First Baptist Church upgrades with xA and xS

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First Baptist Church (FBC) has been based in Sevierville, Tennessee since its inception. From log cabins through various incarnations, as the church has grown its acquired larger buildings to accommodate its local congregation as well as the tourists who visit the nearby Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Scott Andrews is the Associate Pastor of Worship at FBC. “Our sound reinforcement system was seventeen years old and definitely past its best. A system from d&b audiotechnik had been highly recommended and we felt it would be ideal for our purposes.”

M&L Sound from Knoxville were the chosen installers; their long experience in worship venues made them an ideal choice. Although initially contacted about upgrading the mixing console, they received a contract for the loudspeaker upgrade as well. Sound Project Manager, Joe Hamilton: “We had only done a few projects with d&b prior to this design, but the audio quality and extensive installation line made it an obvious choice for this project. We opted for the install amplifiers, the 10Ds and 30Ds, as we’d used them once before and been impressed. The connectivity is perfect for installations.”

With some input from d&b US Hamilton went on to design the system, liaising closely with FBC’s Technical Services Director, Rich Mace. “Joe understood quite clearly our objectives and the challenges we needed to overcome. The capacity of the room is two thousand and we have three worship services: traditional, blended, and we also added a contemporary service during the installation. We plan to host more concerts and conferences in the future and one of the added bonuses of choosing a d&b system is that it is so well known and trusted in the touring industry. Despite the wider possibilities for the room it remains a house of worship and so the amplification of the choir and the spoken word were the primary considerations when we agreed the design.”

The size and shape of the balconies required some imaginative thinking, as Hamilton explains: “The room is fan shaped with padded pews for seating. There is stadium seating up each side with a large over-balcony and under-balcony area. Due to the amount of under-balcony seating we used quite a large number of 5S loudspeakers to get sound to every seat. There is diffusion and acoustic treatment throughout the room, and the ceiling is a combination of drop down drywall soffits and acoustic ceiling tiles. These drywall soffits caused us to have to use over-balcony delays to get high frequencies to the top rows of the balcony. I have to say that acoustically the room is very well controlled, but not overly absorbent.”

Hamilton: “To work around the needs of the church we installed the new speakers alongside the old and reconfigured existing amp racks to allow space for installation of the new amps. This allowed us to wire all the inputs of the amps and power while not disturbing their scheduled events.”

“This has been a really positive experience,” concludes Andrews. “Feedback on the system has been more than complimentary from all concerned and I consider that we have received excellent value for money. You can’t really ask for more than that, can you.”

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