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Meyer Sound M1D Well Married to Chapel at Sydney's Hillsong Church
Crowned as the largest church in Australian history, Sydney's Hillsong Church has added an intimate, 300-seat chapel to accommodate weddings and other gatherings. The chapel's gracefully arcing roof encloses a spacious vaulted interior, while a fully windowed front wall admits abundant natural light. Along with pleasing aesthetics, the chapel's architecture also introduces acoustical properties that are problematic for the chapel's events. The solution of choice was a powerful - yet discreet - system of Meyer Sound M1D line arrays.
The exacting requirements for the chapel's sound system were drafted by consultant Scott Willsallen of Auditoria Audio Design. "It was an open performance tender with several governing factors, including size of the clusters, coverage, and SPL. The decision ultimately came down to quality for the dollar, and Meyer Sound came out on top – and with coverage even better than we anticipated."
The installed system comprises two arrays of six Meyer Sound M1D line array loudspeakers plus two balcony delay clusters of five M1Ds each. Eight M1D-Sub subwoofers propel low end from an under-stage horizontal array, while four tiny MM-4 miniature wide-range loudspeakers provide front fill. Four UPJunior VariO loudspeakers, recessed under grating in the stage steps, provide foldback monitoring.
The design of the system was handled using MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program, and final tuning was accomplished with a SIM3 audio analyzer. The system was supplied and installed by NSW, Australia-based The PA People under the supervision of Brett Steele, with technical assistance from Hillsong's staff led by Facilities Manager for Production Steve Leroux.
After listening to the system, Willsallen is convinced that the M1D system is indeed the best choice for the job. "This system matches the tonal qualities for what Hillsong wants to do in that room, far more than alternate options. It's the right 'flavor' for the varied uses of the room."
Leroux concurs: "The comments I'm getting are very positive."
The installation in Hillsong's chapel also includes a Yamaha M7CL 32-channel digital console, and a six-channel Aviom foldback system feeding Sennheiser in-ear units.
As part of an ongoing refurbishment program, Hillsong's Waterloo facility is now adding two 600-HP subwoofers, four CQ-2 loudspeakers and one UPA-1P to their existing system of Meyer Sound UPA-1P, UPA-2P and UPM-1P loudspeakers.
Initially known as Hills Christian Life Centre, Hillsong Church was started in 1983 by Brian and Bobbie Houston. The founding congregation of 45 has since grown to a weekly attendance of over 21,000 in the Sydney-area. In recent years, Hillsong has planted new congregations in France, Ukraine and United Kingdom, and it is known worldwide for its recordings of original praise and worship songs. The widespread recognition of its music under the Hillsong label eventually prompted the church adopt its current name.