Posted in projects on January 1, 2016 12:46 pm EST

Steady Growth Leads to Complete Sanctuary Audio Overhaul in Upper Midwest

Minnesota church opts for progressive sound system upgrade, installing Yamaha NEXO line arrays.











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TAGS: acoustics, aesthetics, architectural design, audio upgrade, installation, line arrays, software,


By Church Designer Staff

"[The old audio system] was a three-cluster trap system that left many 'holes' in coverage throughout the room and balcony. Reach engineers were able to use NEXO modeling software to achieve remarkable coverage throughout the entire room."

—David Hammond, Director of Creative Worship, Christ Presbyterian Church, Edina, MN

During the summer of 1955, a small group of Edina residents discussed the need for a local Presbyterian church. Initially, they met in homes and planned the first worship service. In1956, groundbreaking ceremonies took place when the congregation numbered 283. Now, nearly 60 years after the formation, under current Sr. Pastor John Crosby, the membership of Christ Presbyterian Church has swelled to more than 5,000. During the course of a typical week, over 2,000 adults and students attend worship services and programming on Sunday mornings and evenings, Wednesday nights, and Saturday evenings.

With a large congregation representing a broad range of ages and backgrounds, the church currently hosts both contemporary (Saturday evening and Sunday morning) and traditional (early Sunday morning) worship services at different times each weekend in its main sanctuary. The same speaker delivers the sermon at each of the three services. There are different musicians and instruments for each type of service. Contemporary services typically involve 8-10 musicians featuring a variety of instruments and musical styles. For the traditional services, the worship music features hymns, organ, choirs, soloists, and various other instrumental music, as well.

One thousand seats, complete coverage

The 1,000-seat main sanctuary at Christ Presbyterian Church recently upgraded its sound system thanks to the dedicated efforts of Reach Communications of Champlin, Minn. A NEXO GEO S12 line array was chosen, and the configuration consists of four GEO S1210 and one S1230 for the main hang, two GEO S1210, one per hang for sides along with four GEO S1230s, two per hang, per side. Reach also added four of the new NEXO GEO M620s for front fill along with ten PS8s for under balcony fill. Three NXAmp 4x4 and two 4x1 amplifiers power the system with five NXDT104 controllers.

“Reach Communications completed a masterful install of the NEXO GEOS12 line array system," states David Hammond, director of creative worship. The Sanctuary at Christ Presbyterian Church was originally designed by Tushie Montgomery Architects and completed in 1998, and the room was designed to reflect a Bostonian colonial architecture with soaring vaulted ceilings, plenty of natural light and clean white lines.

Hammond reports that the original sanctuary build presented huge aesthetic challenges in designing a new audio system. “The old system was literally falling apart and in desperate need of replacement," says Hammond. "It was a three-cluster trap system that left many 'holes' in coverage throughout the room and balcony. Reach engineers were able to use NEXO modeling software to achieve remarkable coverage throughout the entire room. The level of clarity was like night and day. In addition, the new system with NEXO RS15 Ray Subs gave us the full-bodied low end that had been completely lacking. Everything from traditional choral numbers to driving pop tunes at high decibels sounds really amazing. And, the aesthetics of the new system are actually improved. The new arrays are slightly smaller than the old ones and look fantastic. We couldn’t be happier with the Reach install team and NEXO system components.”  continued >>