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Texas Church Gets Full Audio Makeover

June 10, 2024 jill Blog
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Founded in 1986, Westover Hills Church in San Antonio has grown to become one of the area’s largest congregations, offering multiple services, social groups, and community services on its ever-growing campus. The church’s 2200-seat worship center first opened its doors in 2014, and while the congregation hasn’t outgrown it yet, after a decade of use, their aging sound system was in need of some rethinking.

“We had been having some system failures, some amps blowing out, and it became more and more clear,” reports Westover Hills Technical Director Carlos Peña. “The system had served its purpose, but it was time for an update.”

The church reached out to AV experts 5 Words Media, the Phoenix-based group specializing in worship systems design and installation. Working with DAS Audio’s VP of Sales and Business Development for Pro Sound, Michael Palmer, and the DAS Audio Application Engineering crew, the team designed a full audio makeover featuring DAS Audio’s new ARA Series of powered compact line arrays.

The system is comprised of four hangs of four SARA-100 boxes, with three hangs of SARA-SUB 18-inch compact powered cardioid subwoofers. Four additional LARA-SUB 3×18-inch powered cardioid subwoofers are strategically positioned in purpose-built bunkers beneath the stage for additional low end reinforcement.

As Peña notes, the room is not without its logistical challenges, saying, “It’s a very wide room but very shallow, with a wrap-around balcony, and a traditional line array would create unacceptable line-of-sight issues with our video systems. The SARA system’s unique compact footprint allowed us to still go with a line array system that covered every seat in the auditorium while still giving us great sound.”

Because of the height restrictions, as well as the worship center’s wrap-around second story balcony, the team opted to add upper balcony fills, with nine of DAS Audio’s new ARA P28.74 symmetrical point source enclosures marking the first U.S. installation of these powerhouse dual 8-inch active systems.

“The P28.74 uses the same high frequency driver as the ARA series, which gave us a perfect seamless transition to the upper balcony areas,” Palmer observes.

A total of 10 ARTEC-506A active 6.5-inch two-way enclosures are strategically located beneath the stage lip to provide front fill, and at the outer wings of the audience seating to provide coverage to two outer shaded areas of the auditorium, with external processing handled by a DAS Audio INTEGRAL-M88 Dante-enabled DSP. The entire system is remotely controlled and monitored via DAS Audio’s ALMA ecosystem control software.

“I’m really big on being able to manage everything from anywhere in the building,” Peña observes. “DAS Audio gave me that ability with its networking capabilities.”

Palmer and Peña give high marks to the 5 Words Media team for their work, saying, “From the planning to the installation to commissioning the system, the 5 Words Media team have been such a pleasure to work with. They’re consummate professionals, and the ARA systems were the perfect fit for this space. It’s really raised the bar for performance.”

Response to the worship center’s new AV systems from staff and congregation alike have been nothing but enthusiastic.

“We absolutely love that we have such a full sounding PA in such a small footprint,” says Peña “The SARA system gives us clear, crisp highs, full midrange, and a robust low end with power to spare. We absolutely love this new system.”

Headquartered in Valencia, Spain, DAS Audio is a global leader in the manufacture of loudspeaker systems, power amplification, signal processing, and related components,


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