Corona, CA (August 10, 2006)–Like many churches, 115-year-old Crossroads Christian Church recently built a new church building to serve its growing congregation. Unlike many churches, however, the building also serves as a live concert venue as well. In fact, the 60,000-square-foot room, dubbed “Stage1” when used as a concert venue, hosts an average of two concerts a month in addition to children’s productions, civic events and other community activities.
EAW KF761 line array boxes bring the word–and the rock–to crowds at Crossroads/Stage1.Jeff Peterson of Sound Design Concepts (and now staff engineer with ATK AudioTek in Burbank) was brought in during the initial planning phase of the building, working closely with Rob Smoot, production manager of Crossroads/Stage1. Originally contracted to do the sound design only, Peterson was later tapped by the church to put together a freelance team to professionally install the system as well.
Complicating the loudspeaker picture: the layout of the room is not symmetrical. The stage is not on center with the room, yet because the stage must be the focal point, the system needed to be located on center with it. This led to the left line array being close to a side wall, with the right array more “floating in open space.” Peterson elected to go with model KF761 line array modules. “The primary concern here was the width, not the depth, of the seating area,” he noted. “This was my first experience with the KF761, and it’s quite sonically pleasant while delivering solid coverage.”
Peterson utilized AutoCAD to do extensive modeling that helped determine array placement for optimum coverage. He also used the KF760 Wizard software program that assists in determining array structures while also calculating each array’s dimensions, weight, and center of gravity.
Both main arrays, flown to the far left and right of the stage, are each made up of eight KF761 modules, with the lower cabinets aimed downward, presenting the classic “J” array structure. Eight modules also helps enhance line array advantages such as increased pattern control.
Another factor upped the design ante: the need for focused point-source coverage for spoken word intelligibility that’s vital to worship services. Peterson decided to deal with the issue head-on, specifying a dedicated center cluster made up of EAW KF750 loudspeakers flown high above the front/center point of the stage. The cluster includes four KF750 loudspeakers above four KF755 down-fill loudspeakers, all tightly packed and combining to provide 170 degrees of horizontal coverage.
“The approach with the center cluster was taken because it needed to be able to cover a much wider area than the left and right arrays, and besides, there isn’t a line array solution providing that width of horizontal coverage,” Peterson explained. “And a line array would have needed to be a lot taller, and thus would extend too far down into sightlines. Plus, I like the KF750, having toured with it previously and finding it to be a good multipurpose box with a natural sonic signature.”
The majority of concert acts require ample amounts of low end, and Peterson elected to go with six EAW BH822e subwoofers loaded with dual 12-inch cone drivers feeding a unique bent bass horn. These subs are positioned beneath the stage, three per side, and concealed from view by custom grilles attached to the stage facing. To bolster mid-high presence at the first few seating rows, several EAW JF80 compact loudspeakers can be placed on the stage when needed.
All loudspeakers are driven by Crown I-Tech 4000 power amplifiers, each equipped with onboard digital signal processing. As a result, the amps also provide loudspeaker processing and equalization, linked from their location at backstage/left via Ethernet to a PC at the house mix position that’s loaded with Crown IQwic control software.
The mix position, centrally located on the main floor, is anchored by a Yamaha PM1D digital console. The I-Tech amplifiers also have an AES/EBU digital input, which maintains an all-digital digital signal path from the console inputs to the amplifier outputs. Source devices fill out the complement at FOH, with any system tweaking and effects done via the console.
On stage, numerous EAW SM Series monitor wedges can be placed where needed, further accommodated by the installation of six Ace floor pockets offering both monitor outputs and microphone inputs. In addition, six Shure PSM series wireless in-ear monitoring systems are available.
Existing Shure wireless microphone systems from the previous church system are joined by eight new Shure ULX Series UHF systems offering a choice of either handheld or bodypack transmitters. Monitor mixing is accommodated with a Yamaha PM5D digital console positioned near the amplifier racks.
“This system is certainly not lacking in terms of capability, both for church services and live concerts,” Peterson concluded. “There hasn’t been a need yet that it hasn’t been able to meet, which serves as strong proof that almost any challenge can be met by maintaining a commitment to the highest level of workmanship and product qualities.”