With a congregation that had outgrown the 175-seat sanctuary that had served as its home for the past 60-plus years, the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Monroe, Louisiana had to choose between holding multiple services every weekend or building a new sanctuary. Philosophically opposed to holding multiple services as this would sever many of the community connections that come with a single service, overflow services the Fellowship Hall served as a stopgap while a 400-seat sanctuary was constructed

Covenant Presbyterian Church When completed, the new sanctuary’s generous reverb created another potential problem: intelligibility. The A/V integration division of Matt’s Music, also of Monroe, solved that potential problem by using Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers, which offer pristine fidelity and pattern control octaves lower than conventional loudspeaker and line array designs.

‘Covenant wanted a cathedral-type space with a lot of ambience that would match the aesthetics of its older, smaller sanctuary,’ explains Tony Cortellini, manager of the contracting division at Matt’s Music. ‘There was going to be a lot of stone, brick, and wood, which was going to look amazing. However, I was concerned that the space was going to be too reverberant. The church opted not to bring in an acoustical engineer and they declined my suggestions for acoustical treatments in favor of the visual aesthetic. In the end, we agreed to do the best we could without any adjustments to the acoustics, and we could revisit the issue if the best wasn’t good enough.

‘The obvious best-case scenario would be to use a high-quality loudspeaker and to keep all of the direct energy on the seats and off of the walls. I’ve been a fan of Danley ever since I first heard a demo years ago. Danley’s clarity is so excellent, and Danley’s point-source pattern control would manage the direct energy correctly.’

To offer proof-of-concept, Cortellini sought the assistance of Kim Comeaux of Anderson Marketing, the area Danley representative. Together, they modelled the new sanctuary and optimised the placement and selection of the Danley loudspeakers. Cortellini’s solution is straightforward: three of Danley’s SM60F integrated loudspeaker/subwoofer form a left-centre-right array across the front of the new sanctuary’s stage. A single Danley SH mini loudspeaker on a delay covers the balcony. A QSC CXD-series amplifier with DSP powers the system, with input from a Yamaha TF-series console at FOH.

‘Aesthetics was a big consideration, and the small footprint of the Danley SM60Fs and mini fit right in,’ Cortellini says. ‘You can tell there are loudspeakers up there, but they aren’t obtrusive. The church officials went so far as to say they look good.’

As intended, the system conveys clear spoken word without detracting from the ambience of the room. ‘Everyone I’ve spoken with at Covenant Presbyterian Church is very pleased,’ Cortellini reports. ‘And I have to agree. It sounds really good.’

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