Redlands, CA (April 12, 2016)—The First Baptist Church of Redlands has been around for nearly 130 years, and has been in its current 480-seat sanctuary for almost 65 years. One thing that’s brand-new, however, is its sound system, which was designed and installed by systems integrator Ireland Sound Systems of nearby Upland, CA.
"The biggest requirement was superior intelligibility for spoken word," recalls Patrick Ireland, owner of Ireland Sound Systems. "The room is like so many churches of this era, and covering that kind of space with a conventional system is very challenging — consistent coverage to every seat is difficult to achieve, and getting a system to convey natural sound is problematic," says Ireland.
Ultimately, Ireland went with a Renkus-Heinz Iconyx Gen5 system to cover the space. For the main front-of-house system, Ireland chose a pair of Iconyx IC16-RN digitally steerable line arrays, flown about 11 feet above the floor to the left and right of the stage.
"One of the biggest reasons I chose the Iconyx Gen5 was the precise coverage," Ireland explains. "The choir stands with the main loudspeakers just to their right and behind them, which I expected to be an issue. There was no way around placing the speakers there, but with the Iconyx beam steering, we had no feedback issues at all, which is amazing."
Ireland considered steering a beam from the IC16-RNs to cover the balcony, as well, but ultimately elected to dedicate the front-of-house system to the main floor seating. To cover the balcony, he installed a pair of Renkus-Heinz CFX61 two-way loudspeakers. "We had the sound person keep the volume down on the balcony speakers so people could also hear some signal from the mains, and the combination worked very well," notes Ireland.
A pair of CFX81 two-way systems handles monitors. The loudspeakers are flown around 12 feet above the floor and just in back of the transept wall, where the transept joins the main sanctuary. The congregation can't see the monitors, but they're well aimed for the choir. "Flying the monitors high and firing at the front platform could have been a problem," Ireland admits, "but the CFX boxes have a nice tight pattern, and it came together really well."