When the Winnebago, Illinois campus of Crossroads Community Church moved into their own building after years of meeting in various rented spaces, they needed a sonic upgrade to replace the portable P.A. systems volunteers had been setting up for their pastors and exuberant worship bands. After performing a thorough analysis of Crossroads’ new home, events specialists White Train Entertainment knew that a QSC active line array would be the perfect fit. They flew four KLA12 cabinets on either side of the stage, tucked a pair of KS212C active cardioid subwoofers underneath, placed two K8.2 active loudspeakers onstage as monitors, and hid two more as front fills.
“The capacity is just under 200 people, so it was a big jump for Crossroads to move to a professionally installed line array as opposed to a couple of mobile loudspeakers,” said Jeremy Rollefson, co-owner of White Train. “As a systems integrator, I’ve been a QSC customer since 2010 and have multiple certifications in live sound and a background as a touring engineer. This helped me view the church as a blank canvas that needed a custom solution instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. QSC offers incredible bang for buck to begin with, but especially for contemporary churches because they’re using the system all the time — they have a lot more events than just Sunday services.”
To arrive at the decision to use a KLA12 line array, Jeremy balanced multiple considerations. “In a house of worship, one of those is aesthetics,” he explained. “A flown line array looks a lot cleaner than multiple loudspeakers on poles or in a stack.”
“Next I thought about coverage and phasing,” said Jeremy. “The low ceiling and lack of acoustical dampening made a line array ideal for covering the entire space without any frequency scoop-outs. The QSC KLA12s stand out because they have the most accurate sonic response out of all manufacturers in their price range. They are also flexible enough to cover 90 degrees vertically and 90 degrees horizontally when rigging five boxes, and their low power consumption makes them cost-effective over the long term.”
Turning to bass, Jeremy said: “The church wanted the subwoofers under the stage, again for visual reasons. I had about 20 inches of clearance, and this is where the KS212C came into play. They have a 3,600-watt amp, their frequency response reaches down to 44 Hz, and the dual-12-inch setup is comparable to a good 18-inch sub in terms of output.”
Output is not the sole issue when choosing a sub, as Jeremy noted: “The tightness and articulation of the low end is an essential quality in a closed auditorium setting like this.” This is because while well-managed bass engages listeners with music at a bodily level, excessively boomy bass can overwhelm and distract from the program content. The twin drivers of the KS212C tackle this challenge with an amount of directional control usually not associated with the sub-bass realm, projecting energy in a cardioid pattern with up to 15 dB less output in the rear of the cabinet than in front. As Rollefson notes, “The KS212Cs delivered that clarity and accuracy.”
Jeremy’s choice of the small-but-mighty K8.2 was spurred by their small footprint and wide dispersion. “The K.2 Series are great at adapting to multiple circumstances because of their small size, power, and horn coverage. So, I used one K8.2 in each subwoofer cavity, also underneath the stage. The K8.2’s wide 105 degree coverage let the people in the first few rows hear evenly from the center all the way out to the sides.”
When all was installed and tuned, Crossroads Community Church was beyond pleased with the results. “At the first service for which I sound-engineered, I received many compliments about how the system exceeded everyone’s expectations and the attendees finally felt at home in their new church,” said Jeremy. “A vast demographic attends Crossroads at Winnebago, and the young people were engaged and excited while the senior folks could hear clearly and were comfortable with the volume.”
“The whole system exceeded our expectations; I am amazed at the quality of the sound! Everything as a whole is so well engineered to provide the right feel for a church worship service while being flexible to accommodate other events,” said Jeffrey Schleich, Lead Audio Engineer at Crossroads Church.
“As a worship leader, I’ve experienced many types of sound systems in different environments over the past fifteen years. The QSC install is incredible and makes such a difference for our worship environment; the entire room feels full and the sound stays at a comfortable listening level for everyone,” added Worship Director Melissa Bushman. ”And as a vocalist, the first change I noticed right away was that I didn’t have to fight to be heard through the monitors. With the old system, I didn’t realize how much strain I was putting on my voice in order to compensate for the stage volume level. Now, the stage is balanced and comfortable so that I can focus on my craft. I love everything about it.”
The success at Crossroads is just the latest in a long line of experiences that have cemented White Train Entertainment’s loyalty to QSC. “I have such confidence in the quality and longevity of QSC products because I’ve experienced how well they’ve held up on so many tours I’ve worked,” Jeremy reflected. “When my clients are excelling at what they do after an install, I know they’re benefitting from the values QSC continues to uphold — and when my clients are happy, my bottom line is happy! It’s truly a win-win situation.”