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
(These description only tell part of the
story. A book could be written about each
The church was designed by an Architect (and local Acoustic Company) in
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
Drywall Outrounds are both effective and decorative.
These outrounds were added to reduce the
standing wave problems encounter by the parallel
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 (www.mlssa.com)
- Sending a test signal from a computer that has the hardware and software
for doing acoustical measurements.
- The test signal is then sent to a test speaker on a tripod speaker stand
- The test speaker is placed 18 inches from an open microphone (preferably
- The microphone is place stage front and center (where a center pulpit would
- The sound system is turned on
- The sound from the test speaker is picked up by the pulpit mic.
- The sound system broadcasts the test signal to the whole room
- The test signal is then pickup by a test mic placed somewhere in the audience
- The signal from the test mic is sent to a preamp
- The signal from the preamp is sent to the computer which has the hardware
and software to process the test signal.
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
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
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
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