Increasing numbers of congregants over the years compelled Lancaster Evangelical Free Church (LEFC) in Lilitz, PA, to move to a series of worship locations over the years—most of them a far cry from its first space in a fire station hall in 1980.
After making do with available meeting spaces for years, construction was completed on a permanent worship space in March 2020 that LEFC executives hope will meet its needs for years to come.
Members of the LEFC congregation are currently gathering for two services each Sunday, with an average of 1,000 attendees per service, in the new auditorium, which seats 1,200. A typical Sunday morning worship team includes a four- to six-piece band and four to five vocalists, with the occasional choir, brass, or string section.
During the planning stages of construction, RLPS Architects (Lancaster, PA) completed architectural design. Next Level Productions (Elizabethtown, PA) was tasked with fulfilling church requirements for loudspeakers, sound reinforcement, stage lighting, and projection.
Next Level Productions owner Darryl Wenger suggested installing a d&b Y-Series loudspeaker array with a V-SUB array at front of house. “The Y-Series fit the SPL requirements and budget requirements, with a shorter hang that does not impede the line of sight to the projection screens while viewing from the raked seating,” said Wenger. “We chose the V-SUB array over the Y-SUB to allow for additional SPL and lower frequencies. d&b does an excellent job of accurate reinforcement of both spoken word and contemporary worship music.”
The d&b Y-Series line array modules are 2-way passive loudspeakers with two 8-inch drivers in a dipole arrangement and a centrally mounted 1.4-inch compression driver with a wave transformer in either 80° or 120°. The sophisticated cabinet design delivers full-bandwidth capability with an extended LF output and directivity control down to 500 Hz.
The d&b V-SUB is a high-performance cardioid subwoofer that can operate with two cabinets on a single amplifier channel, making it an efficient choice combined with the benefits of the cardioid pattern.
“Initially the church hired an architectural acoustic study by Custom Sound Design (CSD), and used the preliminary architectural design to recommend design ideas and acoustic treatment plans to provide good acoustics in the worship space,” said Ken Martin, pastor of worship technology and care. “Consideration was given to shape, size, and surface materials in the sanctuary with raked seating and lots of hard surfaces. The goal was to start with an acoustically balanced space, and I am so thankful that we achieved this goal.”
Wenger said that the ultimate goal was to provide a controlled speaker system in a controlled space. “Choosing the d&b Y-Series loudspeaker system and implementing acoustical treatment recommendations allowed for the ideal integration project. Pastor Martin was set on choosing d&b from the start after visiting many locations, listening to many systems, and noting the d&b audio difference.”
Pastor Martin said he enjoyed watching the installation and was intrigued by the final phases of work by d&b engineers, who tuned the system and finalized the ArrayProcessing. “The ArrayProcessing maximized the system’s coverage in the space. What started as good concluded with great sound, providing even dispersion for every seat.”
Wenger said the back half of the room with raked seating benefited greatly from the ArrayProcessing.
d&b ArrayProcessing technology optimizes tonal balance and level distribution of a d&b line array system over the entire coverage area to provide a consistent listening experience for each congregation member, regardless of where they are seated.
The Y-Series configuration consists of left/right arrays with four Yi8s over four Yi12s with ArrayProcessing, a single Y10P point source center fill, six Vi-SUBS in a SUB array, M2 Monitors, and 10D and 30D installation amplifiers.
“The end result is a space where acoustics are complementary to corporate worship and a d&b loudspeaker system that delivers clear and even dispersion for the lead worshippers sound and pastor’s messages to every seat,” said Wenger.
A New Way to Worship • During the pandemic, houses of worship often held virtual service, which in turn has meant an increase in requests to systems contractors and integrators to facilitate streaming services.
d&b to Offer Subscription-Series • d&b audiotechnik has launched a Subscription-Series that allows venue owners to upgrade their sound experience with a new d&b system without a large, upfront capital investment.
The New Service: What Streaming and Spacing Means for Audio in Houses of Worship • There's no question that the ways people come together to worship have changed dramatically this year. That has also meant a lot of changes to the way services sound—and what they may sound like in the future.
Getting Started in House of Worship Integration • Just Add Power’s Ed Qualls shares best practices to limit project hiccups and help integrators deliver the perfect solution for house of worship customers.
How Audio Helps Houses of Worship Regather with Confidence • The new normal has proven to be particularly challenging for church leaders who are tasked with bringing parishioners together across a variety of locations, whether in-person or attending virtually from home.