Church Sound Systems

Helping Churches to grow by Solving Church Sound problems - since 1981.

Church Audio and Acoustics Consulting, Sanctuary Designer, Property Developments.

Here are some photo's of current and completed projects.

(These description only tell part of the story. A book could be written about each project.)

The church was designed by an Architect (and local Acoustic Company) in 1998
 This church needed a lot of (help) and acoustic treatment to make the room usable.
Most of the room changes that were accepted and made turned out Ok consider what there was to work with..
The basic shape is square with an outcrop for the choir and musicians.

Picture 1: Front View: Church seating is about 400 with the balcony.
The Arch cuts the sound of the choir by 6dB. That can not be fixed without structural changes.

Drywall Outrounds are both effective and decorative.

These outrounds were added to reduce the standing wave problems encounter by the parallel walls.
The large outround over the door enclosed the heating and air ducts.
The ducts were added as an after thought from the original room design which showed no HVAC.
After designing the outrounds, a church member thought of enclosing the duct with an outround instead of the rectangle box.

The speakers are in the sweetspot and the system does sound fairly good with EAW speakers and Media Matrix XFrame to control everything.
An A&H GL2200 was used with the latest options.
With the current setup there is about 1.4 seconds of RT60 between 300 to 3,000 hertz.
The %alcons was measured in 42 different places ranging from 3.9 to 4.8%.
The test was done by
Testing on this project was with the most current MLSSA 10.D system (

The worst spot was in the balcony in the back corner where no one sits. This was before the Balcony acoustical diffuser panels. As I had predicted early in the project, a large problem area was under the Cupola. The Cupola had PPD panels added, tuned to 600 hertz. 24dB of energy had to be dampened from the Cupola. The PPD panels (an acoustical diffuser and bass absorbing panel I invented and church members made under license) took out 25dB of energy. While the PPD panels are successful in dampening excess bass from the Cupola, it will always limit the performance of the room musically and the performance of the sound system. A handicap that can only be repaired by closing up the Cupola.
The speaker bracket is all steel. It can support up to 2000 pounds

The cost of all the acoustical changes was under $10,000.
The sound system was installed mostly by church members and cost under $25,000.

This is a 4 x 8 panels with 3 sono tubes. The Roxul is only there to support the cloth. A total of 4 panels were made.

Above the soundman position, the 4 panels were mounted and the cloth was painted. Please notice the balcony. Below is a 2 x 4 panels with sono tubes and wood to make low cost diffuser for the curved face of the balcony.

As you can see, the outround that covers the air ducts wound up becoming a center piece to hang the cross from. The larger the outround, the better the LF is managed. There was a previous recommendation for flat panels from floor to ceiling that would have cover 60 to 70% of the available wall space. The outrounds and the other 3 types of diffusers only cover about 15 to 20% of the total wall space.

When recommending acoustical changes like this in a new building, the church leaders and Architect had to take a leap of faith to accept these kind of radical changes mid project. Consider this, computer modeling and standard acoustical equations can not predict the outcome of a room with outrounds or other kinds of diffusers. It is the combination of a number of acoustical disciplines used in a non conventional manner that gives some level of confidence in predicting an outcome by the numbers. In a way, one can look at diffusers as passive room equalizers and sonic enhancers.

From my listening and testing experience, the acoustic signature of the room still sounds like a square room that has very good musical and speech qualities. While a well behaved rectangle is the best design for all of the senses in worship, this room could have been in the top 10% of world class houses of worship. Instead, this room is in the top 16% - a performance worth prasing about.

This room would be ideally suited for an Electronic Reverberation System from EdB Sound Acoustics Inc.

Church Name: Indonesian Community Church, Toronto, Ontario Canada

One of the items I try to encourage is for churches to make their own acoustical panels when budgets are very limited.

PPD Panels, a very efficient acoustical panel that does diffusion, bass and mid range absorption can be made by church members. It is a panel that I invented. There are designed to treat the four most common problems church have in a single acoustical device. Standing Waves, Echo's, Excess Reverberation noise and Bass Control

One of the final steps in make acoustical panels is making them look good.

Once the chairs are in place, the room behave very well. A total of 98 panels were installed. The cost of these panels was less than the cost of doubling the cost of the speaker system. With the acoustical panels, the sound system is able to play 6dB louder than without the treatment. The church could have spent 3 time the money on the speaker system, but they would still have echo's, standing waves and excessive reverberation which would have limited congregational singing, the performance of the praise team and limited intelligibility.

On the left in the speaker cluster. The sub was mounted in the cluster. The cluster in not in the sweetspot. This is a case where the Architect ruled over this one issue and I had to agree. What you don't see yet is the yet to be installed basketball hoops. If the cluster was placed further forward, it would have interfered with basketball, volleyball and other games.

There is some additional acoustical treatment yet to be installed in the stage area and behind the speakers. Before they are designed or built, I will be going back to the church for the final phase of the acoustics and sound system setup.

The sub woofer is a state of the art Servo Drive.
Since the room is well treated for bass control/diffusion, the ability to use such a heavy/power sub woofer such as this is possible.
A mid Bass sub will be added later.
The main speakers are EAW's. The monitor for the choir and stage is Community.
Please note that the bracket and grills are strong enough for basketball abuse

More Project Pictures
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