Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV), a non-denominational Christian church with ten worship locations in and around Phoenix, deployed 210 L-Acoustics loudspeaker enclosures and components so that its annual Christmastime event could go ahead in spite of Covid-19. The Christmas Under The Stars events took place outdoors and safely spaced at all of CCV’s worship locations over six nights during the holiday, enjoyed by an estimated 50,000 people.
The main Peoria campus had the largest single system, consisting of a flown PA using seven Kara boxes per side for the main arrays and six more per hang for the side arrays. Six SB28 subs provided low end, and the whole system was powered by four LA-RAK II amplified controllers, each containing three LA12X amplifiers. All equipment was provided by the Phoenix office of Clearwing Productions.
The other nine worship locations had combinations of six Kara or eight Kiva II speakers per side, most stacked atop a pair of either SB28 or KS28 subs, while two locations had six-Kara hangs flown per side. One location, an auditorium with a wide, fan-shaped seating area, utilised two A15 Wide and two A15 Focus enclosures per side. In all, Clearwing’s technicians deployed a sum of 74 Kara, 48 Kiva II, ten X8, six X15 HiQ, six ARCS II, four A15 Focus, four A15 Wide, eight 12XT, and two Syva, paired with a total of 28 SB28, 16 KS28, and four KS21 subs, plus 25 amplified controller racks.
“It was pretty incredible,” recalled Clearwing audio engineer/designer Joe Spitzer, who is also a certified and accomplished L-Acoustics K System Engineer (KSE). “We approached this as we would a music festival, with ten separate stages. L-Acoustics had the perfect mix of speakers and technologies to let us design and build PA systems that were exactly matched to each location’s acoustical and coverage needs, as well as make sure we had consistent sound quality across all ten sites. Plus, it was consistent with the sound the church is used to hearing because they have L-Acoustics Kara or Kiva II systems in more than half of their campuses. So the system performance was very familiar to their own engineers.”
Spitzer supervised his installation crews over five days as they set up systems in each location, then stepped in for the final tunings and calibration. For that, he utilised L-Acoustics Soundvision acoustic prediction software paired with the M1 calibration suite bundled with LA Network Manager on a P1 processor. Together, these platforms created a seamless workflow that began with systems design and extended through tuning and critical listening, providing maximum consistency in system performance across all sites night after night.
One particular application of the LA Network Manager control and monitoring software that was heavily used for Christmas Under The Stars was the Autoclimate feature, which allows for the simultaneous adjustment of air-compensation filters based on measured temperature and humidity conditions.
“The band would do its soundcheck during the day, but by the time the show was to go on, the temperature had dropped, and there was more moisture in the air,” said Spitzer. “The change in humidity, in particular, accentuates high frequencies, and Autoclimate allowed us to automatically compensate for changing air conditions, dialling high frequencies back as needed. It is an awesome capability to have for a set of shows like this.”
CCV production director Blair Drake added: “The Soundvision modelling was extremely accurate – what the software predicted was very true to the end result. It’s one of the many reasons we’ve been using L-Acoustics for so long. Clearwing did a fantastic job on this project, making it work under very challenging conditions. But L-Acoustics gave us the right tools to make it all happen.”
Away from this installation, L-Acoustics has announced two new initiatives to help industry colleagues, partners, and clients. Recognising the impact the pandemic crisis had on live event production companies and venues, the company has extended its five year product warranty by one year. The warranty extension is automatic and applicable to all products still covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, as of January 1, 2020.
In addition, following a global survey and roundtable with Certified Providers conducted last autumn, L-Acoustics notified its network of amendments to the company’s commercial terms for 2021. Adapting its discount structure to reflect the network partners’ lower expected turnover, L-Acoustics strives to help them regain their footing more rapidly in the coming year and maintain competitive access to product and support from the manufacturer.