Posted in news on October 26, 2017 12:04 pm EDT

Pennsylvania Multisite Gets Signature Sound

An adaptive reuse satellite location poses challenges in sound system design for a 650-seat worship space in Bloomsburg, Pa.

Columbia-Montour LCBC satellite church











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TAGS: audio, integration, multisite church, sound reinforcement, worship space,


By Church Designer Staff

On a crisp autumn morning in 2017 in Bloomsburg, Pa., it’s a day of worship at Columbia-Montour LCBC church. Friends and new arrivals gather for what they wish to be a life changing experience at LCBC Columbia-Montour satellite campus, a sister church of LCBC in Manheim, Pa.

The LCBC vibe

People enter the welcoming lobby of the church, gathering with anticipation and shared knowledge that something exciting is about to happen. Seats are taken in the sanctuary, lights are lowered, and music begins. A live band is on stage, sending out deep bass notes with a kick drum beat designed to move a crowd. Electric guitar and keyboard interplay build around the beat, creating a sound that is the pillar of the LCBC brand and the reason why so many come to LCBC. Lyrics project on a giant screen and the congregation sings along, a preamble to a sermon from the pastor – a sermon projected onscreen as a live simulcast from the main church in Manheim. As one attendee puts it, “The main reason I bring my family here is because of the music. It’s great, better than anything I’ve experienced at other churches in the area.” Clair Brothers was instrumental in the development of this consistent pillar of sound that today provides the backdrop of the LCBC brand in all of its nine -- soon to be 11-- locations.

Clair Brothers was originally called 15 years ago to design and install sound systems to best replicate the signature sound of the Manheim church. The sound achieved is the heart-thumping low end that drives the live band’s music – a sound LCBC wanted to re-create at the new Columbia-Montour campus. So, when Sean McDermott, central production manager overseeing all audio, video and lighting production for LCBC called, Clair Brothers reps report that they were ready. McDermott explains, “One of the main reasons people come to LCBC is because of the music and how it sounds. Clair Brothers has become part and parcel to recreating that sound in all our campuses. No matter what the design challenges are within each new space, they always find a way to make it work.”

Workable solutions

One of the challenges presented to Clair Brothers at Columbia-Montour was the seating capacity difference between the two locations. The main church auditorium seats up to 2,300 people, whereas the LCBC Columbia-Montour campus seats 650. It’s a smaller space, which meant that re-creating the low-end sound LCBC is known for would require a new system configuration. Despite additional and very specific venue architectural differences, Clair Brothers came through.

It’s a smaller space, which meant that re-creating the low-end sound LCBC is known for would require a new system configuration.

In the particular case of Columbia-Montour, it was not a from-the-ground-up new construction, but rather a reconstruction (adaptive reuse) of a portion of a retail grocery store space that could accommodate LCBC’s need for a new auditorium sanctuary. As is often the case with the renovation of an existing retail space, the ceilings are relatively low. In this situation, the space was limited to only 23 feet of height from the ground to the ceiling bar joist. Yet, LCBC still wanted to replicate the full low-end sound Clair Brothers brought to its other campuses.

In the effort to achieve LCBC’s sonic vision, along with the accommodation of the video projection and sightline to stage feel, Clair Brothers suggested its C15 speakers as the best way to go. After consulting with McDermott and the LCBC team, demonstrating to them the capabilities of the C15 configuration at the Clair Brothers soundstage, the decision was made to install six C15 boxes on each side of the stage at Columbia-Montour, along with a cardioid array of four Clair Brothers S218 subwoofers in the middle of the room. This was powered by six Clair Brothers/Lab.gruppen D-Series 120 amplifiers. Other highlights of the configuration are no delays, no front-fills and no out-fills. As McDermott points out, “This is the PA system in its entirety. Not only does this configuration deliver our signature sound, it fit perfectly within budget. And that always makes us happy.”




Learn more about the companies in this story:

Clair Bros.



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