The church’s lively worship ministry is based around bands, choirs and orchestras
USA - Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Conference Technologies Inc (CTI) recently completed a sound system integration at the nearby Grace Church -replacing the former PA, which had serviced their requirements for two decades, with the constant curvature technology of Martin Audio’s Torus array.
This is the latest of a progressive series of AVL upgrades at the church undertaken by CTI over the past 10 years and meets the high demands of a Southern Baptist church, whose lively worship ministry is based around bands, choirs and orchestras.
Led and overseen by worship pastor, Michael Hoskinson, the old PA, which had been in situ since the church opened, was providing inconsistent coverage across the 1200-seat fan-shaped auditorium and was clearly ready to be retired. “What we were looking for instead was a line array that would provide even coverage everywhere,” said the pastor. The previous system’s subs were also set upfront on the ground and had been visually obtrusive. “We were looking for a system that would enable the subs to be flown, and at the same time provide better coverage.”
CTI’s VP Systems Integration, Tim Wright, who masterminded the integration, took over. “The frequency response from front to back and side to side was not good, and it had never been tuned to the room. As technology has advanced, and our needs have become more critical regarding frequency response, so our expectations have changed.”
He made a wish list and discussed his requirements with Martin Audio North America. “We had a couple of runs with their design engineers and felt the coverage maps could still be improved. Then expectations leaned towards Torus, and I knew that solution was spot on. I had heard the system at a trade show and knew exactly what it was capable of.
“Sonically I have always been impressed with the vocal quality of Martin Audio and Torus is a level beyond that. I tested it with a CD and the clarity was fantastic; for the price point Martin Audio hits, this is second to none.”
The Grace Church fit-out was not without its installation challenges included locating the three hang points, with a confined workspace above a hard-deck ceiling. But an L/C/R system was duly implemented, with a combination of two Torus T1215 with a T1230 underneath, backed by a pair of SXCF118 18in cardioid subs, on each hang, driven by four iKON iK42 4 x 2500W Dante-supporting process-controlled amplifiers.
A further pair of Martin Audio’s high-powered XD12 12in point source speakers were deployed as corner fills and seven of the ultra-compact DD6 6.5in speakers placed around the perimeter of the stage for close front fills. “It was having fill speakers around the lip that the old system really lacked,” believes Tim Wright.
In addition to providing exemplary coverage, the new fit-out also meets the aesthetic requirement, since the ceiling is now painted black, and the speakers blend in seamlessly. Michael Hoskinson is also delighted to have the subs up in the air, noting that while the trim height of the hang is now lower than previously it does not intrude on the two-screen projection set up. “The whole thing looks really sleek now,” he says.

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