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Combination Church/Concert Venue Outfitted with Blend of Loudspeaker Technologies

Dec 8, 2006 7:59 AM


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The tremendous growth of Crossroads Christian Church has spurred the development of a new church building that’s also purpose-built to serve as a premier live concert hall, and features a commensurate high-end sound reinforcement system headed by EAW KF series line arrays and KF750 concert loudspeakers.

The new 60,000-square-foot facility, located in Corona, Calif., offers seating for 3,500. It hosts an average of two concerts a month, as well as children’s productions, civic events, and other community activities in addition to Sunday worship services. Dubbed “Stage1” when used as a concert venue, the facility brings quality artists to the Corona area, including Olivia Newton John, Amy Grant, and popular country act Lonestar.

Jeff Peterson of Sound Design Concepts (and now staff engineer with ATK AudioTek in Burbank, Calif.) was brought in during the initial planning phase of the project, working closely with Rob Smoot, production manager of Crossroads/Stage1. Peterson formulated the sound design and was later chosen to head up its installation.

“We all agreed that line array was the way to go. The goal is solid coverage from the very front row to the back wall, and without delay loudspeakers,” Peterson says. “This approach also offered us more flexibility in terms of array location, which was limited due to structural issues.”

In more than a decade of previous work with Disney, Peterson had numerous positive experiences with a wide range of EAW loudspeakers, so his focus turned to the company’s KF760 series line array modules. He arranged a demo system for evaluation and decided it would be an optimum choice for this project.

The KF760 series uses advanced divergence shading, where all loudspeakers are powered at equal level, meaning that an array provides uniform sound coverage from directly beneath itself out to hundreds of feet without complex signal processing. Vertical coverage for the array is set by varying the rear splay of the enclosures, leaving the fronts tight-packed.

To attain sufficient horizontal coverage over the exceptionally wide area at Crossroads/Stage1, Peterson elected to go with model KF761 line array modules, which offer 100 degrees of horizontal dispersion. “The primary concern here was the width, not the depth, of the seating area,” he notes. “This was my first experience with the KF761, and it’s quite sonically pleasant while delivering solid coverage.”

Both arrays, flown to the far left and right of the stage, are each made up of eight KF761 modules, with the lower cabinets aimed downward, presenting the classic “J” array structure. Eight modules also help enhance line array advantages such as pattern control.

The need for focused point-source coverage for the spoken-word intelligibility that’s vital to worship services led Peterson to also specify a dedicated center cluster made up of EAW KF750 series full-range concert loudspeakers. Specifically, the cluster includes four KF750 full-range loudspeakers above four KF755 down-fill loudspeakers, all tightly packed and combining to provide 170 degrees of seamless horizontal coverage.

Both loudspeaker models offer EAW’s Acoustic Singularity design, which aligns their three subsystems along a single axis to act as a true point source. This greatly reduces temporal smearing of transient events and improves overall clarity and impact. Since the large mid-frequency horn contains both the high- and low-frequency subsystems, the overall package is just 31in. high, an important consideration at Crossroads/Stage1 because sightlines to the stage from the rear/upper seats can’t be obscured.

“A line array would have needed to be a lot taller and thus would have extended too far down,” Peterson says. “Plus, I like the KF750, having toured with it previously and finding it to be a good multipurpose box with a natural sonic signature.”

The main loudspeakers are joined by six EAW BH822E subwoofers loaded with dual 12in. cone drivers feeding a unique bent bass horn. Positioned beneath the stage, three per side, the BH822Es are concealed from view by custom grilles attached to the stage facing.

To bolster mid-high to the first few seating rows, several EAW JF80 compact loudspeakers can be placed on the stage when needed, with numerous EAW SM series monitor wedges also available.

EAW Smaart provided valuable assistance during the system tuning process, with Peterson concluding, “There were no issues whatsoever with the performance of the loudspeakers right out of the box. That’s a great starting point, with the primary work then being to optimize the system within the room.”

For more information, visit www.eaw.com.



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