The Bethel Baptist Church in North Wilkesboro, NC, recently added a Vision Center to house additional Sunday school rooms, office space, as well as a large kitchen and multi-purpose fellowship area and stage.
The church leadership tapped Tony Parker, co-owner of Parkers Productions located in Statesville, NC, to design and install a sound system for the new facility.
Because the room hosts everything from theatrical performances on a large recessed stage to basketball games, the new system needed to be able to accommodate an assortment of live events.
In addition, the room was typical of a gymnasium with a 28-foot ceiling, metal roof, tile floors, plenty of hard surfaces and no acoustic treatment to speak of.
“Bethel Baptist Church has been a customer for seven years,” explains Parker. “When they started construction on the new facility we began planning on how to accommodate their sound needs for the space. We knew there would be serious acoustic challenges to overcome in order to implement the pristine sound they envisioned.
“We immediately thought of QFlex from Tannoy – the ability to control the sound and focus it in the desired areas was going to be key.”
Parker specified two self-powered QFlex 24 loudspeakers wall mounted to the left and right of the stage approximately 12 feet off the ground. The QFlex 24s, just under 5-feet tall with less than a 7-inch width and depth, blended in with the wall, making their presence nearly invisible.
Each QFlex 24 is loaded with eight 4-inch low-frequency drivers, eight 3-inch low frequency drivers and eight 1-inch high frequency drivers. Under the stage, two powered sub woofers were installed behind a reinforced screen cloth to enhance the depth of the sound.
With a horizontal dispersion of up to 120 degrees, Parker utilized Tannoy VNET software to focus the output to cover the seating area, maximize the vocal intelligibility and minimize the room reverberation.
“The sound quality and control of the new system is amazing,” adds Michael Byrd, sound engineer at Bethel Baptist Church. “Parkers Productions was able to program the output from the Qflex to keep the sound off the walls. Since the install we have had many comments from people within the congregation complimenting the sound quality.”
Parker also specified a Roland M-300 digital V-Mixer in conjunction with a 4000-S digital snake. As a result the church sound team can quickly and easily set-up a front-of-house position in the center of the room when events require it. When not necessary it is stored out of the way.
Parker adds, “The Snake makes it as simple as merely unplugging one data cable from one location, moving the portable mix station to the center of the room, and patching the data connection in there.”
The scene storage in the M-300 allows the team to save the setting for cantatas and plays for immediate recall when needed. Otherwise the mixer operates in standard mode for athletic event play-by-play or general announcement use.
“Our sound team was a little concerned about the learning curve moving from an analog to a digital board,” explained Byrd. “But the layout of the mixer is very friendly. With just a short introduction and a few minutes of ‘hands on’ I was ready to go.”
The church is extremely pleased with the sound quality, ease-of-use, unlimited versatility and overall simplicity of the new sound system.
“The best compliment is when the client tells us that they have never experienced this great of sound in a gymnasium before,” Parker concludes. “That is, after all, what we were trying to accomplish.”