Dallas (February 2, 2006)–Fellowship Church’s main Grapevine campus hosted 30,000 residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area at its Christmas services this past year. Getting ready to handle crowds like that required removing old AV gear and replacing it with Christie Digital Cinema HDTV projectors and a new audio system built around 26 Meyer Sound Milo high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers.
Fellowship Church’s media director, Mike Walker, explained, “Our challenge is to line up our presentation quality with the subject at hand.” The Christmas services marked the culmination of six weeks of concentrated planning and installation that had wrapped up in late August. The logistics of Fellowship’s technology makeover were entrusted to Clark Pro Media, an Atlanta-based performance engineering company specializing in worship applications. The company had established a close working relationship with Walker and Senior Audio Engineer Matt Wheeler based on prior design-build projects in other buildings at Fellowship Church’s Grapevine campus and three satellite campuses. After installing Meyer Sound curvilinear arrays in the new satellite facilities, Walker and Wheeler agreed it was time to overhaul systems at the 4,100-seat worship center in Grapevine.
With Milo as his foundation, Clark Pro Media’s George Clark used Meyer Sound’s MAPP Online Pro software to help him configure the system design for the specific room coverage needs. Clark faced significant acoustical challenges imposed by the squared-off, cakebox shape and an 80-foot-deep balcony, but his final design overcame them to supply coherent, single-source sound through most of the room. Clark’s design utilized arrays of 13 Milo cabinets on each side of the stage, which eliminated the upper balcony delay loudspeakers required by the old clusters. An LD-3 compensating line driver provides system processing and drive for the Milo arrays.
A pair of DF-4 dedicated downfill loudspeakers are suspended underneath each of the arrays, with an additional three-wide DF-4 cluster aimed at center seating in the 120-foot wide room. The extreme sides are each covered by an MSL-4 horn-loaded long-throw loudspeaker flown over a single DF-4 unit. Deep bass emanates from 10 groundstacked 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers. Meanwhile, UPJ-1P compact VariO loudspeakers are used for the frontfill and under-balcony systems; Clark specified five and 16 cabinets, respectively, to do the jobs.
The system’s full capabilities weren’t tested until the series of Christmas services. For Mike Walker, the new system proved itself in the way it effortlessly handled the dynamics of music and speech. “We went from tender, still moments to big, in-your-face moments. Having a PA that can do both is a wonderful luxury, and the definition we’ve gained compared to the old system is just staggering.”