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Intimate solution for larger-than-life Texan megachurch

Intimate solution for larger-than-life Texan megachurch
Images courtesy of Paragon 360

Intimate solution for larger-than-life Texan megachurch

USA:

Prestonwood Baptist, a large, multi-campus church near Dallas, has a main auditorium that seats up to 7,000 people at its Plano campus. However, for occasions such as weddings, which require a more intimate setting, the site also features a smaller building, Faith Chapel, which has room for up to 550 guests. Although the chapel was built during this century, its traditional design, with stained glass windows and an arched barrel ceiling, is great for orchestral music, but too reverberant for speech intelligibility. Paragon 360 was called in to offer a solution and installed a Meyer Sound CAL system.

‘The reverberation time was so long to the point where, if somebody was standing 15 feet away from you when the room was mostly empty, it was hard to understand what they were saying, recalled Mark Coble, audio and acoustics specialist for Paragon 360. ‘The church was adamant in not wanting to change anything about the feel of the room, and that included keeping all loudspeakers essentially invisible. And that’s why we proposed a Meyer Sound CAL solution.’

The previous sound system saw line arrays mounted in faux organ chambers, hidden behind grille cloth, at either side of the chancel. Coble noted that the arrays had enough power, but just lacked the precise control needed to avoid exciting the room.

The new system comprises two CAL 96 loudspeakers mounted discreetly within the grille openings. The beam tilt and spread of one of the CAL 96 speakers spotlights the lower seating area, while the other is narrowly focused on the rear balcony. Also installed are two of Meyer Sound’s UP-4 slim loudspeakers, which anchor the sound imaging for the front rows, and a pair of 750-LFC low frequency control elements behind the grilles that supply low frequency extension.

‘We had looked at options from different manufacturers, but the precise beam shaping of the CAL 96 gave us the pattern control that was necessary for this space,’ explained Coble. ‘And keeping everything off that ceiling was a high priority.’

The team at Prestonwood Baptist had wondered if any solution could have fixed their sound problem. ‘Honestly, the CAL loudspeakers do things I wouldn’t believe possible unless I had heard it,’ said Bryan Bailey, director of media at the church. ‘The system has raised the bar of excellence, and given us an end product that is less distracting and higher quality that we had before.’



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