Des Moines, IO (June 28, 2004)–As with many parishes across the country, the Lutheran Church of Hope outside of Des Moines is growing fast. Their Easter Service used to be manageable enough for a small high school gymnasium down the street. Now, with almost 10,000 congregants in attendance, they had to hold their popular Easter celebration in the Des Moines Memorial Veterans Memorial Auditorium with a full-blown audio system capped off by a Martin Audio W8LC Compact Line Array system.
As articulated by Brian Ingwell of Go Audio, contracted by the Lutheran Church of Hope’s Media Ministry director Josh Kaiser to provide sound, the challenges were substantial: “The Church had done this event in smaller venues and had coverage issues with people near the stage being adversely affected by high volume levels, so they were interested in exploring the benefits a line array could offer,” Ingwell described. “It was imperative to have a system that sounded natural and allowed everyone speaking to be clearly heard and understood. Finally, directivity and isolation were a concern as there were two large choirs on stage to contend with.”
The hall itself “was a traditional auditorium with quite a long reverb time, and a lot of low end buildup, typical problems for this type of venue.” Go Audio’s solution? Martin Audio played a big role: “When it comes to compact line array systems, we have yet to find a mid-size box that has the vocal clarity and low-end output of the W8LC,” said Ingwell. “The sensitivity for the box is great given that it’s fully horn-loaded. The output is amazing; the low-end extension is unbelievable for a single 12″ driver. We’ve done several jobs where we’ve brought in subs and put them on an Aux, and didn’t even have to use them because there was enough low end coming out of the main array.”
Specifically, the system consisted of 28 Martin Audio W8LC compact line array cabinets–4 hangs: two 10-deep front hangs and two 4-deep side hangs–plus 12 Martin Audio WSX subwoofers and four Martin EM56 front fills.
The rest of the system consisted of a Midas Heritage 2000 with a Midas Venice 160 submixer at FOH, a Soundcraft MH4 as monitor console, TC Electronic 1128 EQ, and QSC Powerlight amplifiers with Ashly Protea 4.24C processing.
Kaiser, Media Ministry director in charge of AV and Lighting for the Lutheran Church of Hope, echoed Ingwell’s sentiments, “As a first-time line array experience for us, it was very good. The sound was very natural. I didn’t have to EQ it much.
“For small boxes, the W8LCs produce a lot of sound. As for the response from people at the event, I’ve been asking people who were seated all over the place, and I have yet to hear a person say they couldn’t hear and understand everything. Even in the back at the top of the arena in the ‘nose bleed’ section, everything was crystal clear.”