The New Birth Church, Oakland, California, US, has eliminated reverberation issues at the venue with installation of a VARIA line array from Renkus-Heinz.
The church called in Concord-based Premier Media Integration (PMI), which worked in conjunction with acousticians, Layer 8, to design and install new audio, video and lighting systems and install acoustical treatment. The new acoustical treatment managed to reduce reverb to around 1.6 seconds, but the environment was still challenging enough to demand an audio system that could keep reflections to a minimum.
“The church has beautiful stained glass throughout the structure," commented Graham Cooper, president of PMI. "Our job was to find places to put the panels that would be aesthetically and architecturally acceptable. Padded chairs, carpet, and, of course, people, also help."
Layer 8 specified the new VARIA line array system from Renkus-Heinz. "We knew that despite our best efforts, the room was not going to be acoustically ideal, and we needed to maximize control of the energy," commented Rocky Giannetta, Principal of Layer 8. "Typical line arrays would only provide the right directivity in one plane. The client wanted a line array system that would provide the output and headroom for the sound they create, and VARIA fit the bill perfectly."
The system is comprised of six VARIA VAX101 cabinets per side, with three 7º boxes on top and three 15º boxes underneath. "With the VARIA's variable pattern control, we were able to configure coverage from 60º on top to 120º on the bottom," said Giannetta.
For low end reinforcement, PMI installed two VAX115S subwoofers per side, along with four DRS18-2 subs on the. Lab.gruppen amplification was selected to power the system.
"We've been using Renkus-Heinz productson a number of projects, and the clients have always been happy with the results," commented Cooper. "The VARIA system does a great job of focusing the sound on the congregation and keeping it off the walls and reflective surfaces, and the speakers integrate nicely with the room's architecture."