Mosaic Church in Clarksville, TN recently added 65,000 square feet to its campus that includes a 1,500-seat performance space with sound reinforcement by a main system developed by integration firm Holly Media that’s headed by RCF TT Series loudspeakers.
With more than 50 years of ministry and community service, Tabernacle Church, located just outside Nashville, decided in 2017 that to keep up with tremendous growth, it would undergo a monumental change with a new construction project and reemerge as Mosaic Church
Holly Media owner Fred Holly, with more than 30 years of pro audio experience, led the design effort on the room and system. “With new dynamics and changing needs, the scope of the ministry has changed — it’s become a new work,” Holly says. “Tabernacle seemed old fashioned. The name didn’t match the demographic of our church because it’s very diverse and it’s thriving. The new Mosaic Church wanted to reflect that.”
The original structure was a smaller sanctuary [about 200 seats] and was insufficient space for many years. The church adapted for larger congregations by expanding Sunday services to four per day. Recently through the pandemic, the church was mobile, moving its worship service to a local high school, setting up and tearing down in the parking lot each week.
Aside from general construction, Holly focused mainly on the performance space and the subsequent procurement of the audio system and its installation. “Early on with my ideas for the shape of the room, I didn’t want to encounter any problems later on,” he explains. “I wanted the diffusion to be completely natural — with the splay of the walls and installing surface treatment.
Holly also pulled a trusted resource for advanced surface techniques and sound dampening in the form of Perdue Acoustics. “Usually when clients show me plans for a church, it’s obvious architects know nothing about acoustics,” notes Jay Perdue, owner and designer of the firm, and the lead instructor of architectural acoustics at InfoComm University. “They’re more focused on what it’s going to look like versus what it’s going to sound like.”
Perdue quickly knew something about the new space was unique. “When I first saw the room design, I thought Fred really did his homework,’ says Perdue. “The shape of the room was very nice with no corners to deal with. I checked all the parallelisms and found slap back on the back wall was a non-issue. I not only check a room for echo and reverberation, I conduct intelligibility testing as well. After a 13-point check throughout the space, it has the flattest response I’ve ever seen.”
Holly has worked with most major audio brands and was looking for a system to meet the unique challenges of this project. He was referred to RCF and introduced to Jim Reed [RCF product specialist and system designer]. “When we spoke, Jim said he was willing to demo an RCF TT rig personally, he had my attention.” Holly says. “I sent him the final room schematic and he returned an EASE drawing, and I was like, ‘when can you come?’ [laughs] I was very excited about the possibilities.”
Reed put together a complete system which that includes 16 TTL 55-A active line array modules flown eight per side, four companion TTS 56-AS active subwoofers, two TT 25-CXA active floor monitors and four TT 20-CXA active monitors. For added coverage, Reed also added nine HDL 26-A active line array modeules for center and front fills for added coverage. At the helm is an Allen & Health dLive s7000 mixing console.
Once all the products were out of their boxes and flown, Holly was surprised at the time it took to test the sound system. “Literally, out of the box every single thing worked, 16 boxes, we had the network up and we’re firing. Everything was coming together, and the rig sounded amazing — very musical.”
Upon completion of the installation, RCF product specialist Zachary Anthony was brought in to provide tuning, optimization, and training. “The sound quality from a TT rig is exceptional, and paired with the acoustic treatments, the room is near perfect.” says Anthony. “I stopped turning up at 110 dB at mix position. Listening to that system is like listening to a giant pair of studio monitors — this room is an absolute pleasure to mix in.”
“The RCF system is truly a work of art,” Perdue concludes. “I don’t know where you can go to get a better [sound] experience. The performance space at the Mosaic is the best I ever heard. I can’t say that I’ve heard better.”