As part of a full rebuild of its sanctuary, Redlands Seventh Day Adventist Church in Southern California wanted to upgrade and modernize its sound system. Senior pastor Zach Thorp engaged independent system designer/installer Brad McCoy to lead the project. “With the entire church being remodeled, it was important to do the audio upgrade in a fiscally responsible way,” says Thorp. “Brad helped us find a solution that stayed within the budget while providing all the sound quality and functionality we needed.”
The sanctuary of this 550-seat church is roughly 120 feet long, with 20-foot ceilings and a balcony. The musical presentation is rooted in traditional pipe organ and grand piano, incorporates orchestral elements like string and horn sections, and also uses contemporary elements like acoustic and electric guitars. The church’s use of drama meant that speech intelligibility was another key requirement.
That solution was based around Turbosound loudspeakers and an Allen & Heath iLive-T112 digital mixing console. “Looking at the church’s needs and budget, this was easily the best choice,” says Brad McCoy. “The Turbosound speakers are very musical, and the iLive console has the ability to handle complex programs, but can also be operated successfully by the volunteer mixers – the best of both worlds."
The console specified for Redlands 7th Day Adventist was an iLive-T112 mixing surface paired with the iDR-48 MixRack, outfitted with 32 inputs and 16 outputs, plus an Aviom card for the personal monitoring system. McCoy points to the convenience of the iLive’s remote MixRack and Cat5 digital snake system as key elements in the mixer’s design that set it apart from competing units.
“First, everything you need is included. All the mic preamps, DSP and I/O are located in a single MixRack up by the stage, which is incredibly convenient,” he points out. “There’s no need to run big copper snakes, so infrastructure becomes very easy to deal with. In terms of sound quality, flexibility, and ease of use, the iLive gives incredible bang for the buck. Compared to other consoles on the market today, no other mixing desk comes close.”
The Turbosound speakers McCoy selected for the main array were the TCS-1061 series, the installation version of the Flex Array line. “We designed a mono four-speaker array, which was the only way to go in a long, narrow room like this,” McCoy reports. The line array’s top three boxes are the TCS-1061/75, with 75-degree horizontal dispersion model, topping a single TCS-1061/100 for wider dispersion across the front rows. Flying immediately behind the array is a Turbosound TFA-600L subwoofer, which fills the room with a single 18-inch driver. Small side transepts on either side of the stage are each covered by a single ceiling-mounted TCS-611 sidefill speaker.
The sound system is powered and controlled by three Turbosound RACKDP-50 DSP amplifiers, each providing 1250 Watts into four channels. According to Brad McCoy, the secret to the installation’s success. “The DP-50s give us total system control – power, delay, parametric EQ, the works – and are optimized to work with the Flex Array. Everything is networked together, so the speakers and amps really work together as a system.”
To assure even coverage, the line array is split into three zones and biamped. The top speaker handles the long throw to the balcony, the middle two blanket the main seating area, and the bottom speaker covers the front. Two of the RACKDP-50s are bridged to provide four channels of 2500 Watts, which handles the low frequency drivers in the array in three zones, plus the subwoofer. The last DSP amp powers the high-frequency array drivers, with the last channel dedicated to the sidefill speakers.
On stage, a set of four Turbosound NuQ-8DP self-powered speakers were added to augment the church’s pre-existing Aviom personal monitor system. “It’s interesting; the musicians like the sound of the NuQ wedges so much, they don’t actually use our Aviom system as much anymore,” reports Brad McCoy “They’re very musical, and with no drums on stage, stage volume is not really an issue. Now they only use the Aviom when they have a large number of musicians on stage.”
“This new system works for us on every level,” senior pastor Zach Thorp concludes. “I judge things on how they sound, and the Turbosound array sounds fantastic all the way to the last pew. We’re also very happy with the clean look of the integration, which was important to us. For our sound techs, the iLive has much better ease of use than our previous digital desk. They picked it up really quickly after some training from Brad. And I love the fact that everything we wanted was already included. Allen & Heath was really the best choice in terms of capability, convenience and cost. We couldn’t be happier with this system.”