Texas Church Reaches New Heights With Audio System Upgrade

Green Acres Baptist Church enhanced its worship space with a d&b audiotechnik line array system, along with Earthworks mini-gooseneck mics and a pair of SSL audio consoles.

Texas Church Reaches New Heights With Audio System Upgrade
One of the two Solid State Logic L500 Plus audio consoles at Green Acres Baptist Church were part of a major audio upgrade at the church that was completed Sept. 1.

TYLER, Texas – Having been previously involved in two major system installs over the last 17 years at Green Acres Baptist Church, Audio Director Mark Leonard sought to have this third time be the charm, by having it focus primarily on improving the church’s audio capabilities.

The church of around 18,000 members, which averages between 4,000 to 5,000 on Sundays, had still been using a point-and-shoot “JBL system, and it was about time,” to upgrade the primary speakers to line arrays in the worship space, noted Leonard, along with a series of mini-gooseneck microphones and a pair of new digital audio consoles.

“What sold the d&b’s, was that it suited our space perfectly; it was a perfect match.”

The plan for this extensive upgrade began about four years ago, when it was first presented to the church’s finance committee, Leonard said. Once approved, Leonard aimed to find an integrator who “would put my interests and desires first.” He found that sought-after-fit in Morris, based in Nashville, making their first contact at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, at a Kenny Chesney concert. Then about two years ago, the church commissioned a design from Morris for their desired system, and the plan gathered steam.

In Green Acres’ worship space, the church had previously used large diaphragm microphones suspended over its choir loft. And this is no run-of-the-mill sized loft, with the choir typically running about 120 members strong for a Sunday service, and up to 300 for special services during Christmas, Easter or the Fourth of July. As part of the install, completed on Sept. 1, those 28 diaphragm microphones were replaced with just nine Earthworks FlexWand microphones.

As proof that sometimes less is better, Leonard said the new configuration added up to where “the gain is better than I had ever hoped, and you can understand what they are saying.” The decision to go with Earthworks, Leonard added, was largely based on a recommendation by the Morris Sound staff, including project manager Philip Hagood at the start of the install, “and that has not been a mistake.”

To Leonard, what makes the FlexWand mics stand out is that “they’re extremely articulate. You hear detail that you don’t hear in other mics. The coverage pattern is different; with others you get hot spots. The Earthworks’ pattern is so wide and smooth, like a smooth 180 degrees, to where there is noticeably better rejection from the backside.” That improved performance is also highlighted from the church’s orchestra being made up of a large brass section, where the sound from the horns was often picked up by the previous mics not dedicated to that section, where the FlexWands “are noticeably better at rejecting” those off-axis sounds.

More About Andres Caamano
Andres Caamano is the site editor for Worship Tech Director, which aims to inform tech directors, audio, video or lighting directors, creative directors, music directors and worship leaders about the latest technology, while also bringing to the forefront some of the most notable examples of leadership and completed projects that can be of benefit to houses of worship of all sizes. Andres joined WTD in 2015, and is focused on taking an engaged approach to the market; one that is encouraging, creative and set toward ministry purpose.
Get in Touch: acaamano@ehpub.com    More by Andres Caamano

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