Cadar Falls church turns to L-Acoustics L-ISA
Monday, 10 October 2022
nazarethNazareth Lutheran Church has undergone various changes over its past 150 years
USA - Established in 1871, mainly by the diaspora of Danish farmers flocking to Cedar Falls, Iowa, for the territory’s fertile soil, Nazareth Lutheran Church has undergone various changes over its past 150 years. Like many other houses of worship, one of those updates was a choice to host both traditional choir/organ and contemporary worship services on Sundays to better cater to parishioners’ preferences in worship style.
Just this year, Nazareth Lutheran sought to stay current in another way - by updating its PA system to one that would not only deliver exceptional sound for both musical genres but also position the church for its next generation of worshipers. That decision was made manifest with the installation this summer of an L-Acoustics immersive sound system featuring the new L-ISA Processor II, which was critical in bringing the next generation of sonic technology to this mid-sized church.
“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 church’s sound system, including L-Acoustics L-ISA immersive technology and an Allen & Heath dLive C3500 console.
In many ways, the new L-ISA setup addresses the acoustical challenges of this type of traditional church architecture but does so with the future very much in mind. A combined 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 out-fill arrays, buttressed by six KS21i compact subwoofers flown in a centre 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 FOH 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. It’s a system designed to take the church’s audio technology decades forward.
“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 North 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.
For Nathaniel Parrish, the church’s Music Director, the sonic transformation that the new sound system brings to Nazareth Lutheran is profound. “Our L-Acoustics speaker system has been such a huge improvement in clarity and fullness,” he shares. “We recently had an event with 25 singers and musicians on stage, and it sounded great. We never could have pulled that off with our old sound system.”
The 1,200-seat church is relatively mid-sized and budget-conscious. That’s why the arrival of the L-ISA Processor II late last year made all the difference. “The new L-ISA Processor II puts the concept of immersive sanctuary sound in much closer reach for churches like this,” adds Breda. “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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