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Meyer Sound MILO Empowers Musical Diversity at Fayetteville Church
Dynamic, diverse, and inspired describes both the musical style and the ministry at Covenant Love Family Church (CLFC) in Fayetteville, N.C. Drawing from urban, suburban and semi-rural areas, the church has built a sizeable congregation and a powerhouse music team reflecting a broad cross-section of the region's culture. To deliver the full impact of the wide-ranging musical repertoire throughout a new 2,000-seat worship center, the church selected a Meyer Sound system based on the MILO high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers.
"Because of the diversity of our church our music ranges from hard rock to urban with a touch of traditional gospel," says Kenny Oxendine, music director for Covenant Love Family Church. "Our sound system has to be extremely versatile because our music changes dramatically from song to song. I don't think we could have found a better speaker than MILO to support what we're doing here. I'd go so far as to say it's the best-sounding cabinet I've heard in my life."
Dual arrays of eight MILOs each anchor the new system inside the shoebox-shaped auditorium. Five UPA-2P compact narrow coverage loudspeakers fill in the center and corners, while eight UPJ-1P compact VariO loudspeakers on the stage lip cover the first rows. Six 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers — arranged in end-fired arrays for directional control — propel the deep bass. A Galileo 616 digital loudspeaker management system ties everything together with comprehensive drive processing.
The Meyer Sound system arrived at CLFC after a sudden "course correction" during construction of the new worship center. Oxendine and sound engineer Philip Russ turned to Kelvin Draughon of Fayetteville-based Draughon Brothers, Inc. to meet the church's unique audio requirements. Russ and Draughon quickly agreed on a Meyer Sound solution, but Oxendine, still unfamiliar with the company's products, hesitated to commit.
"Originally, Philip and I had planned go to Nashville to listen to the MILOs," recalls Draughon. "But at the last minute we convinced Kenny (Oxendine) to go, and I gave him my seat on the plane. I'm glad I did. When he heard the MILOs, that sealed the deal."
"I was floored by the tone I heard coming out of the MILOs," says Oxendine, recalling his experience listening to the Meyer Sound demo systems at Nashville's Soundcheck rehearsal facility. "They have such great warmth from the low-mids on down. And the accuracy is stunning. We took a CD with us that we'd listened to many times on the monitors in our recording studio, and when we heard it on the MILOs we heard compression in the CD mastering that we'd never noticed before."
Draughon, whose company introduced Covenant Love to Meyer Sound, considers himself more of a team leader rather than principal designer. "I turned over the acoustical design to George Augspurger of Perception, Inc.," he notes, "and the critical details of the Meyer Sound system configuration were done by Meyer Sound's Design Services group using MAPP Online Pro. Those guys made the difference. We assembled the team, let them do their work, and then installed what they had designed." On completion, the system was commissioned using the SIM3 audio analyzer.
"The MILO system has done everything we expected it to do and more," says Russ. "It took our mixes to another level. The vocals are in your face, but never irritable. The bottom end is big, round, and tight – never 'whompy'." He adds that the smoothness and balance of the MILOs allows them to run the new system at levels five to ten dB lower than before in the old sanctuary, and yet still experience a sense of at least as much musical power.
Covenant Love's senior pastor Al Brice publicly praised the sonic improvements in his church's new worship center praising Draughon and his team during a service. "Brice asked my wife and me to stand up, and then he talked for a couple minutes about our company," he says. "That's a rather unusual experience when you're just the sound contractor."