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US church praises the Constellation effect

Paddy Baker 21 May 2010
US church praises the Constellation effect

The Laguna Presbyterian Church in southern California has been equipped with a Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system to support its diverse worship programme. In response to difficulties securing decent sound for some portions of the schedule, Laguna set about finding a new solution that would envelope the congregation and support the praise band, choir, sermons, readings and chorus.

Preserving the aesthetic integrity of the historic building was also a primary consideration during the audio upgrade, which was overseen by Dave Lawler of Docktrdave Audio.

Following on from an acoustical assessment by Veneklasen Associates which revealed Laguna had a nominal RT of only 0.8 seconds at 500Hz (hence the venue’s dry and lifeless choir and organ sound), and suggested the implementation of VRAS technology, the church opted to demo a VRAS-based Constellation system.

"It was my first Constellation listening experience and it was a shocking difference," recalled worship elder Lorna Cohen. "The system was turned on and off, and then on; it was just the difference between wanting to sing and not wanting to sing."

Deploying Meyer Sound’s patented VRAS algorithm, the Constellation system at Laguna provides five presets on a touch-panel, ranging from 2.4 seconds for organ music to 1.1 seconds for spoken word. A total of 16 miniature cardoid and omnidirectional microphones throughout the room pick up the room’s acoustics, and these signals are processed by one MS-Constellation and two MS-VRAS processors. The VRAS processors generate 32 de-correlated reverberant signals that are distributed through the system’s 48 discrete outputs to 67 custom-painted, low-profile loudspeakers.

In addition to this equipment, Laguna now has a Meyer Sound main reinforcement system featuring 14 UPM-1P, four UPM-2P, two CQ-2, eight UPJunior VariO, and 15 Stella-4 loudspeakers, as well as 500-HP and USW-1P subwoofers.

"From our first hearing of VRAS to the completion of our Constellation install, the response of the congregation has been nothing but positive. The system is also very simple to operate, which is what we need as a church," said Cohen.

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