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Megachurch Audio Upgrade, Part 2

Jun 16, 2010 12:30 PM, By Bennett Liles

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And those are self-powered, as you mentioned. Did you have to isolate the audio on those since they may be getting their power from someplace else, or had you already run the same power to those that mixer and other sound gear was on?
Shewlakow: The entire sound system was on a clean technical ground, and so they had their local electrician actually run an ISOground outlet up to the subwoofer location, and so we had them on the CX system of the audio system. [Timestamp:6:58]

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Megachurch Audio Upgrade, Part 1
Michael Garrison Associates upgrades the speaker system at Southland Christian Church. ...

Well, that’s an advantage in permanent installation—you don’t always have in temporary setups that you can get in there and control the power source for everything and not have to isolate audio sources. What’s the source on the mixer that feeds the subwoofers?
Shewlakow: The subwoofers are, on and off, splits off the Allen & Heath, and we’re going through the sound web processing, so there’s an output on the sound web that is zooming second to the crossover for the overall subwoofers system. Along with the new two Tannoy subwoofers there was also the existing EAW subwoofers, and so they’re all getting the same signal. We were able to tweak the two Tannoy independently a little bit with the built-in DSP that was on the subwoofers themselves. [Timestamp: 7:39]

And I know that one of the tricky parts of this is where the church is in use every Sunday and probably during the week as well, what sort of time line did you have on this? I mean how did you manage to schedule around church the events to get in there and do this?
Shewlakow: Well, that was definitely a concern when were starting to sink through the installation schedule of this. In fact, we had given ourselves a little extra time for the install not knowing how easy it was going to be to get the new subwoofers up into location and stuff like that and getting some of the old boxes down. And so when were talking with the church for scheduling, they had a block of time that was clear during the week.Hhowever, at night, they had a few little odds and ends,rehearsals, and stuff like that, and so we ended up working mostly during the days and a few evenings in there. We actually finished with about a day extra of time, and so it took us about two and a half days to actually install the new loudspeakers and do any wiring changes that we had to do and then to give enough time for Brian to come in and do the tune. [Timestamp: 8:42]

How did you attack the problem of coverage way in the back? Did you already have a time delay in place for that?
Roggow: Yeah, that was already in place. There was a secondary array that hangs out over the bleacher section of existing smaller Tannoy series devices that hang--there was actually a midsection zone or a zone one that flanks most of the delay section. There was also a couple of little ones that are in the back to catch the back corners, and so all that stayed in place. Actually I did have to, obviously, with the increased capabilities of the system, I would of had to change the output to those devices and delay times changed a bit, but they’re keeping up pretty good. If they were into concert level things, where they were really asking for levels of 110 or beyond, they would probably need to have something a little bit bigger, but I think for their normal services, they’re certainly, certainly fine. And not to mention that the Q series of especially the stereo boxes barely need any. I think they’re hardly even using the delay speakers, they’re so focused and much more directional they nearly reach—well, they do, you’ve got a quite a bit of good response all the way to the back. [Timestamp: 9:49]

Well, of course, churches, by the basic nature of what they do, present a challenge. They’ve got speech, live music, some are getting into even audience participation, so making the sound system right for all those things is a challenge you are going to have. So what’s been the reaction from congregation Michael? Have you gotten some feedback from them by now?
Garrison: Well, we always do ask for that feedback because we want to know when we are doing a good job, and if we need to improve on things. And so I’ve talked with a number of the guys there and what they’ve all said is that there’s just been 100 percent positive reaction from everybody. They broke it down into groups: the congregation, of course, wasn’t aware that any of this was going on, and they said it was very rewarding for of all those in leadership who planned all of this to hear people saying, “What did you do to the sound? It’s much clearer. I can here everything.” So from the normal person attending the church:a very positive response. They’ve also said that the performers, musicians, and the technical people have been very impressed with the new Tannoy box. Though they were very happy, and they kept saying this, they were never dissatisfied with their old system. They actually liked it. They say the quality of the vocal clarity is just greatly improved, and they’re particularly happy with the stereo, which is interesting to us. Brian mentioned, we used the VQ100 boxes for the exploded mono cluster, where we used the VQ60 boxes for the stereo. And just about everybody that I have talked with there has focused in on how the stereo is now so definable, the image is so much clearer than it used to be throughout the room. So they really, really liked that part. And the church leadership, the financial leadership people, expressed surprise that such a significant improvement could be made for such a relatively small investment. So, from MGA’s prospective, we really feel like we were very blessed to hit a homerun, which we couldn’t have done without Tannoy making this product. [Timestamp: 12:06]

Well, the clients will always come to you quickly with negative reviews, but when they come right out with positive comments, you know you’ve made an impression. Each church and its congregation has its own personality and style, and it’s always a challenge to craft and tweak a system to suit that specific acoustic environment and the style of worship. And so Michael, Brian and Steve, thanks for being here. The Southland Christian Church speaker upgrade from Michael Garrison Associates in Fresno, Calif.. Thanks for being here to give us the details.
Garrison: Thanks.
Roggow: Thanks for having us.

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