Duluth, GA (May 25, 2004)–Gainesville, GA-based dB Audio and Video recently put together an audio system for a brand-new, 900-seat multi-purpose room inside the Korean United Methodist Church in Duluth, GA. Key to the new system, according to company president Mike Hedden, was a set of SPL-triktrap speakers from Sound Physics Labs.
Hedden noted, “The church had some concerns going into the project since it was such a big room and because gymnasium-type rooms are notorious for bad sound,” he said. “But we were able to design a solution from the ground up and do so within the constraints of a limited budget. The project turned out well and it was a good example of practical excellence.”
dB Audio Video personnel placed two clustered SPL-triktrap speakers from Sound Physics Labs, hung from the ceiling 30 feet over the middle of a platform. To that cluster’s left and right, dB has installed SPL-Runt speakers as lateral fills that were localized back to the center with the help of a Shure P4800 signal processor. Rounding out the loudspeaker solution, at the front of the stage, are two BASS 118 subwoofers from Belisle Acoustics. In addition, a single 2-way passive, full-range loudspeaker is employed, as are four Yamaha floor monitors. Other key equipment includes two Crown CTS2000 and two Crown CTS3000 amplifiers; a Yamaha O1V 96-CA digital mixing console; a Yamaha AD 824 mic preamp; and a selection of Sennheiser microphones.
“It’s rather easy to do good audio in these contemporary churches that are designed for reinforced sound with lots of absorption and have very little reverb issues. All you have to do is point the speakers in the right direction,” said Hedden. “But in a big, live, multi-purpose room like this one, there’s a big challenge in maintaining pattern control and getting as low a frequency as possible on the seats without exciting the walls and ceilings. You can’t put stadium-sized horns in there. You need something smaller, while still maintaining the necessary pattern control. With the triks and the contribution of the two SPL-Runts, we were able to put the sound right on the audience, maintaining intelligibility down to a low frequency, without exciting the ceiling or the walls.”
CDH Partners architect, Ken Bass, designed in Hedden’s recommended materials of split-face concrete block and drywall covered with special K13 acoustic material. This ensured there was little slapback echo and the sound field was well diffused, Hedden added.
Intelligibility was a main focus for the project, in part because of qualities that they felt were inherent to the Korean language. “The Asian languages have a center frequency for intelligibility between 1000 and 500Hz, compared to around 2000Hz for English and other Western languages,” said Hedden. “This requires even more lower frequency pattern control. If you turn up the volume on the sound system, with a small horn, it only compounds the problem. The answer is not using peashooter horns, but rather a speaker like the Sound Physics Labs triktrap with a larger horn that can maintain pattern control down to the 300Hz range.”
Sound Physics Labs