Recently-introduced asymmetrical modules offer exactly the solution needed for the church, where long-throw capability and wide horizontal dispersion were both critical factors in the sound system design
Framingham, Massachusetts – In the process of replacing the sound and broadcast video systems at the First Baptist Church in Lawton, Oklahoma, leading AV integrator and systems designer FBP Systems (a subsidiary of the Morse Group family of companies) looked to Bose® Professional Systems and its recently introduced RoomMatch® asymmetrical array module loudspeakers to solve the church’s unique audio challenges. With a large balcony that completely wraps around the sides and back of a 1,000-seat sanctuary, this church required a sound system that was able to throw sound clearly and intelligibly over a long distance, and at the same time cover a very wide area. A typical line array wouldn’t be able to fulfill all of these requirements without numerous adjacent hangs and then would still run the risk of interference between arrays. Fortunately, by installing the RoomMatch asymmetrical array module, First Baptist Church got the sound it needed in time for Christmas services.
The depth and width of the sanctuary interior posed a significant challenge when it came to coverage. Mark LaBouff, National Sales Manager, and Robert Coggins, Senior Engineer, both at FBP Systems (which has offices in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Elgin, Illinois) were aware that the RoomMatch asymmetrical speaker design had just become available in October. “The RoomMatch modules offer amazing engineering, and we knew that it would form the basis of our design response to this church’s sound system needs,” explains Coggins.
But he was also aware that in using an L-C-R three-array design, which this situation called for, the arrays closest to the building’s side walls risked becoming reflective surfaces that would splatter the sound and interfere with the intelligibility of the overall system. The Bose RoomMatch asymmetrical array modules addressed that problem by reducing side-wall reflections, which helps improve consistency of sound quality, seat-to-seat, without the need for “yaw-in” array aiming.
The system, as designed and installed, consists of a center array using one RM7020, two RM9020 and one RM12040 modules, as well as two RMS215 subwoofer modules. The left and right arrays, which use the asymmetrical array modules, are made up of RM283505, RM286010 and RM286020 modules (one apiece) on the left side, and RM352805, RM602810, and RM602820 modules (also one apiece) on the right. The entire system is powered using six Bose PowerMatch® PM8500N amplifiers and is managed using Dante™ from a Yamaha mixer to a Bose ControlSpace® ESP-00 engineered sound processor. Four ESP Link® I/O cards link to the PowerMatch amplifiers. FBP Systems also upgraded the video production suite to full HD and utilizes a Broadcast Pix Mica switcher as the heart of the system.
“The system is designed to keep energy off of the side walls yet still project it well into the seating areas on the floor and in the balcony,” LaBouff explains. “And the way we’ve configured the arrays using the RoomMatch asymmetrical array modules, we achieve that with a seamlessness that we couldn’t have gotten with any other system or product.”
Coggins notes that he talked with Bose engineers about the idea of reversing the left and right arrays in the design, and they encouraged it, which he says shows the robustness of the Bose product designs and the willingness of their engineers to help users innovate on their own. And both Coggins and LaBouff point out that the First Baptist Church installation is the first U.S. project to incorporate the new asymmetrical array modules and the first use of Bose products on a Dante network. “Bose keeps coming up with great products that let us serve our customers better,” says LaBouff. “The RoomMatch asymmetrical array modules came along just in time.”