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Meyer System Flexes for Worship Variety at McKinney Fellowship Bible Church
When worshippers gather in the new 1,300-plus-seat auditorium at McKinney Fellowship Bible Church, they consistently hear dynamic preaching and clear, robust music — in stereo — through a complement of 21 Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers. But the particular style of music heard on any given Sunday is far less predictable, and could be anything from solo piano to rock guitar, or even a full jazz orchestra.
"We don't want to get hung up on any one style here," says Mark Washam, pastor of business administration at this rapidly growing church located about 25 miles north of Dallas. "We use musical styles as a flexible means for worshipping and reaching out into our community. So when we were considering a system for our new worship center, we looked for something that could work well with any type of music."
In exploring the various sound system options, a church team led by Washam (who has extensive sound mixing experience) eventually determined that Meyer Sound loudspeakers offered both the flexibility and uncolored sonic character suited to the wide-ranging worship requirements. During the process, the church team also decided to install a first-class, stereo-capable system that would allow use of the new auditorium as a concert venue for both Christian and compatible secular acts. A number of proposals were examined, with the eventual design-build contract awarded to AV Pro of nearby DeSoto.
"At McKinney Fellowship, they have a fairly wide, fan-shaped room, which is a type of space that presents difficulty in presenting a true stereo image everywhere," says Tom Fowlston, the system designer and president of AV Pro. "But they weren't interested so much in preserving a true stage image as they were having the sense of openness and spatial imaging that you get when you listen to music in stereo. So we set up a distributed system with alternating left and right main loudspeakers across the front of the stage."
The bulk of the system power, along with all the stereo imaging, comes from the eight Meyer Sound CQ-2 full-range narrow coverage loudspeakers, with six mounted in splayed pairs and two single cabinets at the far ends. "The CQ-2s were the key to making stereo work," says Fowlston. "We didn't have much distance between the pairs, but the very tight and predictable pattern of the CQ-2 gave distinct left and right coverage zones."
The system receives ample low-frequency augmentation from four 650-P high-power subwoofers. Four MM-4 miniature wide-range loudspeakers cover the first row seats, and a delay ring of five UPM-1P compact wide coverage loudspeakers fill in the highs for the back rows.
The investment in a Meyer Sound system, according to Washam, "hit the sweet spot, a place where we received a very high quality result but at a reasonable price – in other words, a very high value. The Meyer loudspeakers allowed us to achieve our goals, both for worship and as a concert venue, while being good stewards of the resources entrusted to our care."
Other key elements in the McKinney Fellowship Bible Church installation include an extensive Media Matrix DSP system, a 56-input Soundcraft MH3 console, four Tascam CD recorder/player units, Shure wireless microphones, Aviom personal monitor mixers, Clear-Com intercom system, and a Williams Sound ALS.
Since the system was inaugurated, the church has hosted two independently promoted concerts, one by the country group Restless Heart and another by the Dallas Jazz Orchestra. In addition, several notable Christian recording artists have participated in the worship services. The results have been uniformly gratifying, according to Washam.
"Everybody has been very complimentary regarding the system," he says. "We feel fortunate to have a system that gives us the quality and flexibility we need everyday. At the same time we are able to make touring artists feel comfortable, by giving them quality that meets – or exceeds – what they are used to in their concert performances."