Old North Church Modernised with Community I SERIES

Formed from a bible study group that started in 1936, Old North Church has grown to over 1,300 members and attendees. The Church’s modern new building includes a 1,000-seat sanctuary, a library, classrooms, and a family life centre (gymnasium).

Executive Pastor Chris Drombetta says the church’s worship gatherings prioritise Biblical preaching and teaching – supported by music – and a blend of traditional and modern expressions of the gospel. Many of these expressions utilise new dynamic technologies, such as the recently installed loudspeaker system.

Chris emphasised that the message must be crystal clear, but the church’s sanctuary’s multiple reflecting surfaces raised a problem with sound. Plus the church’s original loudspeaker system was forty feet in the air. Thus, despite the addition of front-fill and delayed loudspeakers above the balcony, it was difficult to hear and understand the spoken and sung word in many parts of the sanctuary.

Dave Mullane, Old North Church’s Tech Director, is also the Assistant Principal at Canfield High School where Custom Integrated Solutions of Youngstown, Ohio (CIS Ohio) had recently installed an audio system using Community loudspeakers. Mullane asked Brian Williams of CIS Ohio to propose a Community loudspeaker system to replace the existing system at Old North Church. Pastor Drombetta told Williams that the church’s two goals were even coverage and speech clarity throughout the sanctuary.

Brian designed a four-segment, exploded cluster system using I SERIES IP8-1122/66 and IP8-1122/64 loudspeakers. The four clusters provide even coverage and allow a clear path for the church’s three video projectors.

A pair of Community dSPEC226AN DSP processors provides loudspeaker management, delay and equalisation. Williams reused the church’s existing under-balcony loudspeakers but says the full-range performance of the I SERIES allowed him to turn off the existing subwoofers. The church retained its Soundcraft digital mixer and Sennheiser wireless microphones along with its Aviom personal monitoring system and stage monitor loudspeakers.

Despite a tight installation schedule, CIS Ohio completed the installation in time for Old North Church’s 2016 Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter services. Chris stated the system is on target for achieving the church’s goals for even coverage and speech clarity and Brian reports that several church members commented it was the first time they could hear in the church.