The 3,000-capacity worship sanctuary on the main campus of Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, LA was recently equipped with a new immersive sound reinforcement system utilizing d&b audiotechnik Soundscape technology in a project under the direction of the Orlando and Pensacola, FL offices of Pro Sound and Video, a Solotech Company.
Worship services include full contemporary band consisting of up to nine front line vocalists joined by drums, percussion, bass, electric guitars, acoustic guitar, keys, and an occasional choir. “Soundscape provides immersive sound that engages the audience from the front to the back,” explains David Leuschner, business development at Pro Sound and Video. “Soundscape also helped with sight lines as a traditional stereo line array would have protruded into sight lines.
“After church leadership listened to a demo and heard how engaging it was, how the sound really made them feel connected, as if they were a part of it, they chose to go that route. Not to mention, using d&b En-Scene and En-Space modules through the R1 Remote software is very easy to operate, even for volunteers, and allowed engineers to develop a 360-degree mix in minutes instead of hours.”
Leuschner adds that, “Not only was this an upgrade to the previous listening experience, but it allowed the church to create immersive surround, and point source experiences for their contemporary services, as well as their special Christmas or theatrical services. We chose the Vi-Series because it fit the room best and made it sound so smooth. The system has the power and clarity that we needed and maintained a wide coverage as well. The client had a demo of the system and fell in love with it.”
“The pursuit to find a new system was driven by the desire for excellence to every seat in the arena,” states John Tillman, technical director at the church. “Initially going into it, we thought Soundscape would add those bells and whistles for our big events, but I think it’s had more of an impact on our week-to-week basis than we expected. I feel like I’m now able to produce the sound I’ve always had in my head. And knowing what the congregation’s response used to be and now seeing that response trickle up to the outer edges of the room is just fantastic.”
Soundscape processing adds fidelity and headroom while reducing the burden to the mix engineer. “The speaker system is automatically optimized for every performer separately,” states Nick Malgieri, advanced systems specialist, d&b audiotechnik Americas. “This allows every speaker to automatically handle a different mix of signals which alleviates issues with fidelity and headroom. The engineer often requires less channel processing and plugins because the system doesn’t require as much mix processing. Adding surrounds then elevates the capabilities even further.”
En-Space is used on console channels as desired but can also be fed via eight DPA microphones that are suspended from the ceiling enabling the engineer to selectively change the acoustics which are experienced by the crowd. In addition to a Soundscape system, the loudspeaker configuration includes five arrays of eight d&b Vi-Series loudspeakers, four flown SL-SUB subwoofers, 10 21S-SUBs on the floor, 44S frontfill loudspeakers, 24S-D extensions, 10S-D surrounds and eight 8S overheads. All loudspekaers are driven by 40D and D80 amplifiers, four DS10 and DS100 audio network bridges, and touchscreens for Soundscape control.