The Brooklyn Tabernacle megachurch recently received a sonic upgrade headed by ADAPTive System components from EAW that include Anna loudspeakers joined by Otto subwoofers.
When the church moved into its current facility in the heart of downtown Brooklyn 21 years ago, its three cluster PA system served the church well. As the years have passed, church leaders realized the need to upgrade to more current technology. The Brooklyn Tabernacle has grown from a handful of people to a congregation of about 10,000 who attend weekly services and is home to a 270-voice choir that has recorded three videos, three DVDs and numerous albums, winning five Dove Awards and six GRAMMY Awards.
“Our original system was an EAW rig designed by Craig Janssen, managing director at Idibri, over 20 years ago,” explains Michael Archibald, A\V admin at The Brooklyn Tabernacle. “One of the main components of the original project with Idibri was to acoustically treat the room. Craig and Idibri also consulted on the design of the new PA system. They helped us through the selection process. We were looking for a system that would not only give us the coverage, but also the energy.”
Early in the process, veteran front of house engineer Harold Rubens, a good friend of Archibald’s, recommended the ADAPTive System and a split array design for the room. “Harold has been working indirectly with our church and choir for a long time and really knew our room and our needs,” notes Archibald. “Harold’s confidence in the system to be able to meet our design needs was a big part of our decision. I met with a sales rep from EAW and he was very helpful throughout the entire process. After hearing the EAW ADAPTive system, the choice was clear. Once we had the design and speaker selection, the wonderful team at Clair Solutions was brought in to do the integration.”
An important factor in the loudspeaker choice was the ability to use the venue’s existing hang points. “Our old system was hung from a ground-supported steel beam structure because there is no steel to hang any arrays,” says Archibald. “Each split array consists of five Anna’s with four Otto’s in the middle and four Anna’s below. By being able to utilize the existing hang points, we were able to save a lot of money without compromising on sound quality.”
Due to a large acoustic space, the room presented some unique design challenges. “We have a massive balcony that has the front row approximately 60 feet from the stage and the back row approximately 160 feet from stage,” says Archibald. “Equally as challenging from a coverage perspective is our under-balcony area, which starts at 60 feet from the stage and goes back to approximately 120 feet back. All the while, the FOH mix position is about 50 feet from the stage in a huge open part of the room. The EAW ADAPTive cabinets gave us the solution with its steering capabilities and is able to cover all the different spaces with equal coverage and energy with a lot less cabinets then other manufacturers.”
According to Archibald, “With EAW ADAPTive, there is not a bad seat in the large room. Our sanctuary holds 3,800 seats, and yet it feels very intimate. The best way I can describe our new system is when you sit in our sanctuary it feels like you have a pair of studio monitors right in front of you. Because of COVID-19, we had to tune the room virtually. John Mills from EAW was able to tune the room remotely with the Clair Solution crew, which was very cool. We are extremely happy with the entire process, the final results and the teams at EAW, Harold Rubens, Idibri and Clair Solutions. The EAW ADAPTive system is amazing and a perfect fit for our space and needs.”
The new system also incorporates a Yamaha RIVAGE PM7 digital console and employs (Audinate) Dante audio networking.