danley

Manley Baptist Church, Morristown, TN

When Manley Baptist moved from its traditional sanctuary to a brand new, 2,000-seat fan-shaped sanctuary, it switched to a more contemporary service format, which brought with it big expectations for modern sound reinforcement, on a limited budget.

For All Pro Sound, which built out Manley’s new system, pattern control was key: The company spec’ed a design featuring five Danley flagship SH-50 loudspeakers, for main left, center, and right coverage. Three smaller Danley SH-95s provide downfill, and six more Danley SH-95s cover Manley’s upper balcony. Two Danley SM-60s serve as choir monitors. For low-end support, All Pro Sound used a carefully balanced combination of two Danley TH-115 subwoofers located below the stage and two Danley DBH-218 subwoofers flown above the stage with the main loudspeakers. “Danley’s unique designs control frequencies that are octaves lower than conventional boxes can manage,” explains All Pro Sound’s Bobby Taylor, “which allowed us to concentrate the sound on the seating while minimizing intelligibility—killing reflections from the walls and ceiling.”

Eastside Christian Church, Whittier, CA

A Meyer System On Wheels

Eastside Christian Church, Whittier, CA

A new satellite site for Southern California’s Eastside Christian Church found Meyer Sound’s LEOPARD arrays to be an ideal solution to a problem common to portable churches that borrow gymnasium spaces, says Eastside’s CTO and chief systems engineer, Chris Gille. “Flying was problematic because we didn’t want to be locked into fixed seating layouts,” he explains. “Also, there are strict regulations about clearance for sports activities and safety, which meant motorizing the hangs. All of that would be cost prohibitive.”

 The design solution, built by Lake Forest, Illinois-based TC Furlong, Inc. involved a ready-made solution mounted on carts, complemented by wall acoustic panels. The system comprises six LEOPARD line array loudspeakers and two 900-LFC low-frequency control units split across the two carts. Space at the bottom on one side accommodates an MDM-832 distribution module and Galileo 616 loudspeaker processing system, while the opposite cart holds the color-coded audio cables and AC mains cable during storage. “We can have the LEOPARD rig rolled out and ready in under 15 minutes, and all the audio ready inside an hour,” says Gille. “Including stage and seating, the total prep time is about three hours.”

Worship Center, Lancaster, PA

Flexible DiGiCo Workflow for Everyone at FOH

Worship Center, Lancaster, PA

Over the past four decades, the non-denominational Worship Center has grown from a single 40-person gathering to large operation serving 4,000 congregants in its 106,000-square foot complex that includes a church and school facilities.

Worship Center audio director Anthony “Tone” Stephens has been sharing the word about the church’s new DiGiCo SD10 digital FOH console from Clair Solutions, letting other churches know how he’s integrated the console into his workflow: With a crew of mostly volunteers, Stephens is able to use the SD10’s fader-configuration functionality to create a template that provides a familiar starting point for every application, from services to music rehearsals. Different FOH mixers handle each application, but individual mixers can use a common baseline set up and refine settings to meet their needs, storing changes as they progress.


Harvest Baptist Church, Burlington, NC

Going Contemporary With Help From Allen & Heath

Harvest Baptist Church, Burlington, NC

The Harvest Baptist Church, which hosts traditional and modern worship services, Christmas programs, and other special events in its 500-seat sanctuary, installed a new audio system, designed by Boone Audio of Durham, NC, based around an Allen & Heath dLive S Class at FOH and ME-1 Personal Mixers. 

The dLive S Class, which includes an S5000 Surface with Dante card, a DM48 MixRack, and DX32 Expander, replaces an older analog mixer. “Our old system wasn’t designed for contemporary worship,” said Nelson Poole, the church’s FOH engineer.  “And we do everything from a 30 to 60-person choir with congregational singing to a full praise band worship service. We even do theatrical stuff with our vacation bible school youth.” On a typical Sunday, Poole or one of the church’s other FOH volunteers will manage 50 sources, and he creates multitrack recordings of each service on a laptop equipped with Studio One software and streams each service to the internet from a dLive stereo aux mix. Poole is happy with the versatility of his new console. “With the dLive’s ease of use in conjunction with the virtual soundcheck, we’ve been really pleased.”

Christ The Redeemer, Atco, NJ

More Clarity For The Congregation With Community Pro

Christ The Redeemer, Atco, NJ

Christ the Redeemer Parish Church’s old sound system was based on just six pendant-style loudspeakers distributed down the sides of the congregation seating. Localization, intelligibility, and overall sound quality were lacking for the worship services, which are often attended by more than 800 people, and feature an increasing amount of music.

Enter a new Community E Series system, provided by JD Sound & Video: Columns flaking the altar provided the perfect location for ENTASYS loudspeakers to cover the entire church. On each column, JD Sound & Video installed a double stack of full-range ENT-FR for the congregation, with ENT212 for the choir and ENT206 for altar fill, plus Community VLF208LV subwoofers at the base of each column. 

Joe DiSabatino, president and lead design engineer of JD Sound & Video, says the biggest selling point of ENTASYS was that he didn’t have to fly any large cabinets or install delay loudspeakers. “The entire congregation is covered by the double stack of ENTASYS, and gain before feedback is great,” he says. “With a ceiling height of 48' at its center, the narrow vertical and wide horizontal dispersion of ENTASYS minimized room reflections and provided even coverage of the room’s 103' width and 68' depth with ease.”

Sarah Jones is a writer, editor, and content producer with more than 20 years' experience in pro audio, including as editor-in-chief of three leading audio magazines: Mix, EQ, and Electronic Musician. She is a lifelong musician and committed to arts advocacy and learning, including acting as education chair of the San Francisco chapter of the Recording Academy, where she helps develop event programming that cultivates the careers of Bay Area music makers.

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