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Meyer Sound Constellation Revives Congregational Singing at Clinton Frame Mennonite Church

For the first time since moving into a large sanctuary space a decade ago, congregants of Clinton Frame Mennonite Church in Goshen, Ind. are experiencing the exhilarating power of congregational singing, thanks to a new Meyer Sound Constellation® acoustic system. Constellation not only restores the sense of a unified worshipping community that was present in their previous smaller church, but by engaging different presets, it also adds acoustic “life” to the spoken word and energizes both the worship team and the rest of the congregation.

Constellation gives venues the ability to modify their room acoustics at the press of a button, allowing them to host a wide range of events and provide the acoustics most appropriate for them. For houses of worship like Clinton Frame, Constellation offers the ideal sonic characteristics for congregants to feel immersed in their environment and inspires them to join in.

“The first time they used Constellation, the congregation sang ‘It is Well with My Soul’ acapella, and when they were done everybody burst into applause,” says Doug Hood, president of Fort Wayne-based CSD Group, which provided and installed the Constellation system. “I was told that this sense of total engagement hadn’t happened in the church for years—since before they moved into this space.”

The Constellation system at Clinton Frame’s 1,000-seat sanctuary is configured with multiple acoustic presets, four of which are primarily used for worship, with about six changes made during a typical service. The system is built around a D-Mitri® digital audio platform that hosts patented VRAS™ acoustical algorithms. Acoustical ambience is captured by 23 miniature cardioid microphones, and the enhanced acoustical response is delivered through 81 MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers, eight UPM-1XP loudspeakers, and 12 MM-10XP subwoofers.

“During services when the worship team sings through the PA, we turn on Constellation and the crowd response keeps building as they join in,” reports Joel Miller, head sound technician at Clinton Frame. “This folds back energy to the stage, and it just goes back and forth and gets stronger and stronger. The worship teams are just soaking it in and saying, ‘Wow, we can’t believe this is happening.’

“We installed Constellation for acapella singing, but we didn’t expect how much better speech would sound with a subtle blend of early reflections, and how the right setting could improve a musical performance by the worship band,” continues Miller. “In the past, visiting choirs told us they wouldn’t return because of the acoustics. They now want to come back here for revivals because singing sounds so amazing.”

Provided by CSD Group, the Constellation system is part of a complete package that also includes a reinforcement system of 12 MINA™ line array loudspeakers, two 700-HP subwoofers, and a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with a Galileo Callisto 616 array processor. The upgrade also encompasses a MIDAS M32 digital console, three new projectors, and a computer-controlled LED lighting system.