Urbana IL (March 8, 2017)—Here’s a good rule of thumb: If lightning zaps your church’s ancient PA, take a hint. That’s what happened with the audio system inside Vineyard Church’s 1,055-seat auditorium in Urbana, IL, and it ultimately led to the facility getting a new Martin Audio MLA Compact system.

When the church’s audio system was damaged by lightning, Bob Spangler, namesake of Spangler Media, was asked to repair the gear, but instead brought in an MLA Compact system for a demo. “Once the church was able to hear the MLA system in their own room, they were sold on it the minute it was turned on,” he recalled.

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The fan-shaped, highly reflective auditorium measures approximately 180 feet at its widest point has a 70-foot throw with the room in its current configuration. In all, the new system has three hangs of five MLA Compact cabinets in a Left, Center, Right setup; inside the arrays are two flown hangs of two MLX subs with three DSX subs in pre-existing recessed bunkers fitted into the front of the concrete stage. There are also two Allen & Heath dLive consoles—one in the main room for FOH and one in the mix room for online broadcasts and remote streaming.

Spangler used the Hard Avoid feature of the system’s software to direct audio away from hard surfaces: “There were two things to consider in this space. One was pattern control, critical in any space, being able to use the design software to see where the sound was going to land without spilling over onto reflective surfaces was huge for us. Also, being able to control the sound without having to physically re-rig the boxes was also very important.

“Secondly, the overall tonal characteristics of the system were critical as well. I knew what the church’s musical presentations required and the old system had a harshness that just couldn’t be solved with EQ. They needed a system musical and hi-fi enough to be pushed up to concert levels without it tearing your face off. I was impressed with how the MLA sounds great whether you push the volume up or back it off. Knowing that, when first I heard the MLA Compact during the speaker shootout at WFX, I knew I’d found exactly the right system for this room.”

Martin Audio