First Baptist Church
This congregation moved to their
new facilities in 1996. It is a spacious, 600 seat facility with a
colonial, traditional feel. The 12 rank Moller pipe organ speaks
very well in this space. The architect knew how to design a space for the traditional
style of worship. The church now has two worship
assemblies. One has traditional music - piano. organ. and choir. One
has contemporary music - band, vocal team and a worship leader.
The original sound system, built with the
new building had served adequately in the beginning, but was aging, failing and
did not have the facilities to accommodate the contemporary worship style. A
couple of the newer components that had been added by local music stores were
reused, but reassigned in the new system. One AV contractor had "slapped"
some new speakers in the overhead soffit and called it good, but abandoned
the church after the check was deposited.
Our first project in the soffit
was to remove all the previous speakers. There were five speakers (3
large, 2 small) left behind from the original system, but not in use and the two
enclosures from the "upgrade." The new array consists of
two dual woofer enclosures loaded with 600 watt cones, and five 100 watt compression drivers mounted to 2"
throat bi-radial horns.
We reused the 12" JBL 2226H woofers from the
"new" speaker because they were very useful for the new design.
We had custom boxes build to orient the woofer in a vertical arrangement to aid
the directivity in the low mid frequency range. New compression drivers
and horns were added to provide coverage to the entire seating area.
Two new sub woofer systems were
added. Each enclosure houses an 800 watt high compliance woofer in a tuned
enclosure voiced to produce extreme bass with just the right amount of
punch. These enclosures are placed on the main floor.
The sub woofers and the overhead
woofer enclosures were designed and built by Concert Systems LLC of Southbend
Indiana. Concert Systems has been building proprietary speaker enclosures
since the mid 70's.
The amplifiers are all Crown
products and so the numbers are very conservative. The sub woofers have 2000
watts available. The overhead woofers have 1200 watt available while the
five high frequency horns share 300 watts.
The other major change in the system
was the expansion of the stage monitoring system. Two monitor systems were
in place previously, but one of them was intermittent with hums and
buzzes. This was due to failing electronics. The system now features
four monitor systems mixed from the console. Each monitor system has 200
watts of amplifier power available to power the wedges,
To complement the colonial style
of the sanctuary, custom floor wedges were built and painted to match the décor.
Each wedge has a 12" 300 watt woofer with a concentric 1" throat 80
watt compression driver and an internal 400 watt capacity passive
crossover. The dispersion of the high frequencies is a smooth 75 degree
conical patter that helps to "cut through" the acoustic blur.
A group of special Aviom brand on stage mixers
allows several musicians to
create a custom mix for themselves. They can choose any of the other four monitor mixes or combine individual signals from the
keyboard, bass, guitar and worship leader. These unique mixes are monitor
through headphones or ear bud monitors.
For the keyboard player the Aviom line
level output feeds to a custom built powered floor monitor (the big box beside
the keyboard.) It includes a 400 watt 15" woofer and an 80 watt
1" throat compression driver on a 60x40 degree horn and a 400 watt capacity
Four Hot Spot monitors on microphone stands provide vocal
monitoring for the choir (they needed to hear the song leader and preacher.)
The building has a 1.25" conduit for
audio lines buried beneath the slab, from the booth to the stage. It is
completely full with wires and yet more
were needed. The church didn't want to trench the floor, add more conduits and
patch the floor, so we had to find another solution. One CAT5 cable
was already in the conduit (for previous video work) and would not be needed
with the new video system. We choose to use an Aviom analogue to digital
converter to transform the console outputs to digital route them over the CAT5
cable into the amplifier rack where a digital to analogue converter provided
signals for the digital system processors. This same system is what feeds
the on stage 16 channel mixer for the keyboard musician. It works better
than we could have hoped. The four lines previously used to take
signals to the amplifier rack were reused for new microphone lines on stage.
The existing control booth was cleaned
reorganized and reused. The old console was large for a 24 channel
mixer. The new 32 channel console is small for it size but is extremely versatile.
External compressors and effects units have been added to enhance the mixing of
music and to help control speech.
projection system was also updated. The old projector was reassigned to serve as
a confidence monitor for the participants on stage. The projector is
mounted on a post at the front of the control booth and aimed at the rear
wall. The new main projector is mounted above the center rear exit door
with a telephoto lens.