By offering both a classic service and a connect service every Sunday, First Baptist Church in Claremore, Oklahoma has been hugely successful in building its congregation. The classic service requires sound reinforcement for primarily traditional orchestral instruments, whereas the connect service delivers a modern-rock vibe with high-energy music, video, and lighting.
As First Baptist pushed its offerings into exciting new territory, they inevitably outgrew their decade-old sound reinforcement system, which they pushed to the point of chronic equipment failure. With a media-driven worship service, FBCC needed a reliable upgrade to deliver the gospel within its 1,500-plus seat sanctuary. The church called on McClelland Sound, Kansas, Oklahoma, and western Missouri’s family-owned and operated audio/video/lighting experts since 1928, to design and install a system that would support and inspire all of their efforts.
“The old system simply couldn’t keep up with the current demands of the congregation,” said Rob Barton of McClelland Sound. “The coverage was inconsistent, the overall headroom was inadequate, and the low-end support was almost non-existent. Despite the low house volume, First Baptist also continuously wrestled with feedback problems. In contrast with what they had, the church wanted a full concert experience as they, indeed, hoped to attract major Christian rock artists and needed a system that would be rider-friendly. Finally, the church also needed a system that its largely volunteer-based staff could understand and expertly operate but that still had abundant flexibility to handle both of its distinctly different services -with only a short break to switch between them.”
“We modelled everything, submitted the results to the church, and gave two line array options and a Danley Synergy Horn solution. The Danley system provided the most headroom, consistent coverage, fullest frequency response, and had a smaller physical footprint,” continued Rob. “Moreover, the Danley system was the most affordable option, in large part because each Danley box requires just one amp channel, unlike the line array, which required tri-amplification, a re-work of the building’s electrical service, and a lot more boxes.”
The system Rob designed uses four Danley SH-60 full-range boxes in a tight-pack cluster above the front of the stage with a Danley TH-412 subwoofer behind it. The room is a broad fan shape, and the SH-60 cluster provides that broad coverage. Like a single pebble dropped in still water, it does so without introducing interference. Barton set the system with a low sub-to-mains cut-off frequency, which gives the complete cluster a cardioid characteristic that further serves to keep volume to a minimum on-stage. Just two 4-channel Powersoft X4 amplifiers drive both the mains and the subwoofer, providing the modest DSP required to condition the system. A new Soundcraft Vi1 console gives the church the ability to recall for quick changeovers between service types.
In addition to the 32×32 I/O of the Vi1, a 64-input/24-output Vi Stagebox allows for flexible use of the scores of stage inputs and ability to combine the two worship services on holidays. Stage mixes are all handled through AKG wireless IEMs and DBX personal monitor mixers. To maintain clean signal-to-noise ratios throughout the system, all audio between components is 100% digital and transported via optical MADI, Dante, and BLU-Link to be processed and routed by the BSS BLU-806 DSP (which also serves multi-track recording via Dante).