Located in the heart of downtown, First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa is nearly 200 years old and still going strong.
Recently, the church decided to upgrade its sound system and engaged Music Alley of Birmingham, Alabama to perform the design and build.
Not your typical system integrator, Music Alley was founded as a retail music instrument store in 1974, and founder and CEO Steve Garrett has expanded his business into other areas.
“It’s really about following industry trends,” he explains. “Today, our business is 40 percent installation.”
“The job was to redo the entire audio system in the sanctuary,” says Garrett. “The old sound system was well past its prime, and the church wanted something first-class.”
“It was an interesting design, because the church’s music presentation blends contemporary and orchestral music with pipe organ and choir.”
“They knew they wanted a digital mixing console, and it being a rectangular sanctuary, we went with a single line array as part of an LCR cluster.”
The key Music Alley proposed a design based around two key products: an Allen & Heath iLive 176 digital mixing console and a Turbosound TCS line array, the contracting version of the company’s FlexArray speaker system.
“They wanted a first-class system,” Garrett explains, “so we choose the best products available.”
The sanctuary is a long rectangle, with an arched, 25-foot ceiling and a balcony in the rear.
Primary coverage is provided by a single Turbosound line array comprised of four TFA-600HDP speakers with four standard 75-degree dispersion on top, and a single TFA-600HWDP providing 100-degree wide dispersion at the bottom. Both models are three-way designs with twin 10-inch drivers, a 6.5-inch high-mid driver and a 1-inch neodymium tweeter.
Hanging on either side of the center line array, are Turbosound TCS-1561 speakers, which provide the stereo information. The TCS-1561 is a 3-way speaker with 15-inch bass driver and rotatable mid driver along with a one-inch tweeter.
Beneath these are two TCS-61 downfill speakers to provide coverage for the front rows. The final piece of the system is a pair of TFA-600LDP 18-inch subwoofers, ceiling mounted behind the main cluster to provide the punch.
The entire cluster, including subwoofers, utilizes Turbosound’s digitally powered architecture, with on-board amplification and DSP capabilities.
The mixing console is an Allen & Heath iLive-176. The mixing surface, which feeds both the house and monitor sound systems, resides in the balcony, while the modular iDR10 MixRack is stationed in the pit area behind the stage. This was a significant upgrade from the church’s previous capabilities, both in terms of connectivity and processing power.