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Ashington Church hits the right note with Flipside

Ashington Church hits the right note with Flipside

Ashington Church hits the right note with Flipside

United Kingdom:

As churches reconvene over the summer months, their leaders have been pushed to focus on audio quality both in and outside the church, as well as online. Renovated just over ten years ago, Ashington Church in Pulborough hosts an array of events, from prayer evenings to live band concerts.

What with the needs of Ashington Church growing over the years, for both live and online services, a new audio installation was needed as the original speakers in the ceiling beams and down the aisle often resulted in “dead zones” and delay issues during performances.

“While it did mean we had a better signal to noise ratio, those speakers just couldn’t reproduce the sound we wanted,” explained Simon Barrett, sound engineer and consultant for Ashington Church. “I even had to bring in a sub from time to time just to balance everything out, which wasn’t ideal.”

After having several systems installed on a temporary basis, Barrett decided he needed something more permanent. Flipside Soundsystem was ultimately chosen to organise a more permanent solution for the Ashington congregation and taking into account the narrow dispersion requirements, the team went for a TW Audio speaker installation which included; two T20is, two QBT20s, a B30i, a C5 and an M8i.

“It’s a friendly layout for a church,” said Flipside managing director, James Cooper. “It’s not a particularly reverberant room and with the audience capacity being around 300, you don’t need anything massive to fill up that type of space.”

Houses of worship often create a unique set of challenges when it comes to integrating good quality audio visual systems. Traditional and historic buildings usually have architectural designs that are far from ideal in terms of both sightlines and acoustics. Subsequently, an architect consultant was involved in a series of meetings before deciding on the fixing points and overall treatment of the Ashington Church.

“By working with the architect, we could really figure out the best way forward as there were already cable roots under the floor from the past renovation they had done and so, it was all about finding the least intrusive way to get all of the runs up to the speed locations,” Cooper recalled.

A Truss length strapped to the spanning oak beam was also installed, providing a slick look to the aesthetic as well as an ease of installation for the T20 speakers. “That method of fixing was great as we left no permanent damage to the building,” Cooper added. “It gave us a nice, safe and secure mounting of the T20s, and has ultimately given us structure for any future installations they might want to add. Simon has already mounted a couple of paddles and shotgun mics for recordings, which give it a nice bit of infrastructure to work with.”

For the amplification set up, Flipside installed the Powersoft Quattro and a Duecanali ranges which Barrett modified with a remote on-off switch that will ultimately come in handy during live performances. “I’m really looking forward to listening to a full band on this system as it’s great to have a set up that I know will work and that I can adjust if I need to. I’ve been learning how to use the Powersoft system and I’m already enjoying the flexibility, so I can adjust things like the tops to sub-ratio, in terms of level, if and when I need to.”

As well as approving the overall sound quality, Barrett also appreciated Flipside’s hands-on approach during the installation process. “The team said they would come and do an audio demo of the system, free of charge, which wasn’t part of our original agreement, so I really liked that extra level of support. They also ran some extra cables for me such as a DMX as well as a couple of mic and Ethernet cables and terminated the wireless ones, as they had time to spare. That was really kind of them, and it certainly helped the process.”

The result has seen positive feedback from the church congregation and visitors. “It’s such a smooth sounding system that is practically invisible and so all the comments have been really encouraging,” Barrett concluded. “Even the vicar has said it is a system worthy of his new acoustic guitar!”

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