d&b Champions installation in the Black Country

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Netherton lies a few miles south of Dudley, the undisputed centre of the Black Country. It is bounded on three sides by canals, the first motorways of the industrial age and now one of the major tourist attractions of a revitalised area that has brushed off its blackened, sooty past and become unashamedly 21st Century. This fits the new build that houses the Champions Church at Netherton to a tee. Designed by Level 7, the same team that produced the celebrated Waterfront at the nearby Merry Hill canal basin, their church is defiantly 'now' in design. The venue itself echoes the semi-circular shape of the building which, together with the raked nature of the eight hundred and fifty seats in the amphitheatre, presented the audio installation team with something of a challenge.

A d&b audiotechnik loudspeaker system was chosen by Phil Goldsworthy and Tim Mortimer from Wigwam Acoustics for the central performance area; it was the need for a high quality, even coverage over an uneven space that was central to the decision. They chose to fly four arrays of the Q7 loudspeakers, each one with an additional Q subwoofer, to achieve the width and depth of cover required. Additional low end support came from extra Q subwoofers installed in the stage. To complete the picture Goldsworthy and Mortimer fitted front fills in the stage; the unobtrusive size and design of d&b's E0 loudspeakers made them an ideal choice.

To ensure the whole system is flexible and versatile there is the capability to use either the house system alone or to import a monitor desk. A 48-channel stage box in the Choir Room is conveniently located in the event of outside broadcast requirements. Together with the enhancement of the existing radio system, the installation team have also been instrumental in providing customised curved trussing for lighting and a white cyc' as well as installing several plasma screens and a 10,000 lumens projector for the central stage.

Seventeen years in the making, the Champions Church is the fruition of years of determination and hard work. It provides a modern multifunctional space for a modern multi-denominational congregation that reaches out to enhance the lives of the community it serves.

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