dB Acoustic and Sound Upgrades Baptist Church

Mar 4, 2004 12:00 PM, Editors


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When president of db Acoustic and Sound Mike Hedden was asked to upgrade the sound system for Elizabeth Baptist Church in East Point, Ga., he brought in Sound Physics Labs’ loudspeakers to keep up with the church’s hip style of gospel and funk contemporary worship.

"I was pulled into the project by a friend over at TPS Lighting who was working on upgrading their lighting system," said Hedden. "We brought some Sound Physics Labs [SPL] loudspeakers over to the church and did a demo for them. The church leadership started laughing when we panned from the SPL system to their existing system. They didn't realize just how bad their existing system was and, more importantly, how good it really could be. They were absolutely blown away by these boxes. The truth is I never have to worry about doing a demo with Sound Physics Labs gear. It has won every demo I have performed."

Hedden, an active musician and former member of the Christian band Truth, culled his years of audio design experience and came up with a system that best-served the church’s high-energy needs. The installation is a left-center-right sound system comprising two SPL-trik™ loudspeakers in each array. Each SPL-trik delivers focused 60x60 degrees of sound coverage down to 300 Hz and features SPL's "point source arrayability." Each array covers 130x60 degrees, which when properly aimed, results in a large stereo image for much of the congregation.

The SPL-trik features four 8-inch direct-radiating low-frequency drivers and four 4-inch horn-loaded midrange drivers emanating from a 1-inch, high-frequency compression driver at the back of the horn. The SPL-trik boasts a frequency response of 44 to 18k Hz +/3 dB. The SPL-triks are built for durability and longevity with a 13-ply Baltic Birch enclosure.

The front-of-house console is an Allen & Heath ML5000. The system is powered by Crest CA12 and CA18 amplifiers. For mobility and clarity, Hedden also included Sennheiser Wireless Evolution 300 Series microphones.

"The Elizabeth Baptist worship services have substantial dynamic range. They run the gamut of soft to incredibly loud," explained Hedden. "This system can definitely keep up with them and still deliver clear sound to every seat."

The church's main worship area is a fan-shaped room with about 1,500 to 1,800 seats. Hedden explained, "The previous loudspeaker system was hidden in a proscenium arch creating coverage and localization problems. They were physically blocked from covering the room properly, and the height of the proscenium resulted in a tendency to localize to the cluster rather than project it. The fidelity was quite poor, lacking clarity for speech and punch for music. Our design called for hanging the loudspeakers outside the proscenium and at the proper height of around 30 feet.

"We have used this approach at several churches and it works! Think of it: Only six loudspeakers covering a room this large is amazing, but then again, we are talking about Sound Physics Labs.”

For more information, visit db Acoustics and Sound at www.dbasi.com. Visit Sound Physics Labs at www.soundphysics.com.

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