ASHEVILLE, NC 4.28.21—It might be scaled back to 150 worshippers right now due to Covid, but that did not stop the 700-seat Central Peninsula Church in Foster City, CA to install a new d&b A-Series loudspeaker thanks to the efforts of PCD Audio/Video system integrators based in Santa Rosa.
The main performance criteria from Central Peninsula Church were increased intelligibility, fidelity and impact, along with greater gain before feedback and improved sightlines. The A-Series configuration chosen is in a vertical deployment underneath subs which was a critical decision as the church did not want to have anything on the ground or on the stage.
A-Series is the newest category of loudspeakers from d&b, the augmented array. d&b A-Series addresses the needs of many mid-size applications where a point source solution may not give adequate coverage or SPL, and a line array may exceed architectural or budgetary constraints.
The new A-Series rig along with 10S loudspeakers that are used for outfills are able to cover the entire space with no front fills or subs on the ground. d&b ArrayProcessing was used to evenly spread the energy distribution and tonal balance from front to rear in order to provide a consistent listening experience for each congregation member, regardless of where they are seated. The A-Series array has a higher output than a single point source, excellent low frequency response, and excellent gain before feedback due to its well-controlled directivty. Cardioid Vi-SUBs were flown with the A-Series mounted underneath them to provide a compact and clean visual aesthetic. Due to COVID, the system was commissioned remotely by d&b in partnership with PCD.
“The church is fairly contemporary in nature with a band that would include drums, bass, acoustic and electric guitars, a keyboard, and 2-4 vocalists,” states Tim Belleson, Technical Director, Central Peninsula Church. “The decision to install the A-Series was that the system iscompact by nature; definitely a great selling point for us. Working with our integrator PCD, we explored several different companies and solutions. The final decision that sold me on the A-Series system was ArrayProcessing and how even the coverage is while still maintaining its modest form factor.”
Belleson added that John Rudolph, Vice President at PCD provided configuration options and worked with the church a lot to determine the final configuration. “John spoke extremely highly of the accuracy of the modeling, and though I had not heard the A-Series before this, I have heard a few other d&b loudspeaker systems and always enjoyed the sound of them.”
PCD also installed two 30D amplifiers and uses d&b R1 Remote control software when necessary to couple configurations or mute the PA. A Yamaha CL5 digital audio console is used at front of house.
“Tim was referred to us from a previous client that had taken advantage of the AVaaS options that we offer to our clients when they want to get an outstanding package of equipment without the impact of capital expense,” states Rudolph. “After reviewing the plans and making site visits, we worked with d&b audiotechnik representatives Matt Collins and Mark Rush to create a virtual model of the space and predict the coverage pattern and frequency response expected in the space when done. After getting approvals and working with Tim and his staff to install the system, the results were absolutely “spot on” accurate as predicted with the ArrayCalc modeling software. We were so thrilled to see the results and so was the staff at the church! Wonderful job by the team at d&b audiotechnik and a wonderful client that appreciates the difference a world class speaker system can impact on a venue.”
Belleson said that the church services were online for over a year when Covid guidelines were put in effect except for a few, small outdoor gatherings but back in the sanctuary late March 2021. “If you compare our services from before the pandemic until now, the biggest difference is all of our safety precautions. We require everyone in attendance to wear a face mask and maintain 6 ft. physical distancing between families. We have also had to shorten our services to give us time to sanitize in between each service. Now for the service program itself, we are trying to get it as close as we can to what it was before the pandemic without being unsafe. This mostly means we’re keeping the same elements, but just fewer of them. We are singing 4 songs instead of 5 or 6 and have asked for sermons to be about 5 minutes less.”
Even with these distancing measures, the requirement for a sound system that delivers a consistent listening experience throughout the worship space is paramount.
As for the A-Series, Belleson notes, “he’s loving it.”