Tulsa, OK (February 28, 2005)–Tulsa’s First United Methodist Church was built in 1928 as a huge, 1,100-seat facility with massive oak trusses, solid stone walls, and stained glass windows. As a result of those hard, reflective surfaces, sound in the church was usually a swampy mess. In early 2004, church leaders discussed the issue with consultant David Rauch of Bridge Communications, who aimed to solve those problems using a system based on EAW’s Digitally Steerable Array series (DSA) speakers.
Rauch visited Tulsa for a firsthand look at the church’s situation, and then worked closely with Randy Whitworth of Lakeland, FL-based Landmark Audio to design a new system around the speakers and the church’s existing Yamaha M3000 console. A pair of DSA 230s were mounted above a single DSA250 on each of the two columns flanking the chancel. Then the DSA Pilot software was used to “dial in” the DSA’s output to fit the room; the software allows integrators vary vertical coverage pattern from 15 to 120 degrees, as well as aim coverage up or down by as much as 30 degrees. The concept, then, is that sound can be directed in the vertical plane away from troublesome reflective surfaces, and towards the listening audience.
“We checked out all the manufacturer’s line array speaker demos, but EAW’s DSA Series really stood out for its clarity and unique steerable coverage capabilities,” commented minister of worship Joseph Bias. “Another major selling point was how unobtrusive the enclosures were. The column design didn’t call any attention to itself–no big black boxes to mar the aesthetics.”
The system was completed just in time for the church’s biggest concert event of the year, held in early December 2004. “We had three performances with more than 80 people in the choir and a 32-piece orchestra. The sound was the best we have ever had,” Bias said.
Eastern Acoustic Works