After nearly four decades of holding worship services in its original sanctuary, the staff and congregation of Highland Baptist Church in Waco, Texas have now moved into a new multipurpose Life Center, which is equipped with a full loudspeaker and amplifier package from L-ACOUSTICS.
Aside from regularly hosting two Sunday morning services, the 1,800-capacity Life Center is a highly versatile environment designed to accommodate everything from concerts and theatrical productions to banquets and community events to basketball and volleyball games.
The specification for L-ACOUSTICS components were initially generated by the end user. “When we began the process of planning our new multipurpose worship space, the one area I asked our church leadership not to compromise on was in the sound system,” notes Highland Baptist Church Worship Pastor Gary Rhodes. “My own experience of attending concerts and being in other venues, combined with our research, pointed us toward L-ACOUSTICS as our first choice.”
Southlake, Texas-based Digital Resources, Inc. served as the design-build systems integrator for the project. “We agreed that L-ACOUSTICS fit the room very well, especially seeing that the church wanted to position itself as a premier venue for high-quality Contemporary Christian performances,” says Digital Resources Senior Systems Designer Rick Robinson, who has 22 years of experience in designing technology solutions for houses of worship. “L-ACOUSTICS’ technical rider compatibility was obviously an important consideration for attracting touring acts, but, in my opinion, the primary benefit of their products is that they can be run at high levels without being ‘offensive’. The frequency response and coverage are both extremely smooth.”
After Robinson designed the required acoustic treatments for the room, which is essentially a wide rectangle with 24-foot ceilings, he worked closely with the L-ACOUSTICS US team to design the optimal loudspeaker configuration for the Life Center using the manufacturer’s SOUNDVISION prediction software.
The resulting setup is comprised of eight dV-DOSC loudspeakers and three dV-SUB boxes flown per side. Two 8XT coaxial enclosures are deployed as far left and right side fills, while four SB28 double-18-inch subs are positioned under the stage for added low-end punch. All of these systems are powered, processed and controlled by a total of eight LA8 amplified controllers.
One of Highland Baptist Church’s first opportunities to truly test the new system’s mettle came during an event known as the Waco Community Hymn Sing, which featured vocal performances from Steve Green, Cynthia Clawson, Kurt Kaiser, Rodrigo Rodriquez and Keron Jackson. Under the direction of Nashville-based arranger/producer David Hamilton, the artists were backed by a 55-piece orchestra and 300-member choir made up of singers from more than 20 area church choirs.
Both Pastor Rhodes and Highland Baptist Music Associate/AV Coordinator Tim Cates were extremely pleased with how the system sounded that night. Although the Life Center project marked Digital Resources’ first experience installing L-ACOUSTICS, Robinson remarks that it will hardly be the last. “Dan Palmer and his team in Oxnard were very helpful and easy to work with and the rig has performed flawlessly since it went in,” he adds. “We’ll absolutely be recommending L-ACOUSTICS again for future projects that require uncompromising quality and performance.”