MARIETTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 2009: Although the appeal of the services at East West Church in Marietta, Georgia cuts across generations and backgrounds, their content is unabashedly dynamic and contemporary. The church recently moved all of their activities to an under-equipped family life center so that their 450-seat sanctuary could undergo a dramatic renovation. Everything, from the all-important audio system to the carpeting underfoot, benefited from the overhaul. East West Church hired Nashville-based powerhouse Pro Audio Solutions to deliver fidelity and "bigness" worthy of their technically-polished and uniquely inspired services. Pro Audio Solutions', Scott Oliver, director of contracting, made good with a Danley-centered system that's clean enough to mix an album on!
Pro Audio Solutions is in the uncommon position of providing design and installation services for both houses of worship and high-end recording studios in and around Nashville and across the nation. Thus, they have a unique perspective on the gear used in houses of worship and on the philosophical underpinnings of sound reinforcement. Oliver broke into the business as a musician, working as a first-call sub for the mega-churches of Southern California. "I try to bring my experience of working in those West Coast churches to the Southeast," he commented. "They have a 'bigness' that is so much more than merely adequate sound reinforcement - it's more like the "wow factor" you get at a stellar concert."
His overall design goals for East West Church were not unlike those of his recording studios: the system was to be extremely accurate, sonically superlative, fatigue-free, and abundantly dynamic. He has found that Danley loudspeakers and subs backed up by Danley amps and DSPs meet those goals gracefully. "I like working with Danley because the people over there are truly passionate about what they do," Oliver said. "They live it, and it's obvious in the performance of their products. And unlike the specifications published by other manufacturers, in which you could easily hide Jimmy Hoffa, Danley specifications are refreshingly accurate."
Consistent with a recording studio philosophy, Oliver ignored the ubiquitous and arguably stilted mono cluster and instead carefully implemented a stereo solution. He placed two Danley SH-50s on each side of the room for a combined 100 by 50-degree dispersion pattern that covers most of the seats on the main floor with distinct left-right imaging. A single Danley SH-95 hanging below each of those clusters provides stereophonic front fill. For the balcony, Oliver again relied on a left-right pair of Danley SH-95s. Although by industry standards, the SH-50s and SH-95s provide abundant bass, Oliver goosed the system with a pair of Danley TH-115 subwoofers, one each on the floor below the main clusters.
Danley DSLA amplifiers power the system, and a pair of Danley DSLP48 digital loudspeaker management systems provide sonically pure processing on the front-end. "The system still would have sounded great if I had gone with other manufacturers' amps and processing, but I've found that when I use Danley from top to bottom, everything is perfectly matched," said Oliver. "It sounds that much better." Because the Danley cabinets are so efficient and don't require bi or even tri-amping, Oliver was able to keep the amplifier and processing expenses to a minimum. In addition, their tight pattern control obviated the need for costly - and possibly unsightly - acoustical treatments.
At the FOH position, Oliver provided East West Church with a Tascam DM4800 digital mixing console. While hardly the darling of the church set, he noted that the DM4800 is actually more flexible than the standard fare - and at half the cost. In addition, Ashly 4.24GS Digital Graphic EQs along with an Ashly 4.24RD Remote Control were installed to provide eight channels of equalization for the floor monitors. Noted Oliver, "Ashly products are very well-made, easy to use, and sound great.
Again favoring a studio-inspired solution instead of the rutted, knee-jerk choices so common in the industry, Oliver populated the stage with Heil large-diaphragm dynamic microphones. All vocalists sing into Heil PR22s and all guitars convey to the larger system through Heil PR30s. A PR22 covers the saxophone. "The Heil microphones are one of a kind," he said. "The large diaphragm imparts a 'studio condenser' feel to the sound, but they are rugged enough to endure punishment for years and years, week after week. Their clarity is over the top and complements the honesty of the Danley system nicely."
In conclusion, Oliver is hardly modest about East West Church's new sound system. "It's truly stunning," he proclaims, "unbelievable! You really have to hear it. The sound is so defined and honest, you could mix an album in that church!"
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PHOTO CAPTIONS IMAGE 1: Scott Oliver, director of contracting for Nashville-based, Pro Audio Solutions, handled the audio design for East West Church located in Marietta, Georgia. IMAGE 2: At East West Church, Marietta, Georgia, Pro Audio Solutions used Danley SH-50s on each side of the room for a combined 100 by 50-degree dispersion pattern with a single Danley SH-95 hanging below each of those clusters for stereophonic front fill.