Posted in projects on March 31, 2016 1:59 pm EDT

Arizona Church Upgrades With Martin Audio MLA

Desert church overhauls its challenging main worship center, spec'ing a Martin Audio MLA Compact system and products from Yamaha and Aviom.

Images courtesy of Martin.











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TAGS: audio, avl upgrade, design, sound, sustainability,


By Church Designer Staff

The Central Christian Church of Mesa, Ariz., upgraded its main worship space, including an audio overall. According to Lead Audio Engineer Milk Arnold, “The system consists of four hangs with six MLA Compact enclosures, each above the thrust, but all the way back against the proscenium––the pastor actually stands in front of the PA. We also have four Martin Audio DD6s as lip fills that give us amazing coverage for the front rows.”

"We needed the control to put the sound exactly where it needs to be with the clarity and audio quality to cover the pastor’s speeches and the contemporary worship service instrumentation.... "

—Milk Arnold, Lead Audio Engineer, Central Christain Church Mesa Campus

The building that houses the 1,900-seat worship center was built in the late 1970s with a balcony built for future use that was never completed and is now unused, posing a legitimate challenge for any speaker system.

Unfinished business

“The Church was replacing an older system that didn’t cover the space well, in large part because of the unfinished balcony,” says Arnold. “We’re always trying to get sound under that balcony and that’s one of the reasons we chose MLA."

Arnold continues, “We needed the control to put the sound exactly where it needs to be with the clarity and audio quality to cover the Pastor’s speeches and the contemporary worship service instrumentation which includes electric guitars and bass, drums, keyboards and half a dozen vocalists. That, plus the fact that the pastor is often in the audience but still has to be heard by everyone in the room. They also do a broadcast video capture of his sermon for the other campuses, so he wears an omnidirectional lavalier mic that can be a real problem in a live environment. The MLA Compact system gives us the control to handle that issue and doesn’t generate any noise off the PA onto the stage, which is a major advantage for this kind of situation.”

Asked for more details about the room’s main audio challenge, the unused balcony, Arnold responds, “This room would take nothing less than the absolute control offered by the MLA system. And it was an instantaneous change in terms of speech and intelligibility for the pastor’s message. Suddenly, there were no bad spots in the room; everywhere was good. And music reproduction is great as well. Now the bass guitar can be heard but isn’t overwhelming, we can put drums in the mix, and turn up the vocals without too much screechiness or distortion."

He adds, “I’ve mixed pretty much on every sound system there is at this point because of my touring and corporate background, and I’ve never had anything respond like the MLA system. You can hear the tiniest little fader moves. It’s crazy.”  continued >>