Third Reformed Church installs Martin array
Tuesday, 10 May 2022
martin-audioThe building’s unusual geometric provided challenges
USA - Advanced Audio and Lighting recently completed a technical redesign of the Third Reformed Church in the city of Pella, Iowa, opting for a Martin Audio line array solution.
The integrators were re-engaged, having successfully carried out an earlier sound and lighting installation for the client. Explaining the necessity for the upgrade at the Pella facility, the company’s president (and senior design engineer) Graeme Brown, said, “As so often happens, the existing system was a case of fine products having been installed, but completely misapplied within the environment, so that coverage was extremely inconsistent.”
He noted that the building’s unusual geometric had provided challenges in this regard. “The space is quite unusual - a modified fan-shaped building with lots of ceiling angles and a massive custom centre truss that required out-fills and delayed loudspeakers to evenly cover all seating.”
The new PA would not only need to address these issues but also have the capability of reinforcing a variety of events and source inputs. “While the Church’s main focus is contemporary music, it does have a choir and mixed quartets on a regular basis for the early service.
“The client was requesting very hi-fidelity, with extended sub-bass, rather than necessarily high SPL.” His solution was to designate a main PA comprising the scalable resolution of the Wavefront Precision WPS compact line array, which features 2 x 8” LF drivers, 4 x 4” midrange drivers and 4 x 1” exit HF compression horns.
To this he added centre-flown SXC118 cardioid low frequency enclosures, as well as a further SXH218 subwoofers on the floor for added sub-bass. Additional fills were provided by Martin Audio’s CDD series.
“The Wavefront system and SXC118, in conjunction with the DISPLAY 2 software and iKON DSP amplifiers, driving the system in 1-box resolution, provided optimum efficiency. It gave us the best control over which areas of the sanctuary needed coverage and which needed avoided. Once properly configured - during the design phase - commissioning becomes greatly simplified; since the system handles the loudspeaker management on its own, the integrator can focus on aligning and tuning the room - and not ‘fixing’ the sound system.”
To achieve this optimisation had required a good deal of clever programming in the Martin Audio software, in particular using the ‘Hard Avoid’ function, stated the installer. “There was initially some acoustic treatment in the space, more absorption was added during this phase.
“With that and the multiple ceiling angles adding diffusion, the space is very well behaved, and the system performs extremely well in those conditions. It has much more gain before feedback, when compared with the previous system.
“Between the Martin Audio factory rigging hardware and the custom Polar Focus beam mounts, this was an extremely clean installation. Everything is high and tight. The clients were thrilled even before it was powered up.”

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