Vari-directional Array at St. John's United Church of Christ in Dover, Ohio (on right side of arch)
New York (November 1, 2011)—Alstage Sound & Lighting in Apple Creek, Ohio recently installed Bosch Vari-directional Arrays in four regional churches.
“The bottom line is that we’ve demoed this system in four different churches, and ended up installing it in each one—so we’re four for four,” said Tim Badger, president of Alstage Sound & Lighting. The Vari-directional Array is a self-powered, electronically-controlled loudspeaker column array with integrated DSP that provides user control over the coverage pattern, and is specifically designed for use in large reverberant spaces.
Badger’s initial experience with the Vari-directional Array came at St. John's United Church of Christ in Dover, Ohio, whose sanctuary is almost 110 feet in length and over 40 feet wide, with a 20-foot balcony on the wall opposite the altar. The room has stucco block walls, lots of stained glass, minimal carpeting on the hard floor, and a 34-foot peaked ceiling of solid walnut.
The positioning of the old PA system’s two 12-inch two-way loudspeakers, which were mounted high on the front wall and pointed straight out toward the rear wall. By directing sound energy over the congregation’s heads and onto a highly reflective surface, the system added volume without aiding the comprehension of the spoken word. A staggered multi-box system running down each side might have improved the coverage pattern issue, keeping the sound on the seats and off the walls. But both the boxes themselves and the wiring required to reach them would have been out of place in the church’s traditional interior, which is an integral part of its identity.
“When I discussed the staggered speaker option with the church,” Badger says, “I told them there was no way to hide the wiring without using lots of wire mold. That was an issue for them. And then I remembered that Bosch had recently come out with the Vari-directional Array here in the U.S. So I contacted our representative, Jason Jacquemain at C.L. Pugh in Brunswick, Ohio, and he brought in a demo unit that we set up for the church to use for two services.” That resulted in a go-ahead for the installation.
The Vari-directional Array approach—supplemented with a pair of Electro-Voice EVID 4.2s for light balcony fill—came in at about half of the staggered system design. “Jason did the EASE modeling,” Badger says, “and we ended up needing only one vertical array, which was made up of one LA3-VARI-BH base unit and one LA3-VARI-E extension.” Mounted with the bottom 12 feet up on the stage-left wall, the array is close to eight feet tall but less than six inches wide. Badger’s experience with the Vari-directional Array at St. John's has since been repeated at three other area churches with similarly reverberant traditional interiors.
Bosch Security Systems, Inc. Communications Systems Division