Sugar Land, TX (November 18, 2003)–When Christ United Methodist Church in Sugar Land, Texas set out two years ago to remodel and expand its facility, and upgrade its audio/visual capabilities in the process, the church faced a huge dilemma: How could it significantly improve the audio quality in the main sanctuary to reflect broadening AV demands in its services and programs, yet accomplish that without significantly altering the interior look of the church with acoustical treatments and architectural reconfigurations.
“Acoustically, the room was a tough one,” says Bill Schuermann, senior design consultant with Houston-based HFP Acoustical Consultants. “The room is very dead, and we knew it would have to remain that way to preserve the architectural style and décor the parishioners had been used to. Our job was to create a livelier space with a sound system covering the existing and new balcony seating areas without compromising the architecture.” Anticipating a variety of applications and configurations based on the nature of different styles of services, events and productions–ranging from preaching to choir singing to live bands–the church wanted a sound system that was simple enough for church volunteers to use, yet sophisticated enough to handle the demands placed on it.
The solution required a variety of gear, from a Level Control Systems (LCS) variable room acoustics (VRAS) system to overcome the room’s acoustic failings, to a Meyer M1 series powered loudspeaker line array system, to a Crestron Pro 2 AV control system. All that pro audio gear would be wasted if it had poor quality audio passing through it; as a result, HFP spec’d high-end Neumann microphones, and an InnovaSON digital mixing console.
A total of six Neumann mics–two KM 150s for the pulpit/lectern area, a pair of KM 140s suspended from the ceiling for the choir as a stereo pair, and a third pair of KM 140s designed to be used as spot solo mics–were chosen. “Not only do Neumann mics have a very low profile, but they’re probably the most reliable and consistent mics you can get, especially for a choir application,” Schuermann said.
At the Church’s mix position, HFP placed an InnovaSON Compact Sy40 “All-in-One” digital console, supplemented with an InnovaSON Stage Box that allows for expanded I/O capabilities. The console, installed in a balcony booth, is set up to handle both front-of-house and monitor positions.
“With the ability to control each and every parameter as presets, it simplifies the job of the sound person and enables them to do a much better production job,” said Doug Black, president of Core Systems, Inc., the Houston-based systems integrator for the project. “Scenes can be stored to memory and the whole system can be configured very quickly by just hitting a recall button. For modern churches with multiple styles of services, like Christ United Methodist Church, this is where the Sy40 really shines.”