ROCKFORD, IL-Earlier this year, Sonic Art, based in Oshkosh, WI, headed by Jeff Lange and supported by company general manager Brian Christ, was invited to present ideas regarding an ongoing system project for the sanctuary of First Evangelical Covenant Church, which was built in the 1960s. Up first was a new sound reinforcement system, to be followed in the future by new lighting and video systems. With the church hosting weekly back-to-back services in both traditional and contemporary formats, the new sound system needed to address the unique needs of both worship styles.
Sonic Art president Jeff Lange at the new Yamaha digital console installed in the mix position at First Evangelical Covenant Church.
The single-level, 900-seat sanctuary features a ceiling that forms a high-reaching pyramid, stretching at its apex to a height of 60 feet above the floor. It creates the potential for serious reflections of audio energy to bounce around the space. The challenging acoustic environment is aided, however, by padded seating and carpeted aisles throughout the room. The sound team's loudspeaker search focused on devices offering precision dispersion, with EASE modeling employed to help evaluate the predicted performance of several models.
The evaluation process led to further investigation of EAW MQ Series of large-format installation array loudspeakers. Lange selected an MQ Series variation, the MQH, as the loudspeaker model that would comprise a single array to be flown above the platform and provide coverage to the entire room.
"Adding it all up-the diverse service styles, the highly reflective nature of the room, and strict aesthetic concerns-resulted in the MQH loudspeakers being an ideal choice to meet the needs of this project," Lange explained. "A really attractive aspect of these loudspeakers is that the tight pattern control extends all the way down to 200 Hz-a life-saver in a situation where you need full-range performance throughout a reverberant space."
The single array is made up of four MQH1344e loudspeakers, each providing 40-degree by 40-degree asymmetrical (down-angle) dispersion. Supplied in optional white cabinets to match the aesthetics at the platform, all four are arranged in a tightly packed formation.
The MQH Series loudspeakers also solved a problem-no subwoofers allowed in this system. With a dual-15-inch-woofer low-frequency section, solid bass response down to about 40 Hz (10 dB down point) can be attained, again, with tight control down to the 200 Hz point. "The double 15's generate plenty of low-end energy. Obviously, subs could make the lows even bigger, but that wasn't an option on this project," Lange said.
Very clean wiring of the amplifier and processor racks by Sonic Art on the project.
An all-digital signal path transports audio from the new Yamaha M7CL digital console at the mix position to the QSC Audio CX Series power amplifiers that drive the system, including providing quad amplification to the MQH loudspeakers. QSC's QSControl.net serves as the backbone, with eight channels of AES/EBU audio sent from the console to a QSC BASIS processor, which then assigns the audio to CobraNet bundles that are then distributed to another BASIS unit that resides with the system amplifiers in a small room at the front of the church. In addition, system control data is routed in the same manner.