In today’s fast-changing society, many churches have taken creative steps to grow their congregations by diversifying their offerings. Ward Church, a Presbyterian house of worship located in this Detroit suburb, is a case in point. The church had long offered three different worship settings each Sunday: a liturgical service in their chapel, a traditional service in their sanctuary, and a post-modern service in Knox Hall, a large multi-use venue. After a new worship director was hired, the church decided to start a fourth, mainstream contemporary service that featured a more driving and progressive rock musical style.
The new service was held in the sanctuary, with an existing sound system that included a pair of Renkus-Heinz STX8 loudspeakers mounted in the center above the stage. While the church had been happy with the STX8s, the more bass-heavy, driving style of music accompanying the new service called for a more powerful, full-spectrum solution.
“Overall, the sound quality was great for the more traditional service, but they wanted to take it up a notch for the more rock-oriented service,” explained consultant Nathan Cole of Sound Planning Communications in Redford, Michigan. “There was nothing wrong with the existing STX8 loudspeakers – they are good products and certainly could handle a contemporary service. What was needed was a re-installation of the speakers, some tweaking and some additional supplemental boxes here and there to fill it out.”
After modeling the room, Sound Planning Communications split up the two existing center STX8s to front right and left positions and kept an existing STX8 in the rear for back fill. An ICONYX IC Live ICL-FR-DUAL Digitally Steerable Line Array loudspeaker system was added on each side of the stage to cover the side-fill requirements created by a drop to an 18-foot ceiling on each side. Additional subwoofers were also installed.
“The IC Lives gave great penetration into the lower areas,” said Cole. “And because of their width, they delivered great horizontal front-fill coverage. We didn’t need to do any down-fill or front-fill boxes because the IC LIVEs were covering all the way across.”
After installing a series of 4-inch acoustic panels to help avoid bass traps in the final phase of the project, church leaders were pleased with the result.
“They didn’t really recognize how inadequate the previous system had been until they started the new service,” said Cole. “By re-positioning the existing Renkus-Heinz boxes and supplementing them with the ICONYX arrays, they now have a very warm, very punchy, nice sounding system for the space.”