WHITINSVILLE, MA--When a congregation outgrows its worship space, a church can expand its current facility, build a new structure or rent a suitable pre-existing space. Las Vegas' Hope Baptist Church decided on the latter, moving its services to the gymnasium and other spaces of Silverado High School. Although this may seem like an easy solution, it presents its own new challenges, most notably setup and teardown, which need to happen extremely quickly early Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. These problems were solved by the use of NTL720 Self-Powered Line Array Modules, NTS22 Self-Powered Subwoofers and a UX8800 Digital Signal Processor from EAW, a world leader in audio system and loudspeaker solutions.
The NTL720 modules and NTS22 subs are easy-to-rig, making for a simple, no-fuss setup and teardown each week. Robert Sims of Las Vegas' Communication Electronic Systems put together the new gear package as well as the one serving Hope's prior facility. Additionally, Ryan Durham of Las Vegas-based Ford AV guided the church in their equipment and new gear package decisions, and was on hand to assist with the initial setup. Each array consists of seven modules per side, supported on a ground-based tower. An additional NTL720 module per side is used for front fill. The low end of the system is supplied by eight NTS22 subs in a central array under the front edge of the portable stage. All of this is powered by the UX8800 processor.
"When I began my relationship with EAW in the older space, it was the product performance and support that won me over," noted Sims. "I am thrilled that EAW was able to fulfill the needs of this new, challenging space. We had five basic issues to consider: First, speed in erecting the system, because it gets put up and taken down every single weekend. Second, even coverage, front to back and side to side. Third, the power to fill a room of 500-1000 people. Fourth, a system with a small footprint, with self-amplified gear, and less of it! Fifth, repeatability, because we need the same quality of sound every week. The NTL Series and the NT subs fit every one of those issues." EAW's Martyn "Ferrit" Rowe was also on hand to help with the setup. He noted, "The gymnasium at Silverado is a great place to play basketball, but not ideally suited acoustically as a performance space.
Particular care was taken to 'focus' the arrays on the audience areas and keep the energy off the back and side walls to minimize reflections in what is a very 'lively' space. Using the NTL720 wizard allows precise focus of the array, and with a combination of EAW's proprietary GunnessTM Focusing technology and Smaart and Pilot software, tuning was accomplished in under 20 minutes." Sims and Durham both attend Hope Baptist Church, and both serve as audio engineer for the church's services. The challenges Sims and Durham face weekly involve an 80-member choir, a seven-piece worship band, a six-piece vocal ensemble, various soloists and, of course, the pastor on a wireless headset. Both Sims and Durham have to maintain a balance between musicality, a high energy content and the utmost speech intelligibility. Sims added, "Once Ferrit aligned it and made a very small EQ adjustment, the rig sounded awesome. The mix literally came together in minutes. I never had to use so little EQ before. I feel like I'm mixing on a pair of giant studio monitors. The subs rock. I'm glad we went with eight of them - it's a great match. Using the eighth NTL720 module as the lip fills is working well also. At the end of the first service we did with this rig, one of the comments I overheard was, 'That was the best-sounding gymnasium I've ever heard,' and I think that's a great compliment and a huge accomplishment."