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From the Fire

Oct 15, 2013 3:50 PM, By Cynthia Wisehart

Restoration AV

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For another 1,000-seat church—the First Baptist Church of Elkhart, Ind.—fire was a “game changer,” according to Robbie Starkey of CSD Group, Fort Wayne, Ind., who designed and installed the new audio, video, and lighting systems. “The biggest priority became upgrading their systems to modern digital technology from analog,” Starkey says.

The upgrade had not been on the drawing board; like many churches, First Baptist had been putting Band-Aids on its analog system for over a decade. When fire and water destroyed all the systems four days before the church’s traditional Halloween event, it became an opportunity, the chance to support their mix of traditional and contemporary services with modern line arrays, digital consoles, and HD video. The new audio system includes a QSC KLA active line array loudspeaker system comprising 13 KLA12 12in., two-way elements in an LCR configuration plus a pair of KLA181 18in. subwoofers, together with four KW181 self-powered 18in. subs and a pair of K8 active front fills on the floor.

The main KLA12 arrays are configured with four boxes at left and right plus five in a center hang. “The extra top box is shooting to the back balcony,” explains Starkey, who got his first hands-on experience with the QSC rigging system at the church. “I was a little leery at first about doing the installation myself. But we were so stressed with work that, even though that’s not part of my job description, I went and hung the system and tuned it myself. You can fly five of those boxes instantly because of the ease of the QSC rigging hardware.”

The compact KLA12 arrays fit the church leaders’ desired aesthetic. “They didn't want to have too many boxes hanging down really far from the ceiling, so the box count was relevant,” Starkey explains.

CSD Group also designed new digital mixing system and wireless IEM for the praise band around an Allen & Heath iLive desk and a Roland switcher. The renovated sanctuary also now includes a complete two screen Panasonic HD video IMAG system as well as intelligent theatrical lighting.

In May, the church reopened to a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,000 worshipers.

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