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Danley Loudspeakers Integrate Traditional and Contemporary Worship in Aldersgate Church

Nov 16, 2006 8:00 AM


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Founded in 1962, Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Augusta, Ga., has grown over the decades from a small flock of 10 founding families into a newly renovated 350-seat facility featuring a state-of-the-art audio and video system installed by dB Audio and Video. Frank Locklear, sales engineer and head of dB's Augusta regional office, worked with the architects at Studio 3 Design Group to integrate the AV system into the church's sanctuary renovation.

The purpose of the renovation was to move the church's contemporary and traditional worship services under one roof. Unfortunately several factors in the existing design kept that from happening. Among other things, the former choir loft was inadequate, the lighting needed an upgrade, and the existing sound system couldn't handle the output of the seven-piece Aldersgate Praise Band. Effective use of a video system was not possible either.

The overall strategy was to provide the church with technology that would not impede worship, regardless of style. "The church wanted to alter the space to fit both the traditional and contemporary services," Locklear says. "There is a generation they are trying to reach that is used to a certain level of audio and video, as well as more energy than hymns in a traditional service. They were holding the praise service in the gym but wanted to bring both groups closer together."

In order to install the appropriate sound system to serve both worship styles, Locklear laid out the sonic similarities and differences of each. "Good speech intelligibility is necessary for both styles. The biggest differences are that the traditional service with organ or piano doesn't need as much low-end and likes a more live room," he explained. "Contemporary worship likes more of an acoustically dead space."

The compromise was an acoustically live room with a precise sound system that could direct the energy onto the congregation and not over-excite the space. Two each of Danley Sound Labs SH100B and SH100 loudspeakers were used for front-of-house and delay. Locklear adds, "Both models have excellent directivity. The SH100Bs have additional low-end for the praise band without needing separate subwoofers. This was beneficial since additional subwoofers would not have fit into the architectural design."

Two SH100Bs are on the left and right of the stage so as not to obstruct the view of the stained glass in the choir loft. Both loudspeakers are tucked into the cavity of the ceiling beams to provide coverage for the front two-thirds of the room. The SH100s cover the back one-third of the sanctuary. Two Community speakers are used to cover the choir loft. “Any Danley Sound Labs speaker would have been too powerful for that space," Locklear says.

Two 24-channel Yamaha 01V96V2-CA consoles are linked, along with an eight-input preamp, to handle the 36 inputs that are available from the stage via several floor boxes. The sound system is powered by QSC amplifiers.

dB's installed video system includes two Panasonic projectors installed on either side of the sanctuary that crossfire to two Da-Lite moveable screens. Depending on usage, the screens can be raised or lowered over the organ chamber grille cloth. Video signal switching between computer and video sources is handled by an FSR switcher.

The new audio and video systems have more than met the goals of the church. "They wanted a system that could seamlessly handle back-to-back worship services no matter what the style," Locklear says. "The sound system can handle the quiet hymns as well as the vocalists, guitars, keyboards, percussion, and other instruments of the praise band."

For more information, visit www.danleysoundlabs.com.



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