A modern worship location which demands perfect intelligibility throughout a large and unusually-shaped space to deliver the Word, music and all elements of praise – the results of a blind listening test lead to the installation of an Outline system at Wesley Methodist Church.
Wesley Methodist Church is the oldest Methodist church in Singapore, with its roots going back to 1885. To provide increased capacity for its ever-expanding ministry, the church has undertaken regular development programmes over many years, which have included improving the sanctuary, adding a four-storey educational block with a concert hall and basement car park, a new baptismal hall with basement rooms and Wesley Plaza.
Completed in 2012, another project created a further 36,000 square feet of usable space, including a new plaza hall on top of the sanctuary extension, additional seating and the construction of another chapel in the basement.
Most recently and in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic, further works were undertaken to address the limitations of the L-shaped main space and its relatively low ceilings, while adding the facilities to create, capture and stream live content from the church.
In 2022, the church committee appointed local architects Ong & Ong and acoustic / production consultant Truephonic LLC to collaborate on the concept and design.
Extensive building works were undertaken which included reorientation of both stage and audience and this fundamental change necessitated a complete review and subsequent replacement of the installed media infrastructure, including the sound system.
The choice of loudspeakers proved to be something of a test, given the unusual layout of the room and its physical constraints – the relatively low ceiling and asymmetric layout meant that the ideal solution was a distributed audio system, using small clusters of super-compact line-source modules supplemented by subwoofers.
Three well-respected loudspeaker manufacturers were invited to demonstrate their products at a listening test in the hall, which was conducted in darkness so that each system could be evaluated purely on its audio performance and with its brand unknown to the selection team.
The listening material included two playback tracks and live performances by a guitarist and singer. All three systems were well-received and scored nearly identically, but ultimately Outline’s Scala-90 was selected on merit. Outline were also able to deliver their products on time during a period when the global supply chain was still compromised.
The new sound system design at Wesley Hall includes three principal loudspeaker locations, each comprising three Outline Scala-90 constant curvature array modules. Although the enclosures are mounted horizontally, the Scala-90’s modest dimensions means that each array measures only 0.7m vertically and so sightlines are unaffected.
Two clusters of Outline SUB-118 subwoofers (in cardioid mode) are also flown from the ceiling, providing ample, controlled low-frequency extension for the space and the only other loudspeakers required are four compact Outline Vegas 8CX units for fills and delays. The entire system is powered by one Outline GTA Quattro Dante four-channel amplifier and one GTA Otto Dante eight-channel amplifier.