Posted in projects on May 11, 2016 12:17 pm EDT

Integrator Specs Line Array Loudspeakers to Overcome Obvious Audio Obstacles

San Diego-area church is able to overcome multiple hurdles from large expanses of glass with the help of a PA system to deliver control, directivity, and even coverage.

The Rock Church's Heights campus features large expanses of glass in its car-dealership-turned-church multisite location. Images courtesy of Martin.











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TAGS: adaptive reuse, audio upgrade, avl design, integration, line array loudspeakers, sound system, worship space,


By Church Designer Staff

The Heights Campus of The Rock Church in San Diego is located in a former dealership for renewable energy cars. The adaptive reuse space brings with it multiple glass surfaces -- a daunting challenge for an audio system required to reproduce the spoken word and contemporary worship services with full band instrumentation.

To solve the problem, the church and its design/build integrator, Clark, with offices in Los Angles, chose a Martin Audio MLA Mini loudspeaker array with CDD speakers for the needed control to direct the sound into the audience evenly, from front to back, without the negative impact of late reflections from the glass walls and hard concrete floors.

Problem meets solution

As George Clark describes the space, “The back wall that the PA and stage is facing and the two parallel side walls are all glass, with what was formerly the showroom office walled in with entry areas to the left and right. There’s a 16-foot by 30-foot stage backed up to that wall in an intimate room that’s 120-feet wide by 60-feet deep and seats about 450."

Clark continues, “The Heights is a multi-site church campus with live spoken word and contemporary worship services that include bands with keyboards, drums, guitars, bass and vocals, none in an enclosed housing. That’s why we were concerned when we first saw the room and realized the PA would be firing right into that glass wall behind the audience. Fortunately, we were able to make full use of the fantastic MLA technology Martin Audio has developed.”

Clark designed and deployed a system that includes a hang with one MSX sub and 8 MLA Minis per side and two outside fills flanking those main arrays with one Martin Audio CDD15 each flown at the height of the bottom two Minis to cover the far sides of the first rows in the audience. There are also four CSX218 subs ground-stacked under the stage.

Clark says they chose MLA, “ get the maximum amount of control from the system targeted to keep the energy down into the audience and not in other parts of the room,” He also says they, “...brought in half of an actual system as proof of concept and focused it 7 ft. up the glass wall to show the Church exactly what it would sound like in terms of controlling what was hitting the ceiling, the glass walls and directly beneath the performers on the stage and it really cleaned everything up. When they heard it, they knew right away it was the direction in which they wanted to go.

“They could get consistent coverage front to back without the late reflections off the back wall,” Clark continues. “It’s so detrimental [for people in the first row and the performers on stage] if you get a reflection that comes in 100 milliseconds after the original sound. You have to make it a great environment for both and make sure you’re not compromising one or the other.”

Clark’s senior audio commissioning engineer, Ed Crippen, reports, “We’re very pleased with it. The clarity and intelligibility is fantastic. And there’s more than enough power in the system; you never have to push it to the limits of what it can do -- there’s plenty of headroom there."  continued >>