While d&b’s Soundscape technology was created for immersive sound, the HOW installation found a different use for it.

Calgary, Canada (September 10, 2019)—The First Assembly church in Calgary, Alberta recently updated its audio system with a d&b audiotechnik Soundscape system—not to provide worshipers with immersive audio (Soundscape’s typical use) but to create a larger sweet spot for them in the church’s 240-degree fan-shaped sanctuary.

Justin Wells, First Assembly’s technical director, and executive pastor Shane Penney called upon the services of Sapphire Sound, an audio, video and multimedia specialist headquartered in Abbotsford, British Columbia with a permanent office in Calgary. “They first came to us in early 2017 and requested we look at updating their sound reinforcement system,” said Ben Burrell of Sapphire. “They really wanted a quality experiential dimension to audio and imagined stereo imaging for everyone. Our analysis showed that while this was entirely possible, the room dimension and physical shape would require an unusually large number of cabinets to achieve what they wanted. It would also be a remarkably complex system to manage.”

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Burrell continued. “We completed the assessment right about the time of the official launch of d&b’s Soundscape system…. The functionality of their object positioning tool within the En-Scene module of Soundscape presented a much more manageable solution to the dilemma of First Assembly, and in many ways, a better and more creative one.”

Burrell arranged for Wells and Penney to attend InfoComm and witness a d&b Soundscape demonstration. Burrell received the green light two days later and Sapphire placed the order with d&b audiotechnik Canada: “Although this was to be our first Soundscape installation, and the first in a House of Worship for d&b anywhere in the world, one element was in our favor. Typically, Soundscape requires more channels of amplification than a more conventional point source solution. But such a conventional solution to First Assembly’s listening area was already complex enough that a high amplifier count was a given; in fact, using Soundscape has reduced the number of cabinets required and consequently reduced the amp count. The only cost impact was the d&b DS100 signal processing engine and the En-Scene license.”

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The system Sapphire installed consisted of components from d&b Y and E-Series loudspeaker ranges, with Bi6 and 27S SUBs, all driven by d&b 30D and 10D installation amplifiers. Sapphire also supplied an A&H DLIVE-S5000 mix console c/w dLive stage rack, card adaptor and Dante card.

Wells noted, “In terms of installation, everyone, top to bottom, the church elders, the congregation, people who choose to come from out of town - and we get a lot of them - really enjoy it and we constantly receive compliments on the listening experience. We value excellence at First Assembly; this brings music to a place at the heart of worship. Excellence in itself will inspire others to strive for excellence in themselves and their wider community.”

First Assembly • www.fa.church

Sapphire Sound • www.sapphiresound.ca

d&b audiotechnik • www.dbaudio.com