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South Side Chicago Church Chooses Electro-Voice, Midas Sound

A sound system has brought a new lease of life to Chicago’s New Mount Baptist Church.

By PSW Staff September 8, 2008

FRX+ 940 loudspeakers, from Electro-Voice.

A sound system featuring Electro-Voice components has brought a new lease of life to New Mount Baptist Church, which occupies a 100-year old building in Chicago’s South Side. AVI Systems, Inc. completed the system design and installation, balancing state-of-the-art software control with compact, high performance loudspeakers and amplifiers to create a budget-friendly solution.

“The church asked me to design a concert sound system rather than a church system,” says Rick Muermann CTS of AVI Systems, Inc. “They have a full band and a lot of audience participation; music is at the heart of their worship style, and they needed a system that could handle a full-on live performance. The sanctuary holds around 500, and the ceilings are about 60-70-feet high. One of the issues was figuring out whether or not to spec a line array.

“To hang the speakers, we had to climb up above the ceiling on these little 100-year-old walkways. After mapping the room, we found we could cover the entire congregation with just two FRX+ 940 loudspeakers. The walls and ceiling are very ornate, and this provides a nice, streamlined solution that doesn’t compromise the room’s aesthetics.

“The church loves their new sound system,” Muermann adds; “the coverage is uniform throughout the room, and the sound is warm and always intelligible. There are no hot spots and no dead spots—it’s so smooth. They were amazed that just two loudspeakers could achieve that. The two QRx218 subs we spec’d for low-end support are also pretty unbelievable, especially for the kind of music they play and the kind of mix they were looking for. We have one on each side of the stage.

“They didn’t have subs in their previous system, so these made all the difference, really filling out the sound. They have a lot of people on stage, so proper monitoring was a key detail. We ensured they had enough monitor mixes and T221M monitors onstage to accommodate the band, the services—all the different things that happen on stage. FRi 2082 dual eight-inch and ZX1 boxes provide low profile front and side-fills, respectively.”

Muermann installed a NetMax N8000 matrix controller to set the EQ for the main array and also to manage the monitor mix, all via laptop remote control, running IRIS-Net.

“NetMax was supremely beneficial to us when it came to fine-tuning the room in accordance with the high mic gain levels they needed,” he says. “It was very helpful to have the EQ on the NetMax to pull out all those nodes that posed potential feedback problems. We also send every monitor mix through NetMax, precisely EQ’d to each user’s specification; the band, for example, wanted a little more low-end when they take the stage. Being able to do everything on just a laptop computer obviously saved us a lot of time—it’s very easy to use. 

“NetMax allows us to set the system up securely,” Muermann adds, “so the only thing that can be adjusted are volume levels. The EQ on the mains and monitor mixes is locked in, so the system always sounds its best. The operator can still put his fingers on the faders and mix on the Midas Venice 320 at FOH, but the more critical elements are locked in. It ensures the system sounds its best. And, of course, if they need anything changed, it can be done in a matter of minutes.”

AVI Systems, Inc. worked with Bob Sheffield of Bosch Communications Systems Reps Starin Marketing on this successful project. 

New Mount Pilgrim Baptist Equipment:
(2) Electro Voice FRX+ 940 loudspeakers
(2) Electro Voice QRX218S subwoofers
(1) Electro Voice Netmax DSP/crossover/EQ/auto mixer/16 x 16 matrix
(1) Midas Venice 320 console
(1) Electro Voice CPS 2.11 amplifier for subs
(1) Electro Voice CP2.8 amplifier for FRX940+ lo/mids, one channel of hi level T221M   fold-back monitors
(1) Electro Voice CPS 2.4 for FRX940 hi’s and one channel side-fill monitors
(2) Electro Voice PA2450L for one channel of front-fill and two floor monitors
(2) Electro Voice FRI2082 front-fills
(2) Electro Voice T221M floor monitors
(2) Electro Voice ZX1i side-fills

For more information:
Electro-Voice Website
Midas Website


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