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A perspective of the sanctuary of Nazareth Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, recently equipped with an immersive system utilizing an L-Acoustics L-ISA Processor II.

Nazareth Lutheran Church In Iowa Goes Immersive With L-Acoustics L-ISA

Integration firm Vantage Pro helps bring enveloping sound for both traditional and contemporary services at 1200-seat worship sanctuary in Cedar Falls.

The 1,200-seat worship sanctuary of Nazareth Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, IA, which hosts both traditional choir/organ and contemporary worship services. recently received a sound reinforcement upgrade incorporating an L-Acoustics L-ISA Processor II to drive an immersive soundscape.

“The church hosts a traditional service on Sunday mornings using a choir, orchestra, organ, and bells, then 45 minutes later there’s a band up on stage,” says Duke DeJong, integration lead at AV systems integrator Vantage Pro, which executed a full renovation of the new system, including L-Acoustics L-ISA immersive technology and an Allen & Heath dLive C3500 console.

The new L-ISA setup helps address the acoustical challenges of this type of traditional church architecture but with an eye on the future. A total total of 23 L-Acoustics A10i Focus and 11 A10i Wide loudspeakers comprise the five Scene arrays flown across the front of the stage, two Extension arrays, and two outfill arrays, buttressed by six KS21i compact subwoofers flown in a center hang. Five compact 5XT enclosures are installed across the back edge of the balcony to cover its last several rows, and seven LA4X amplified controllers power the entire system.

An L-Acoustics LS10 10-port Milan-AVB switch acts as the network interface for the system, while a MADI card in the dLive mix engine connects the console to the PA. L-ISA Controller software runs on a separate computer at the front of house position to manage the system’s object-based immersive mixing, while the console is used for level and dynamics control, making it simple to understand and master, even for the church’s largely volunteer tech team.

“The first order of business was to design a sound system that would address the church’s dynamic range of worship types,” says Marc Breda, project lead for Vantage Pro. “The pastor wanted that, but he also wanted the system to be ready to take the ministry into the future.” That’s not surprising, given that Cedar Falls is also home to the University of Northern Iowa, where over 10,000 students are enrolled. “They wanted a system that would also engage a younger generation who have become accustomed to sophisticated sound. L-ISA accomplishes that,” he says.

Dan Olsen, who mixes front of house at the church and is an audio contractor, adds, “In my 20 years of experience as an audio engineer, the biggest hurdle I’ve had to overcome was the switch from analog to digital. Making that move was one of the biggest game-changers in the way I mix, and how I mix in churches and for different events.

“Now, however, the next big change is in front of me each weekend, and that is L-ISA from L-Acoustics. The way that I can place my orchestra and choir in a different space than the lead vocal and lead instruments helps create a space in our environment that is such an incredible boost to the overall sound of my mix. The ability to move objects on the fly, or to build presets depending on what group is coming in and how often, has been very easy. It’s fun to create something I’ve never been able to create with any other system.”

With the new the L-ISA Processor II’s scalable licensing options, Nazareth Lutheran could pick an output tier that matched its production needs, helping to keep costs down. That is furthered with the specification of L-Acoustics A Series enclosures—particularly the smaller A10i.

“The new L-ISA Processor II puts the concept of immersive sanctuary sound in much closer reach for churches like this,” Breda concludes. “They’re running a 64-channel audio system there, so it’s not a massive production. But their Sunday programming is very dynamic, and they wanted to engage their audience well for all types of programming, as well as prepare the church’s sound for the future.”

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For over twenty years, Primacoustic has been providing acoustic solutions for a noisy world. Our background is in Pro Audio, helping top recording studios sound their best, and we’ve made it our mission to bring this expertise to all kinds of spaces affected by poor sound. With a growing range of Innovative products, knowledgeable staff, and helpful tools, we’ll guide you from concept to installation, so you can enjoy exceptional spaces.