HATTIESBURG, MD-When the newly constructed Temple Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, MS undertook the large project of installing its audio, video and lighting system, it found itself in need of a highly specialized microphone solution for the choir-not only for vocal reproduction in the church, but for broadcast applications as well. At the new 3,000-seat church, the choir seats between 250 and 300 people, depending on the time of year, so the demands for big sound for worship are huge.
Temple Baptist Church chose 13 AKG C414 microphones
A variety of microphone brands are put to use throughout the church, but the mics specifically sought out to amplify the voices from the choir on high through the sanctuary, as well as broadcast on television and local radio, are 13 AKG C414 microphones.
"We started out with a mic that was not producing well for us," said Temple Baptist Church's media director, Dan Drennen. "During services, we couldn't hear the choir when we moved into this new building and the service just didn't have the same energy that it used to." To fix the problem, Drennen did some research and asked for recommendations from one of the three integration companies on the installation project, Technical Resources Group (TRG). TRG sent over a few demo units and the church brought the choir in for some rehearsals in order to fully and accurately test the demo mics.
"After testing out several microphones, we settled on the AKG C414 for a couple of reasons," said Drennen. "These units have the volume we need so we got lots of gain before feedback with them. Secondly, it gave the body (reproductive audio quality) to the choir that we were looking for. A lot of the other microphones we tried had plenty of volume, but they didn't have the body. The AKG mics have a fullness that the others didn't offer."
Rick Greenlee, partner at Technical Resource Group, concurred with Drennen's goals for the choir mic. "They have a fairly large choir that from day one really couldn't be heard," said Greenlee. "They brought in the AKG C414 and everyone in the audience noticed the difference. The AKG C414's high gain before feedback and natural sound were the qualities that sold the church."
The AKG C414 microphones also carry the Temple Baptist Church voices out to the broadcast world. "We broadcast on two different stations here locally in Hattiesburg," said Drennen. "We have a separate broadcast mix--a separate console in the audio production room for this purpose. The C414 mics run into that broadcast mix as well." As the media director, Drennen handles television and radio production for the Temple Baptist Church along with the audio, lighting and projection for the auditorium.
Additionally, the AKG C414s are versatile for different events at the church. Drennen has taken a couple of them down, out of the choir loft, on Sunday nights for small ensembles and/or children's choirs. "Whether the C414s are up in the choir loft or on the platform, they have great performance," he said. "Good audio quality--a lot of body to it with a very natural sound. To this day, they have performed well."
Originally, Temple Baptist Church was located in downtown Hattiesburg. In 2000, the church decided to relocate and start a west campus with the majority of the congregation moving there. They built phase one in 2000, which was the gymnatorium and educational space. Phase two was completed in December 2006 and consists of the main sanctuary, office space, student center, children center and some more educational space. Construction on the new facility on the west side started pre-Katrina in 2005. After about a two-month setback and about $1 million in damage from the hurricane, the church moved into the facility in December 2006.