AV integration firm Advanced Sound & Communication of Kansas City recently designed and installed a new sound reinforcement system at Summit Woods Baptist Church in Lee’s Summit, MO that utilizes Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers intended to enhance intelligibility and pattern control while offering a small footprint to keep sightlines clear.
Although most aspects of the 650-capacity, fan-shaped sanctuary (constructed in 2004 and with room to expand to 1,000) were serving the congregation well, its acoustics and sound reinforcement were not. A blended service style – everything from a contemporary band to choir to orchestral instruments – lacked impact.
“Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Summit Woods was a desperate need for acoustic treatment,” explains Brent Handy, consultant, engineer and integration project engineer with Advanced Sound & Communication. “Reverberation time is near four seconds. They had an aging central cluster that lacked bass, provided poor coverage, and generated plenty of SPL on stage and thus a lot of low-mid feedback problems. They couldn’t afford acoustic treatment for this upgrade, but they could afford a new sound reinforcement system.”
Handy continues, “Given everything they were up against, Danley Sound Labs was my first thought. Danley’s point source technology has all of the frequencies coming out of the same horn at the same time, which delivers high intelligibility and great pattern control without any DSP voodoo in the background. They had visited other churches to evaluate other sound systems, and so their first question was, ‘do we need a line array?’ We showed them models of line arrays versus Danley point source systems. The Danley system covered the room more evenly, provided a smoother transition from midrange to bass and didn’t wreck sightlines to the stained glass and video screens behind the stage, or the budget.”
Handy designed a straightforward left-right system with a pair of Danley SH96HO full-range loudspeakers delivering coverage. The aisles are wide enough, and the seating is spread out enough so that there is no appreciable comb filtering on the inside seats, and the patterns drop off just before the walls on the outside, minimizing the impact of the long reverb time.
Because the concrete stage couldn’t accommodate subwoofers, Handy flew a pair of Danley TH118XL subs in the center. A four-channel Danley DNA 20k4 Pro amplifier and two four-channel Danley DNA 10k4 Pro amplifiers with onboard DSP and model-specific presets power the system. Handy chose the optional Dante connectivity, which receives signal from a new Allen & Heath SQ7 digital mixer The SQ7 in turn receives signal from new Shure ULXD wireless microphones with Dante connectivity.
“There’s a night and day difference. The new system sounds fantastic,” Handy concludes. “People can now hear whispers and page noise in the choir – they can hear the diction, the enunciation. The violins sound like violins. The piano sounds like a piano. You can even tell the difference between the subtle characteristics of different vocal microphone types. This system has plenty of gas and lots of gain-before-feedback. The Summit Woods technical staff can now mix and equalize for creativity and taste instead of damage control.”