Asymmetrical loudspeaker array helps give Taylor Chapel new life

Published: WORSHIP

Asymmetrical loudspeaker array helps give Taylor Chapel new life

USA: Taylor Chapel dates back to 1865, founded only 25 years after its home city of Fort Wayne, Indiana had been incorporated. In December 2012 a fire reduced the main sanctuary to ashes, but with the resilience of its pioneering forebears, Taylor Chapel was rebuilt, and better than ever according to Adam Henderson, operations manager for Custom Sound Designs, the local A/V systems integrator contracted for the rebuild. Seeing the fire as a disaster, but also an opportunity, he says, ‘It was a chance to create a new, state-of-the-art facility, and they took it.’

Custom Sound Designs spent the better part of a year working closely with the church leaders and the architect as the sanctuary was rebuilt. ‘This is a structure that needed a very specific sound solution for its requirements,’ says Mr Henderson. ‘The baptistery is set very far stage right and that creates a slight asymmetry, while part of the rear wall is all glass, where we couldn’t place acoustical materials. Plus, it’s a fan-shaped seating area that’s not very deep. It’s a difficult situation in which to try to get good coverage while keeping the energy off of reflective surfaces.’

After measuring the space and consulting with Bose engineers, Custom Sound Designs assembled an LCR array consisting of Bose RoomMatch components – two RM9040 modules stacked atop each other in the centre, one RM9020 module on the right and one RM12040 module on the left, with an RMS215 bass module flown behind the centre cluster – all powered by Bose PowerMatch PM8500N and PM4500N networked amplifiers and controlled using a Bose ControlSpace ESP-880 processor.

‘What’s really great is that we achieved the coverage we needed in an uneven space and didn’t need any custom speaker cabinet solutions, which really helps with the aesthetics for a legacy building like this,’ Mr Henderson says. ‘Since RoomMatch modules are preset with the exact dispersion characteristics we needed, there was no waiting for custom solutions to be fabricated, and that meant a cost savings, as well.’

Taylor Chapel pastor, Steven Conner, says the congregation is ‘extremely pleased’ with how the project turned out. ‘We’ve been getting raves about the system, how it sounds for music and for speech. Our volunteers like how they don’t have to push the system hard to get the volume they need for services. We have a blended type of worship here – some traditional elements mixed with more contemporary ones – and the sound system is handling all of it marvellously. Our choir is especially happy with how it turned out. In fact, it’s really turned music into a much more important cog in our worship wheel.’

Pastor Conner notes how grateful he is that attention to acoustics and sound engineering were in the forethought of this project and not a last-minute concern. ‘The result has been a resource that has greatly enhanced our total worship experience. The system overall also has allowed for many options as our church grows, for continuing to develop and expand our ministry. We have yet to reach the system’s true potential. Because of the planning and vision that went into this system from the beginning, it’s a tool that brings our community and the message together.’

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