Folsom, CA (October 18, 2005)–The Gathering Place Christian Fellowship is an interesting house of worship–one set up in a former automobile dealership. The layout of the facility made for an equally interesting challenge when it came to putting together its sound system–a system centering around loudspeakers from QSC Audio.
The finished sanctuary is about 90 feet deep by 70 feet wide, but with a ceiling height of about 13 feet. “The seating area is virtually square, and it’s subdivided by six steel pillars,” explained Gary Roda, House of Worship Designer at Stockton, CA-based Quality Sound. “The pillars are integral to the structure and could not be removed, so we had a choice of either pretending they weren’t there or incorporating them into our design as speaker locations.”
EASE studies confirmed that the low ceilings made a conventional loudspeaker design unacceptable. Instead, Roda opted for a distributed system using 12 AcousticDesign AD-S82H high-output, two-way speaker systems from Costa Mesa, CA-based QSC Audio Products, Inc. Digital processing handles delay and phase correction, and subwoofers provide extra low-end punch.
“A conventional loudspeaker approach would have meant SPL differences of more than 10dB around the room,” Roda recounted. “The distributed system, which is divided into six separate zones, provides articulate, even coverage with level variations under 3dB at all seats.” Equally important, mix levels are exactly the same in the front of the room as at the sound booth in the rear, making mix decisions much more relevant.
While distributed systems are hardly new, as Roda pointed out, “typically, distributed systems tend to use the in-ceiling approach. It’s not all that common to create one using high-quality speakers. Although it was a challenge for the church to understand and accept what I was proposing, they ended up being pleasantly surprised and exceptionally pleased with the results. We welded custom brackets to the posts and mounted the speakers right to them using QSC’s IntelliDock mounting system. It really helped streamline the installation process, and the church was very pleased with the aesthetic appearance of the install.” Unsurprisingly, QSC’s RMX amplifiers power the system.
The church reports being overjoyed with the new system. “They’re a very progressive church, and while the music isn’t high-decibel rock, it is a very contemporary sound with a full band and six or seven singers,” Roda reported. “The pastor often leaves the platform and moves around the room, and the distributed system is completely free of feedback issues. The whole relationship between the congregation and worship leaders is very intimate. The system really turned out to be exactly what they needed.”