In 2000, when Bayside Chapel in Barnegat, N.J., was making plans for a new church building, Bayside's technical director Bob Seibel put in a call to consultant Tom Young of Electroacoustic Design Services (Oxford, Conn.,www.dbspl.com). Six years later, the church completed the long journey of fundraising, breaking ground and construction by installing a new sound system featuring Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers.
"When we first met, Bayside Chapel was renting a local high school auditorium, but were in the initial planning stages for their own church," says Young. "Around the time, I had listened to several new loudspeakers designed by Tom Danley and was impressed with the pattern control, the phase response and their very natural sound quality. I've kept tabs on his designs ever since." Several years ago, Young designed and commissioned his first church project using Danley's loudspeakers, further cementing his impressions of the product.
The church's programs comprise spoken word and a live band. From an acoustical standpoint, the new worship center would prove to be a challenging environment. The multipurpose "gymnatorium" accommodated several groups throughout the week, in addition to the Sunday worshipers. "The room itself is used for worship on the weekend, but it is also used for basketball games, as well as other athletic and non-athletic events on weekdays," says Young. "The peripheral classrooms are used for Bible study and other meeting purposes."
The worship center/multipurpose room measures 100x70x30 feet (WxDxH). The reverberant steel-framed structure features highly reflective cinder block wall, which Young identified during the design phase as in need of acoustic treatment. Although these treatments were postponed due to construction budget restraints, Young provided the church with specially designed carpeting that could withstand the wear-and-tear of sports games. He also reviewed portable seating selection for its acoustic properties. The stage area and future baptismal are located in a recessed area on the long wall. For worship services, an 8-foot-deep platform extension is added to the front of the stage. The 850-member congregation sits on the portable chairs for worship service in a fan shape surrounding the stage. During the design phase of the building, Young was also involved in reviewing the design of the air handling systems in an effort to reduce audible noise.
Young's electroacoustic design is based on a mono system split into three clusters flown over the stage. He adds, "This 'exploded' configuration was chosen to minimize lobing that occurs with any loudspeaker product when you group so many boxes into a single, more tightly packed cluster. The specific Danley loudspeakers were selected and positioned to provide sound coverage to the floor without projecting onto and reflecting off the cinderblock walls."
The cluster hung at center stage features two Danley Sound Labs SH-50 full-range loudspeakers with 50x50 Synergy Horn configurations and 2x2 installation hardware. The outer two clusters feature one SH-50 in each, coupled with one Danley Sound Labs TH-112 tapped-horn subwoofer mounted above. The TH-112's compact design allowed for the subs to be flown rather than stacked, thus saving floor space and eliminating the need to build soffits to hide them under or near the stage. Mounted underneath each of the three clusters is one SH-50DF full-range downfill loudspeaker with 100x50 Synergy Horn configuration and 2x2 installation hardware.
The rigging system was fabricated and supplied by Mike Akrep at Polar Focus, who was also hired to conduct the actual cluster rigging on-site. Loudspeaker system signal processing is handled by a Biamp AudiaFlex processing platform. To ensure against any power surges or spikes, the sound system uses a SurgeX sequential power and surge-protection system.
After the system was hung and confirmed in early June, Young returned to the church to tune the system. He then visited in mid-June to further fine-tune the listening experience, train the sound crew, conduct soundchecks and attend the first service held in Bayside's new worship center. He recounts, "The opening service at Bayside Chapel went flawlessly. I received a large number of very positive reviews following this service. Many said it was the best church sound they have ever heard. In addition, the band and sound crew are continually raving about their new system."
For more information on the loudspeakers, visit Danley Sound at www.danleysoundlabs.com.