Located just outside of Dallas in Grapevine, Texas, the FellowshipChurch recently moved into a spacious new facility that hosts up to19,000 congregants a weekend. The church features state-of-the-artaudio and video technology for services that offer the musical andvisual impact of a contemporary concert event.
As Matt Wheeler, senior audio engineer, said, “We try to stayon the cutting edge to do what we do creatively, so it’s not theolder, more traditional ‘just sing the hymn’ kind ofservice. We want to keep things interesting and relevant so, in doingthat, technology plays a large role in what we do. Musically, it prettymuch changes every weekend. We might open a service with a Creed song,and go straight out of that into a ‘praise and worship’song to a country tune or other styles of music. We have a band withelectric guitars, bass, drums—all of that. It’s somewhatperformance-oriented.”
Because Fellowship Church has to both provide the full-range audiorequired for today’s musical performances with clear vocal andspeech reproduction for sermons and prayers, finding the rightmicrophone was an ongoing challenge for Wheeler and his audio team.
“We’d tried every brand over the years,” saidWheeler, “but even with more expensive systems that sounded okay,I wasn’t happy with the handling noise we were getting. I hadheard about DPA microphones being used in a Broadway show, so wedecided to try them out. We bought one, tested it and were pretty muchsold on DPA from that point on. At this point, we have a lot ofwireless in the church—actually up to 120 channels of Sennheiserfacility-wide right now—so we really needed to find the rightmicrophones.
“We first bought about 40 DPA 4061 miniature condensers, thenwe tried the DPA 4065 headset mics out for dramas and stuff like that,and everyone went, ‘What did you do! That sounds amazing!’Being able to get it louder with a lot less EQ and a lot lessinteraction between mics opened up a whole new world for us. Afterhearing the DPA headset, our pastor wanted to try it and once he gotone, he refused take it off.
“The thing I really like about DPA, especially the headsets,is that I can EQ and still have people out in front of the P.A. With anomni, people always say, ‘You’re asking fortrouble…’ But once it’s tweaked out, it’spretty consistent.
“We have a thrust stage and our Pastor is out in front of theP.A. for the whole service and I never have any problems. With minimalEQ, I’m able to get a very natural, very large sound, without anyfeedback onstage, in the audience.”
Fellowship Church also boasts a Yamaha PM1D front-of-house digitalconsole and Sennheiser and Neumann handheld mics.