Faith Bible Church, twenty five miles north of Houston, has been built to suit the needs of a thriving community and outfitted with loudspeakers from German manufacturer d&b audiotechnik.
“As a new build, we advised the church to engage the services of acoustical consultants Jaffe Holden,” explained Bruce Simmons of Texas based audio contractors Hairel Enterprises. “They were engaged to design a perfect worship environment, allowing for amplified music and occasional choral performances. This is a fan shaped auditorium for approximately a thousand worshippers and has a reverb’ of around 1.4 secs, most active in the lower frequencies. It gives the room a beautiful natural warm sound. Of course when Hairel was contracted to design the sound reinforcement system it had to suit the room and not detract from the fantastic acoustic character.”
Simmons and Hairel elected to engage with an entirely new product line for them.
“We had recently seen and heard a d&b J-Series system in a large Texas theater with two balconies. A touring musical production, we had doubts at first that what they hung would be sufficient to cover the room correctly. But when they turned it on we were immediately impressed, not just by the coverage, but also the wonderful tonal balance across the full frequency range. So much so we contacted d&b’s US office that day.”
The Hairel design comprises L/C/R deployment; three identical hangs of T-Series Ti10L line array cabinets, with a pair of J SUBs flown immediately behind the center line array. “Imaging was the big challenge,” said Simmons, “but true to d&b’s credo of ‘democracy for listeners’ we found when we modelled in ArrayCalc, that feeding the system in mono produces a focus on center. The little E6 loudspeakers we arrayed across the stage lip for frontfill helped pull the image down for those first rows.”
The Ti10L is the smallest d&b line array loudspeaker; at eighteen and a half inches wide the cabinets weigh just 24lb with two 6.5-inch drivers and a 1.4-inch compression driver on a rotatable waveguide.
“I trusted Bruce’s expertise, he understood our needs and I was excited by the upgrade from the dying system we had in our old room. We have, what I consider, quite a modern band that usually includes keys, violin, one or two electric guitars, bass, drums (with no shield, thankfully), acoustic guitar, and one each male and female vocalists. They perform a lot of pieces from Hillsong, Bethel Music, and the Passion artists: Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, etc. I don’t place a big emphasis on being extremely loud, but rather being extremely clear. One of my highest priorities throughout the process was making sure that, within reason, every seat in the room received a clear and dynamic sound. Our T-Series rig has completely delivered in that regard, and the cardioid subs have been particularly impressive,” says house engineer BJ McGeever.
“BJ is a skilled enthusiast and knows what he’s doing,” continued Simmons. “He sat in on the commissioning of the system with us and Joe DiFalco from d&b. BJ’s familiarity with the music program proved invaluable, and we were able to set the system entirely to his liking with a minimum of EQ, just a notch in the D80 amp processing around 6 kHz where the room was a little hot.
“Faith Bible is the first project we have done with d&b and has been a great experience,” concluded Simmons. “Support has been one hundred percent. We did a full technology installation at Faith Bible and have a Crestron system to supervise it. We wanted a single button ‘standby’ mode which we knew was possible over the Ethernet network via Open Control Architecture but weren’t quite sure how. We called the US office and they contacted Germany. It must have been the middle of the night out there, but they responded within an hour; now that’s service.”
The installation completed in time for the Easter service 2015; McGeever is still relishing his new system and its performance.
“Even now, months later, I’m often struck by how well covered the room is, especially in the low end. Furthermore, I naturally emphasize vocal clarity in my mixes. That was one of the first things that stood out to me at the first rehearsal we had with the new rig in the new room. Bringing the vocals front and center was wonderfully easy. Working with Bruce and the people from d&b has been a real pleasure.”