Feature: Youth forum
Feature: Youth forum
Gyeongsan Central Church runs dedicated services for the younger members of its congregation and needed an equally youthful sound system. James Cooke reports
Younger members of Gyeongsan Central Church’s congregation have been driving high-energy, high-volume worship. As the number of young worshippers continues to represent a larger percentage of the church’s 5,000-strong congregation, the church hosts dedicated youth services in the site’s second-largest building, a 30m-long, rectangular venue, the Multiplex Hall.
The church was established in 1959 and its following grew steadily until it became the largest Christian house of worship in Gyeongsan. Its current campus was built almost a decade ago and, in that time, the Multiplex Hall had kept its original sound system, which was showing its age during vibrant and energetic services. Therefore, a decision was made by the church’s seven-member committee of elders and ministers to upgrade to a new solution, having already received various proposals to solve the room’s issues by adding additional speakers for front-fill and monitors.
The committee contacted Park Sang-hyun of local consultancy Sky Sound, who pointed out that simply adding a few extra cabinets wouldn’t entirely fix the acoustic problems plaguing the sanctuary. Instead, he recommended replacing the whole front of house sound system, suggesting an Alcons Audio LR14 pro-ribbon speaker setup as the old system’s successor.
‘The Multiplex Hall is used for services aimed at young people in their twenties and the previous audio system was no longer suitable,’ explains Beck Seung Hoon of Corelab, Alcons’ South Korean distributor. ‘It had started showing its age, reaching its limits in trying to keep up with the youth pastor’s high-energy praise. It was an old point source speaker system from a reputable brand; it was just no longer suited to the changing style of worship.’
Park reminded the committee of an Alcons LR16 compact and LR14 ultra-compact line array system in the Chunma Arts Center at the nearby Yeongnam University to back up his recommendation. Gyeongsan Central Church had not only experienced that particular system firsthand, having staged several events in the Chunma Arts Center, but had also rented an Alcons system, comprising VR8 monitors and BF151 compact subwoofers, from Sky Sound for a three-day youth retreat it once held.
Sky Sound worked alongside Corelab, as well as specialist sound systems integrator Ecosystem, to provide the new system, which ultimately comprises flown left and right arrays of six LR14 speakers and two LR14B line array bass modules, powered and controlled by a pair of Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers.
‘Ecosystem has installed Alcons systems in other locations, including the LR14, and has also worked as a construction installation partner for Corelab, so the three companies were a very good combination,’ explains Glenn Suh from Corelab. ‘The Alcons solution ensured that we could deliver the best-possible sound pressure and frequency characteristics from the front row to the control room at the back, while also minimising reflections from the side walls and ceiling.’
While the room was once served well by a point source system, Beck explains the decision to install a line array solution. ‘The hall is 30m long, from the stage to the entrance. It is not a small hall. So, we decided go for the LR14 line array system as it allowed us to reach 100dB as far as the entrance.
‘We knew how fantastically the LR14 system would work, but what we were worried about was low frequency.’
‘We therefore decided to retain the 18-inch subwoofers from the previous system,’ adds Glenn. ‘However, our concerns were unnecessary.’
‘The LR14B line array bass modules work very well in reproducing frequencies down to around 40Hz,’ says Beck. ‘Following the installation, the old subwoofers were used for about two or three weeks along with the Alcons system before the church decided they were no longer needed and had them removed from the hall. The Alcons speakers are all that are needed.’
Along with the new loudspeakers, an Allen & Heath SQ-6 digital mixer was installed to manage the system. A variety of microphones, including DPA Microphones 4088 directional headset units and a Shure QLX-D digital wireless system, were also delivered.
Gyeongsan Central Church’s new Multiplex Hall sound system appears simple on the surface, which was the desired effect. It is also the result of teamwork between several companies. ‘Ecosystem had already installed Alcons line array and point speakers in other churches,’ Beck notes. ‘This meant they could draw upon specific past experience during this project, while Park Sang-hyun and Sky Sound had previous experience with the church and their needs. All three companies – Sky Sound, Ecosystem and Corelab – were able to work very well together to the benefit of the church.’
’The church now has an excellent audio system and everybody is very happy,’ concludes Glenn. ‘The ministers and young people who worship at this facility are reinforcing their faith in the newly renovated hall with the best-possible sound.’