In business since 1990, Douglass Communications in Ottumwa, Iowa,has carved a well-earned niche for audio and video-projection designand installation in the church market. In fact, during the past twoyears, their business in this area has grown to the point that now 80%of their projects are church installations; the other 20%, auditoria.One of Douglass Communications’ more recent projects of note wasthe installation of a Nexo GEO S Tangent Array system in the newWorship Center for Community Heights Alliance Church in Newton,Iowa.
“Finding the right system was a challenge,” remembered Schuck ownerof Douglass Communications. “The new multipurpose steel building was areverberant, 110-foot-by-110-foot gymnasium with a 16- to 22-foot-deepby 42-inch-high stage built across one entire side. Todd Berger, ofR&D Industries in Milford, Iowa, had provided acousticalinformation to the church using EASE software. I was brought into theproject, in part, because I also use EASE. The sound systemspecifications called for an LCR stereo system to be flown three feetin front of the stage. However, the seating for 1,100 people started 10feet from the stage and extended back 90 more feet. Furthermore, HVACducts were located 25 feet above the floor in the exact locations wherethe LCR speaker clusters needed to be flown. Every system that I wasfamiliar with required a delay ring of speakers in order to provide 95dB+ from front to back. This time, however, adding a delay ring was notpart of the budget nor did it fit into the desired LCR design.
“It was at EASE 4.0 class, while discussing the project with acolleague, that I learned about NEXO,” he continued. “He had recentlyrun sound at an outdoor concert using their GEO S Tangent Array System.He told me, ‘Your project sounds like the perfect situation forthe NEXO GEO S speakers.’ When I contacted the NEXO salesrepresentative, I found out that their technical director, JoeRimstidt, was in the area and needed a place to host a demo.
“I met Joe at the Worship Center site to show him what seemed to meto be an impossible situation. At the time, the building was enclosedand that was about it. The stage had just been built. Joe’s firstcomment was, ‘This is perfect. Just what we are lookingfor.’ The church’s sound engineers, board members andpastoral staff all attended the demo. Using the GeoSoft software, Joeconfigured an array of six GEO S 805s and one S 830. The churchrepresentatives and I were very impressed with the overall coverage andsound quality produced by the system. Even in that difficultenvironment, it was clear that GEO technology met all of ourcriteria.
“The decision was made. We installed three arrays, using six GEO S805s and one GEO S 830, with two NEXO PS 8s delayed back to the centercluster for front sidefill coverage of the seating areas. We poweredthe system with Crown amplifiers. Over 1,300 people attended the firstservice, and the NEXO system sounded great from anywhere in the room.Church members have been pleased with the quality of sound and lowvisual impact of the system. The contemporary worship service typicallyreaches volume levels of 92 to 95 dB. In the old sanctuary, many of theelderly members complained about the music being too loud and they saidthat that they couldn’t understand the words of the songs.Recently, Steve Larson, the church’s head sound engineer, told methat those same elderly members now say that they are hearing muchbetter in the new Worship Center; that the volume is not too loudanymore. That is pretty remarkable: 92 dB and they don’t mind thevolume. This tells me that the sound is very clean. It also confirms mybelief that the sound quality and versatility of the NEXO GEO S Seriesmade it the right solution for this project.”
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