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Meyer Sound M2D Proves To Be an Angel in Montgomery

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"Based on sound, the Meyer Sound rig was the hands-down winner. The only question was if we could make the money work. And when you look at the big picture with labor and cabling and everything, the difference in cost was so minimal that it was a no-brainer."

- Steve Wolfe
FOH Engineer, Frazer United Methodist Church

Starting from humble roots in a Montgomery, Ala., storefront, Frazer United Methodist Church has served its growing congregation for over a century. By 1990, Frazer had the largest worship attendance of any United Methodist church in the U.S., enough that seven services are held every Sunday. To accommodate its large and active congregation, Frazer constructed the new 2,000 seat Wesley Hall worship center.

Frazer's front-of-house engineer, Steve Wolfe wanted to be sure the church selected loudspeakers offering both high intelligibility and musicality. Working with project manager Brian Smith of the Whitlock Group (Pensacola, Fla.), a listening session with two candidate loudspeakers was set up to help determine their best choice.

"With the shootout, we were able to make an A-B comparison, which was great," says Wolfe. "The heads of the church made the decision, and based on sound, the Meyer Sound rig was the hands-down winner. The only question was if we could make the money work. And when you look at the big picture with labor and cabling and everything, the difference in cost was so minimal that it was a no-brainer."

Smith agrees, saying "The great thing about the Meyer product is that it's so plug-and-play in its capabilities that it reduces the amount of installation. We don't have to have guys sitting behind racks all day connecting the processors and amplifiers. You hang it, plug it in, and you're ready to go."

Above the lip of the stage are three line arrays, each consisting of five M2D compact curvilinear array loudspeakers and one M2D-Sub compact subwoofer. Splay angles were set using Meyer Sound's MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program. "We looked at options in MAPP to verify the integrity of the coverage area and how accurate it was," Smith recalls. "What we saw in MAPP paralleled how the room actually sounded, almost exactly. The accuracy is incredible, and it gives you a lot of confidence. We've used a lot of the other modeling programs out there and by far this is the most accurate, user-friendly program we've found."

To ensure a clean, professional look, the stage is designed to accommodate both subwoofers and frontfill loudspeakers beneath it. Two 650-P high-power subwoofers are paired together beneath the center thrust, which projects 20 feet beyond the main stage area. Flanking them is a pair of 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers on the far left and right. Six UPM-1P ultracompact wide coverage loudspeakers handle frontfill duty, with two cabinets sitting atop the subwoofers under the center stage thrust, and the other four spaced evenly beneath the stage stairs on either side.

Completing the system is a delay ring of six UPJ-1P compact VariO loudspeakers suspended from the ceiling on aircraft cables about 70 feet back from the stage, angled down by 28 to 30 degrees. This ensures complete coverage to the rear gallery, which rises to within a few feet of the ceiling. "We really felt that the line arrays could do the job completely," says Smith. "But having that reinforcement there really added a little bit of security for everyone."

To ensure the sonic integrity of the line arrays, two LD-3 compensating line drivers are employed. "What we're actually doing is breaking apart the arrays," Smith recalls. "We're using one input channel for the top two speakers, another channel for the middle two speakers, and the third channel for the bottom speaker, plus the flown subs." The result is total control of each array.

As a final touch, Rick Shimer of Blackhawk Audio (White House, Tenn.) tuned the sound system using a SIM 3 audio analyzer. In the end, Wolfe says his goals were completely attained with the resulting sound quality. "The intelligibility is great, and the system is real musical and natural sounding, without a lot of coloration," he reports. "And that was what we wanted to achieve in this room."

June, 2006

FEATURED PRODUCTS

M2D

M2D-Sub

700-HP

650-P

UPM-1P

UPJ-1P

LD-3

SIM 3

MAPP Online Pro

QuickFly

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