Whether it's listening to the pastor give the sermon or the choir performing, sound distribution at church services is crucial to maximizing the entire congregation's worship experience. For Grace Evangelical Church, a 2,000-member church located in the Germantown area near Memphis, Tenn., the unique design of its Worship Center, in tandem with its aging and increasingly inadequate technology, was impeding the audio quality of the church's weekly service. To address the situation, Grace tapped Elite Multimedia, a professional sound, lighting, and video company based in Memphis.
"While aesthetically pleasing, our fan-shaped sanctuary has presented a number of challenges over the years when it comes to delivering a superior audio experience during church services," said Carl Caspersen, Minister of Music and Media at Grace Evangelical Church. "We called in Elite Multimedia to help alleviate the issues we were having and were blown away by the solution and service they provided."
Using a variety of lines from L-Acoustics, including the new Kiva system, Elite Multimedia designed a new sound system to provide full coverage while achieving optimal clarity to support Grace Evangelical Church's worship and spoken word. To support the Kiva system, Elite also installed the new SB15m subwoofer extension, two SB18 units behind the arrays, ARCS enclosures for side fill, 8xt for delay fills and four 5xt coaxial speakers to fill in the front area. The entire system is powered by a total of four L-Acoustics amplifiers, with Elite utilizing the DSP within the amps to achieve time alignment and filters.
"The biggest challenge for us was the structure above the drywall ceiling," stated Wade Russell, Relationship Manager at Elite Multimedia. "There was limited space from the deck of the roof to the drywall, so that presented limitations in means of access to be able to properly fit the rig points for the new system. We only had about 2' to 2.5' clearance from drywall to ceiling deck. So our rigging team came up with a game plan to install an access panel door in the drywall and was able to get it done."
According to Caspersen, the difference in performance and distribution was immediately noticeable to Grace churchgoers.
"You've got a few people who are actually hearing a kick drum for the first time," Caspersen commented. "We're not trying to win any volume awards; we're just trying to provide our members with a solid representation of what is happening on stage and the solution that Elite came up with is delivering exceptional results."
To supplement the sound reinforcement they installed, Elite integrators chose the Midas Pro2 console operating on Digital AES and at a sample rate of 96k.
"The clarity and imaging is impressive to hear," Caspersen remarked. "In keeping with the vision of the leadership team, the goal wasn't to be louder, it was to professionally proclaim what is so important to us, both musically and in the spoken word. The Elite team put together an unbelievable solution that we are extremely pleased with. We look forward to working with them on additional projects. "