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Helping One Church “Clear the Air”

Belle Aire Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, had a problem. Despite the fact that its gorgeous facility was only a decade old, the sound system for its 1,600-seat sanctuary had progressed from bad to worse. Although its blended worship style didn't call for hammering SPLs or thunderous bass, it most certainly called for good full-range coverage and intelligibility, both of which were seriously lacking. The church called on Murfreesboro-based Essential Audio to build an audio system they could be proud of. Danley Sound Labs full-range cabinets and subwoofers now deliver even coverage and crisp intelligibility.

"They had a few related problems," said Ben Williams, owner of Essential Audio. "Coverage was lacking. The main cluster had too narrow a vertical beam width and was aimed too high. Most of direct energy missed the ground floor entirely. A few years ago, they installed front-fill loudspeakers on the stage as a band-aid, but it wasn't very effective and everyone complained about the visual aesthetic of the speakers on stage.

For those seats that did get coverage, the sound was heavy on the midrange and light on everything else. Finally, the system was designed as a Left-Center-Right, but the coverage from the side clusters didn't properly overlap with the coverage from the center cluster, so they were really only acting as imperfect fill."

Although every A/V integrator will claim to respect a church's responsibility to be a good steward of its money, Essential Audio puts that as one of the foremost planks in its mission statement. With that in mind, Williams assessed Belle Aire's need for a Left-Center-Right system.

"I spoke with the choir director and explained that, so far, they had a LCR system in name only," he said. "For the redesign, we could correct that, or we could redirect that money to the real issues – coverage and intelligibility. They opted for a mono system, but we didn't undo any of the LCR infrastructure. So they can upgrade to LCR in the future without a lot of hassle."

Most of the coverage delivered by Belle Aire's new system originates from a center cluster. A Danley SH-96 oriented for 90-degree coverage in the horizontal plane and 60-degree coverage in the vertical plane covers the balcony and the back seats on the main floor. A Danley SH-95 hangs below it, covering everything from the first row to where the SH-96 picks up. Two Danley TH-115 subwoofers also reside in the center cluster to provide robust, well-controlled, low end. Two Danley SH-100s supply coverage to the front corners of the room, located 15 feet from the center cluster on either side.

Williams also replaced their aging console with an Avid SC48, and their increasingly finicky DSP's with a Biamp Nexia SP. But functional amplifiers were something that Belle Aire had in spades, and Williams was able to repurpose a third of those amps for the Danley system.

Danley Sound Labs is the exclusive home of Tom Danley, one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and recognized worldwide as a pioneer for "outside the box" thinking in professional audio technology, www.danleysoundlabs.com.

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Religious Product News