MARTIN AUDIO BRINGS THE MUSIC BACK TO EAST VALLEY
Gilbert, AZ–-East Valley Bible Church has been growing for 17 years and is now located on a sizeable four-acre campus 15 miles outside of Phoenix, Arizona.
The church campus actually houses five buildings including the Chapel, Conference Center; the Commons, a coffee shop/bookstore; a classroom building and the administrative offices.
As with any modern church organization, East Valley has been going through an ongoing series of critical upgrades so their audio systems to keep pace with today's rapidly evolving musical programs.
The latest project, undertaken in collaboration with audio consultant and engineer Jim Jorgensen, involved the Chapel, which provides the setting for six services on Sunday along with the Conference center. These all feature music which ranges from 'Unplugged' style acoustic and electric setups to full on rock ensembles with electric guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and vocals. About 4,000 congregants attend these services.
As described by Media Director Josh Kass, 'this project involved a renovation of the entire room which we'd opened up ten years ago and had now gotten old. The carpets were worn and we had upholstered pews in there, so we decided it was time to update the room based on the demographic that we now appeal to.
'We had updated the sound system once before with a line array and subwoofer and it just wasn't doing it. It had some presence in the vocal range, but very narrow for music. So we put in theater style seating, redid all the carpeting, and acoustically treated the room to deaden the space. Then we had Jim give us his recommendations for the new sound system.
A longtime proponent of Martin Audio, Jorgensen recommended a loudspeaker setup that replaced the original arrays with a Left, Center, Right cluster, each with a Martin Audio W8LMi Mini Line Array enclosure and two W8LDi downfill vertically arrayed boxes.
According to Jorgensen, 'this decision was made with overall sound quality in mind, not just coverage, which is 160º. All rigging was integral with the box and the speakers were left as factory black because they were behind screens. But we knew that Martin would have custom painted them to match if needed. We also added a Martin MA4.2 amplifier for the center cluster.
Continuing, Jim points out that 'the amp was nice because we could adjust the input sensitivity to match other existing amps with DIP switch settings on the back of the amp, no software was required. For the low end, we added four powered subs to replace the two original enclosures. We went with a powered box to accommodate some existing wiring hurdles.'
The new system also included a Yamaha M7 CL digital mixing console, which replaced the original analog 48-channel mixer.
Asked about the new upgrade, Tim Smith, Audio Director for East Valley Bible Church, is very enthusiastic about the results: 'Excellent! We love the fact that that the system can accommodate all of the various types of music the room is expected to produce. From rock to classical sounding music, the prescience of the vocals and instrumentals is outstanding compared to what we had before. We are also amazed at the coverage patterns the installer was able to achieve from so little.'
Kass acknowledges that 'music is a big part of what we do, at least a 50-50 split. It's just as important to have teaching heard as it is to have a worship experience that is well produced.'
The Conference center, which also houses two morning services with acoustic/electric programs of an unplugged nature and an evening service with straight-ahead electric music, features a sophisticated system described by Josh as consisting of '16 Martin Audio cabinets with four dual 18" Martin subs. And that space is 65,000 to 75,000 square feet, which gets filled very well with that system. It really rocks!'
Concluding, Kass points out that with the Chapel, 'The thing we were most apprehensive about was that the original line array system had left us with a bad taste because of 'dead spots' in the room which we weren't happy about based on the coverage pattern of those speakers.
'So we weren't sure we'd be happy with another line array system, but the coverage pattern provided by the Martin Audio speakers is phenomenal and extremely accurate. And we're really happy that these speakers are very well rounded, with a distinctive midrange presence for instruments and vocals and it gives us good, even coverage. We love it. Music is where these speakers really come to life! We are very pleased.'
For more information, please contact: Rob Hofkamp, Director North American Operations at 519.747.5853 and firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.martin-audio.com.