With weekly worship attendance nearing 20,000 across three sites in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Gateway Church ranks as one of the fastest-growing congregations in the country. Having outgrown its original main campus in Southlake, Gateway opened a new 200,000-plus-square-foot facility a few miles away. The 4,000-seat sanctuary, at the heart of the campus, is equipped with cutting-edge technical facilities, including a reinforcement system based on Meyer Sound MILO line array loudspeakers.
Acoustic Dimensions, a Dallas-based consulting firm, was given responsibility for an integrated design incorporating architectural acoustics, audio, video, lighting, theatrical rigging, and broadcast facilities. For the design of the sound reinforcement systems, Acoustic Dimensions collaborated with Mike Walker of the 709 Agency, also in Southlake, as well as Meyer Sound Design Services.
Aware that client involvement was important for long-term satisfaction, early on Acoustic Dimensions staged a listening session at an area theater, inviting church technical staff to compare loudspeakers from different makers.
“I brought all our engineers, and we played our senior pastor’s voice plus all kinds of music,” said David Leuschner, Gateway’s executive director of technical arts, who played an active role in steering the project. “In the end Meyer was our consensus choice.”
Also, adds Leuschner, the church was already aware of the ongoing support they could expect from Meyer Sound, based on prior experience with a M’elodie line array loudspeaker system installed earlier at Gateway’s North Richland Hills campus.
As completed, the main auditorium system covers most of the expansive seating area with three arrays of nine MILO loudspeakers each, with bass augmented by 14 700-HP subwoofers. Side fill (upper and lower), front fill, effects, under-balcony and over-balcony coverage is supplied by 54 Meyer Sound loudspeakers that include MSL-4, CQ-1, UPQ-1P, DF-4 downfill, and UPJ-1P and UPJunior VariO loudspeakers. In addition, seven UPJunior loudspeakers are flown overhead as stage monitors, and a Galileo loudspeaker management system provides drive and signal optimization. All audio and video systems were integrated by Pro Sound and Video of Florida and California under the supervision of Kelly Prince.
“My long experience with Meyer really sold me on their products,” said David Leuschner. “In my opinion, their systems have the cleanest sound to the human ear. They can be deceptive, because you can run them loud, but people don't complain about it being too loud because there’s no distortion.”
To maintain consistent quality, 12 other Meyer Sound UPJunior loudspeakers are at work in five classrooms on the campus. “From speech to music, in a big room or a small room, the Meyer boxes deliver sound that works for us,” Leuschner said.