The Journey North Community Church near Brainerd, Minnesota recently acquired an old Lutheran church school building in nearby Baxter, Minnesota and set about the task of converting its reverberant gymnasium into a contemporary worship space. Twin Cities-based Audio Video Electronics (AVE) was brought in to give the worship space improved acoustics and lighting. AVE also installed a Danley Sound Labs SH-96 for main coverage and two Danley SM-60Fs for side fill.
AVE used every creative idea in the book to tame the gymnasium’s five-second reverb time. Most importantly, AVE had the church save the drop ceiling tiles from the church’s classroom spaces, which were being remodeled to serve as a lobby. They turned them into acoustical ceiling clouds in the new sanctuary, which, together with some additional batting on top, a few wall panels, and absorbent chairs, went a long way toward improving the sound of the room. The clouds served double-duty; they also served as anchors for a the house lighting system.
Despite the dramatic improvements to the room’s reverb time, the system still needed help.
Stefan Svärd, president of AVE, explored options and decided on a single Danley SH-96 for main coverage of the room. Though not a subwoofer, the SH-96 packs four 15-inch drivers with effective low-frequency response. Two Danley SM-60Fs, one on either side of the SH-96, provide side fill with pattern control.
AVE was able to reuse many of the components from the church’s old system, such as their Behringer x32 mixer. The addition of a digital snake and a Behringer P16 personal monitoring system rounded things out. A new QSC Q-SYS system provides processing and amplification for both the main system and the overflow and lobby systems. Twenty QSC ADS52T ceiling loudspeakers cover the lobby, the overflow, the cry room, and the rest of the rooms. In addition, two Tannoy VX8 loudspeakers provide front fill in the sanctuary, and existing Mackie subwoofers provide additional low-end support.
“They love the sound of their new sanctuary,” said Svärd. “As soon as they have the budget for it, they’re excited to upgrade to a Danley DBH-218 subwoofer. That will give them tight, articulated sound from the lowest lows to the highest highs.”