KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA: Kelowna Christian Centre (KCC) in Kelowna, British Columbia is many things to many people. It is a contemporary, charismatic church with services that feature a full band, high-energy worship, multi-media presentations, dramatic performances, and dance. It is also a school: kindergarten through twelfth grade for attending students and the largest online school in British Columbia for remote students. Finally, by hosting numerous special events and conferences throughout the year, it is a hub of community life. KCC’s flexible, decade-old sanctuary is heavily used by the church and the school, and also for events, but until recently its multi-media infrastructure and sound reinforcement were outdated and approaching haphazard. Local A/V integrator AVcom Technical Productions designed and installed a new state-of-the-art A/V system centered on Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers.
The original installation had its share of problems from the start. “As is common in many churches, KCC did not have one person in charge with a long-term goal and the supporting budget to stay on top of maintenance and technological changes,” explained Chad Johnson, owner of AVcom. “A lot of very well-meaning people had been involved over the years and the end result was a system that had drifted from the original design. New ‘prosumer’ gear was intermixed with outdated, older gear and eventually everyone agreed that there were fundamental issues that needed to be addressed beyond a quick fix.”
The overhaul at KCC included a complete redesign of the stage and FOH control area and completely new sound, video, and lighting. The project also included a whole new look, with new house lighting, paint, carpet, and chairs. “Beyond fixing the problems of the old system, KCC was primarily interested in addressing new technological requirements,” said Johnson. “Technologies have changed and so have the expectations of the people that interact with it. An entire generation has been raised with high-fidelity stereos and HD displays. We haven’t been an AM-radio-and-transparency-overhead culture for a long time, and most institutions are making changes that reflect these realities. KCC wanted to engage their younger generations as digital natives and give them the tools to explore their passions and communicate their message without technical limits.”
Of paramount importance was the way that all of the technology would integrate. Part of the challenge was the room itself, which was not originally designed for public assembly. It’s a box with plenty of hard, parallel surfaces and a low ceiling. The need to preserve sightlines nixed any plan that would involve large loudspeakers. Danley Sound Labs’ reputation for building relatively compact boxes with great pattern control suggested a solution. “As a contractor, I want a product that works,” said Johnson. “Our reputation is on the line in a high-profile installation and no one wants to have a call back. When we do a job with Danley, it always works out in real life as predicted in the design phase. Once the system is commissioned, the Danley boxes always outperform the client’s expectations. I love watching the faces and reactions of the church staff and technical volunteers the first time we light up a finished system.”
He continued, “Although AVcom came up with the concept and did the original design, it was nice to be able to run it by Mike Hedden, president of Danley. He and I looked back and forth at EASE and discussed the best options on specific models and locations to come up with a first rate PA system. In the end, Danley’s team confirmed we were on the right track and offered a few suggestions of their own to take things up a notch.”
The final system offers stereo with mixed mono side fills and subwoofers. Because KCC was concerned about energy from the subwoofers vibrating the stage and floor, AVcom installed two Danley TH-118 subwoofers into isolating cavities to redirect any back energy out into the audience area. A pair of Danley SH-96s deliver the main stereo output, with four SH-69s for side and downfill. An Allen and Heath iLive console provides input, Crest amplifiers power the system, and Xilica DSP provides control. AVcom used SMAART V7 with Audix measurement microphones to ensure that every seat in the house gets great sound.
“Everyone at KCC loves the system, and we’ve received multiple compliments on both the sound of the PA and the clean installation,” said Johnson. “The bands love playing on the new system, and intelligibility is so great that everyone can clearly hear the pastor’s message. Beyond that, it’s already earning AVcom other jobs!”
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