Roswell, GA (March 22, 2004)–The Roswell United Methodist Church in Roswell, GA boasts a 150 voice choir, seating for 2400 parishioners and is housed in a 12-sided, glue laminated dome that majestically reaches 70 feet toward the heavens. And these days, after a $800,000 upgrade of its audio and video systems, it has a strong JBL PA system as well.
To accomplish an upgrade that could handle the church’s heavy workload, Stage Front Presentation Systems in Savannah and consultant Jim Brawley were brought in to handle the job. The church’s video coordinator, Steve LeBlanc and in-house sound engineer, John Bradley were closely involved in translating the production needs of the performers into equipment choices.
Half of the equipment budget went to theatrical lighting, the rear projection screens and other video equipment. Though there was some acoustical diffusor work done and Lares acoustical enhancement, most of the rest of the investment went into sound reinforcement equipment. The main speaker system is a JBL VerTec VT4887 line array, covering the main floor seating, supplemented by VT4880 subwoofers. To minimize echo reflections, a delay ring of JBL Control 30s was installed above the balcony seating. All amps are Crown CTs series running under IQwic control in conjunction with BSS Soundweb processors.
One challenge, said Brawley, was to deal with problems the choir was having hearing itself. “The circular nature of the 150 voice choir loft didn’t provide any early reflection sound, which means the choir couldn’t really hear themselves well. The Lares integrated part of the sound system voice and piano fold-back through a total of 80 speakers in overhead, lateral and floor arrays. The 40 under the floor are JBL Control 25AV.”
Placing them under the choir loft floor prevented reflection back into congregation seating and permitted a more natural, low-level sound to envelope choir members. But handling the choir was not the only purpose for the technology upgrade. The church has a lot of organ soloists performing and wanted to add a contemporary praise band. With the space having such a long reverb time, it was not ideally suited for contemporary amplified sound, so the system designers needed to integrate an in-ear monitoring system. According to Brawley, the performance of the system has been well received from both the congregation and church staff.