Posted in projects
on December 31, 2017 2:33 pm EST
1950s A-Frame Church Gets a Sound Overhaul
AVL consultant CCI Solutions designs a problem-solving sound system to upgrade StoneBridge Christian Church's Fremont campus sanctuary in Omaha.
StoneBridge Christian Church, Fremont Campus
The Fremont campus sanctuary of Omaha' StoneBridge Christian Church is housed within a traditional A-Frame style structure built in the 1950s with large wooden truss beams and numerous reflective surfaces. As Mike Sessler with CCI Solutions in Olympia, Wash., points out, “It’s a very beautiful space, but tough to get even coverage in terms of where to hang the speakers."
"It’s quite remarkable because you can walk the rectangle, which is twice as deep as it is wide, from corner to corner in the seating area, and it’s totally covered."
—Mike Sessler, CCI Solutions, Olympia, WA
Sessler continues, “The room is much longer than it is wide, measuring 60 feet by 30 feet, but we were able to cover the whole room very evenly with just two flown [Martin Audio] CDD-Live 12’s. The main is over the center just beyond the stage and the delay about half way back [down] the center aisle. And because the church likes its low end, we have two CSX-LIVE 218 2X18” subwoofers flown over the front of the stage.”Built-in challenges meet serious solutions
According to Sessler, “The whole room is all basically hard surfaces in terms of the walls and ceiling, with wooden-backed pews and no sound treatment. So we had to cover the back wall extensively and add some treatment to the sides to keep the echoes down.”
CDD-Live was initially chosen as a solution based on its cost-effectiveness for a project which necessarily had a tight budget given the church hadn’t originally anticipated the Fremont extension. But, as Sessler notes, "As it turned out, the CDD-Live’s asymmetrical coverage also worked very much in our favor. The horns are 110 degrees wide in the nearfield and 60 degrees in the far field and shaped so that the coverage is more rectangular than circular when you get to the edge of the coverage pattern.
He continues, "It’s quite remarkable because you can walk the rectangle, which is twice as deep as it is wide, from corner to corner in the seating area, and it’s totally covered. CDD-Live does that well while making it easier to get the coverage into the front rows, from side to side, and all the way back in a very uniform way. That’s why we can cover the room very evenly with just two speakers.”
In addition, the speakers needed to be equally proficient for speech and music reproduction because StoneBridge Church has a contemporary worship service with four- and five-piece electric bands and vocal groups along with its sermons.Speech intelligibility
“The spoken word is very clear and CDD has always been a very musical speaker, both passive and active,” Sessler reports. “The reason we went active with CDD-Live in this setting is so we could eliminate external DSP to do any system alignment, timing and EQ, because that’s already built in to the speakers. We could just connect the speakers up via Dante to tune the PA quickly and efficiently just with the built-in DSP.
Asked about the church’s reaction to CDD-Live, adds Sessler, “They were thrilled. It was one of the easiest approvals I’ve ever had for a PA system. I was there by myself on the initial tuning, spent a couple of hours working on it, getting it to the place where I thought it sounded very good. The staff came in the next morning and I played them some tracks, showed them the traces in SMAART and they said, ‘Yeah, this sounds awesome.’”
[Editor's note: This story was originally posted in March 2017.]