South Point Baptist Church in Belmont, NC, recently underwent a complete sanctuary redesign that included a new sound system featuring Tannoy QFlex 16 digitally steerable, multi-channel array loudspeakers.
When the church leaders decided to remodel the two-story sanctuary, they opted for a new sound system as well. They tapped Russ Moore, owner of Hames Pro, located in Greenville, North Carolina to design and install the new system.
The 700-seat contemporary church features a rectangular shaped sanctuary with two-story cathedral ceilings and a large semi-circle raised platform home to the alter, choir and band at the front of the room. Pew seating fans out from the platform and fills the lower level.
A major part of the redesign was extending the original rear balcony to cover the length of the side walls creating U-shaped balcony seating that overlooks the sanctuary.
"In order to provide coverage to all of the seating areas without worrying about overlap, we decided to create a system the provided sound to separate levels," said Moore. "Because QFlex loudspeakers provide a way to control all aspects of their coverage, I could easily use two QFlex 16 loudspeakers for the ground level."
QFlex 16 arrays are self-powered cabinets loaded with eight 3-inch low frequency and eight 1-inch high frequency drivers and designed for a maximum SPL of 94 dB at 110 feet. By utilizing Tannoy's BeamEngine GUI they were able to set specific parameters for each loudspeaker ensuring exact coverage of the seating area.
"The back wall had the potential to be an acoustic problem since it was one big, flat surface," added Moore. "We found we could get maximum left-right coverage from the two loudspeakers and we were able to decay the signal at the back of the room so it wouldn't bounce off the wall."
With that accomplished, Moore was taxed with finding coverage for the balcony seating and again Tannoy products provided the solution.
"The Tannoy i7 is designed for use in acoustically challenging spaces where controlled coverage is required – in other words, this application exactly," noted Moore. "We ended up with one directed at the front of each ‘arm’ of the balcony and two positioned left and right for the rear balcony – on a .41 millisecond delay — and they worked perfectly."
The i7 is a tall and slim loudspeaker cabinet equipped with four 4-inch low frequency direct radiating drive units and one 1-inch titanium dome tweeter arranged as a line source.
Moore positioned two Renkus-Heinz CFX12S 12-inch subwoofers underneath the stage for additional low end. Two Renkus-Heinz SGX8 8-inch monitors provide monitoring on stage while two more CFS8 8-inch monitors are wall mounted for the choir.
An existing 24-channel Allen & Heath GL2400 digital mixing console resides at a new FOH position located in the "crows nest" at the back of the rear balcony. Instead of running 400-feet of new analog snake, a Roland digital snake was put into service for ultimate flexibility.
"The cost was similar to running analog snake but with the benefits of digital, so it made perfect sense," said Moore. "As a matter of fact, when we ran the original conduit we ran additional CAT5 cable in case they wanted to add another digital snake in the future. It works so well they are planning on doing exactly that later this year."
A Rane RA-27 real time analyzer along with Smaart acoustic test and measurement software were used to dial in and pink noise the system before it went live.
"All in all, it worked out just as we wanted," Moore said. "Every seat in the sanctuary is covered without any bleeding or overlap – resulting in excellent vocal intelligibility and the audio quality that the church required."
The original alter area, set off from the main sanctuary, was converted to additional seating which required extra audio support. A single Tannoy i7 passive column bracket-mounted to an adjacent column, provides ample coverage.
A nearby confessional turned rack room is home to a Lab.gruppen C Series 5:4X amplifier to power the Di5DCs and i7 boxes. The rack includes a Rane digital signal processor for delay and EQ supplemental and two Rane auto mixers control the microphones and CD player. To provide easy on/off of the system and minimal interference to system set-up, Cooper used a Lyntek PD510-4 sequenced power system with the on/off panel located outside of the locked rack room.
“The system is literally push and play,” he said. “They don’t even have to open the rack room to get everything up and running. The coverage is outstanding and the vocal intelligibility better than ever before. The parishioners are absolutely delighted with the new system.”