MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA: Like many churches around the country, Landmark Church of Christ in Montgomery is undergoing a slow shift from services that are completely a cappella with no supplemental media, to services that are driven by instrumental music with support by CDs and other media. When church members began noticing that their decade-old sound system wasn't as ready for the change as they were, the church contacted commercial sound designer Chad Edwardson at All Pro Sound in Pensacola, Florida to explore ways that they could bring their sound system up to speed with their ambitions. "Their old system worked reasonably well for spoken word," Edwardson explained. "But the room is very live. Even without reinforcement, a person speaking at the podium becomes awash in reflections from all the hard surfaces. The old speakers had wide dispersion and threw sound everywhere. When the service became a bit louder than simple speech, the room reacted in a negative way and the integrity of the sound kind of fell apart. The solution was to replace the old speakers with Danley Sound Labs SH-50s, which have remarkably tight pattern control and thus would avoid energizing the room." Like all of their full-range loudspeakers, the SH-50 benefits from Danley's patented Synergy Horn technology, which dramatically improves its phasing, intelligibility, and pattern control over conventional designs. In fact, the SH-50's pattern control extends well below 500Hz and is so tight that its edge is almost palpable. That was crucial to the success of Edwardson's new design. He arrayed four SH-50s from the ceiling in an exploded cluster, with each speaker firing down at a separate section of seats. By choosing a white exterior, the new speakers blend in seamlessly with the austere beauty of Landmark Church of Christ's sanctuary. Because the church was working with a limited budget, Edwardson retained all of the front-of-house equipment, which still had many years of useful life. However, he replaced the existing amplifiers with QSC amplifiers and upgraded the decade-old processing with an Ashley Protea DSP. In addition, he replaced the modest choir's wedges with wireless Aviom personal monitors. "When we started this project, we knew that it was likely that, in addition to new speakers, the room would need acoustic treatment," Edwardson said. "In fact, with conventional high-Q loudspeakers, we would have almost certainly needed treatment. But because the treatment would be very expensive, we waited to see if Danley's exceptionally tight pattern control would be enough to tame the room." Fortunately for the church, it was. From its position on the ceiling, each speaker neatly covers one section of seats with almost no energy directed at the side or back walls. "The church is very happy with the new system and is now free to change the musical content of their services," Edwardson concluded. "The Danley's are robust. What's more, the SH-50s deliver well-articulated bass all the way down to 50Hz. Given that they won't be putting on rock shows, that's more than enough to convey a complete and realistic frequency response for any sort of music they want to perform." Tom Danley is one of the most innovative loudspeaker designers in the industry today and is recognized worldwide as a pioneer for "outside the box" thinking in professional audio technology. His legendary designs have been utilized in projects ranging from ground zero bombing simulation, jet engine active noise cancellation, and sonic boom generators to critical listening mastering studios, high-end home theatre, and houses of worship around the world. Danley Sound Labs
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