EV-Innovation for Sovereign Grace Church
Sovereign Grace Church in Marlton, NJ is the latest in a growing list of houses of worship to be equipped with loudspeakers from the new installation-dedicated Electro-Voice EV-Innovation family – EVA (Expandable Vertical Array), EVF (front-loaded), and EVH (horn-loaded).
Creative Technologies Consulting (Edmond, Oklahoma) recently designed a system based around EVH-1152S/43 (15” two-way 40° H x 30° V) and EVF-1122S/94 (12” two-way 90° H x 40° V) loudspeakers for the church’s new 1100-seat worship center at their new campus location. Summit Integrated Systems (Denver, Colorado) installed the system. Dale Alexander, Principal Consultant with Creative Technologies Consulting, described how EV-Innovation products have become useful tools in the company’s innovative approach to house of worship sound:
“From day one we worked alongside the architect, project management team, and our acoustician to reshape the church’s worship center, preparing the space for a new sound system to help them reach their goals for greater intelligibility and coverage.” Alexander says. “I was impressed by the audio quality and wide range of horn sizes and configurations offered by the EV-Innovation family while attending a demo at EV’s Burnsville headquarters in 2009, and thought a combination of EVF and EVH models would work well at Sovereign Grace.”
Prior to CTC’s involvement, the main worship center design had a flat floor and seated around 900 people. The sightlines in the space were far from optimal, and the church wanted more eye contact and intimacy, so CTC recommended adding stadium seating to the rear half of the room. This not only raised the capacity to 1100, it also covered the reflective surfaces to the rear of the room with seats. The stage height was also lowered from around 60 to 42 inches.
Alexander continues, “The church’s top priorities for the sound system were preaching, praise, and worship leading. They expressed a desire to do these in a stereo mix, which is always a challenge in a large room like this. To reach these goals in the remodeled space, we specified a combination of EVH and EVF loudspeakers arranged in what we call a “cross-matrix” LCR configuration, an approach we’ve used extensively that works very well for providing a stereo image in these types of environments, utilizing smaller main clusters, and without delay speakers.
The center cluster comprises three EVH 40 x 30 boxes and two EVF 90 x 40 boxes, covers the entire stadium seating area as well as the seating areas on the flat floor closest to the stage. Each of the side clusters has just two EVH 40 x 30 long-throw boxes covering two-thirds of the stadium seating area, and two EVF 90 x 40 boxes covering the flat floor seating near the stage.
“The cross-matrixed system approach takes a little longer to get the system set up, equalized and timed, etc., but it’s well worth it,” Alexander adds.
Alexander and his team were able to cover the entire seating area with just eleven boxes and no delays. Needless to say, using far fewer boxes – without compromising the overall effect – results in significant cost-savings. “They have all the flexibility they desire,” Alexander continues. “The system can provide the full stereo image effect for the praise team and choir, and then the center cluster can be pushed up in the mix to provide exceptional spoken word clarity, to the point that it sounds like the pastor is speaking through a large mono system. We get the best of both worlds with the cross-matrix design.”
In addition to its cost-effective configuration, the system is extremely clean from input to output. The stage mic inputs are routed to onstage I/O boxes, and from there via CAT-6 to a Roland RSS V-Mixing console, significantly streamlining the cabling situation. The system is controlled and managed via the console; all the settings are locked-in, so it’s plug-and-play for the volunteers who run sound. The digital outputs from the console are then routed into a NetMax N8000-1500 system controller/matrix, and the signal runs analog from the NetMax outputs to the amps.
“We look out for both short-term and the long-term health of the system and our client’s needs,” adds Alexander. “Most often this requires a system to provide maximum benefit with minimum interaction on the part of the end-user – a sophisticated system that is simple to use. The EV-I family – especially given the variety of horn sizes and patterns available – is perfectly aligned with that approach, as is the N8000. This is equipment that easily adapts to the needs and budget of a wide range of customer needs. In this case, using very directional loudspeakers allowed us to tackle any anomalies in the room without the need for additional acoustical treatment, and the large horns available also give us very good pattern control all the way down to 400-500 Hz. We were able to get excellent coverage within this space with this combination, and all while reducing the system cost significantly; far fewer amplifiers are needed to power these loudspeakers than would have been necessary with other system designs, and the loudspeakers themselves are very competitively priced – the overall savings was around $20,000. And, most importantly, the system sounds superb.”
Creative Technologies Consulting