Location: Derwood, Maryland
TMS Scope: Room Acoustics, Mechanical Noise, Sound Isolation, Sound, Video, Theatrical Lighting.
Architect: SBK Partnership, LLC
Construction: Gardiner & Gardiner
Project: The project included a 900-seat auditorium, plus a Green Room that doubles as a Rehearsal Room / Studio, along with an AVL Control Room.
This was another multi-year project. Volunteer Tech Director and fellow ChurchSoundcheck member Andrew Mundy contacted me in 2005 just as they were starting the planning process for a new worship center. He knew that having us on the design team before the architects moved too far along on the building design was key to ensuring that the room acoustics and shaping were incorporated from the very beginning. That process was moving along just fine but, as so many church projects encounter, there were problems along the way with securing building permits from the county. That first round of the project was eventually scrapped, and the church moved their worship services to a local school for the next several years.
I kept in touch with Andrew and with worship pastor Tim Ripley over the years, and in 2010 we started to hear about new interest in the building project. Much had changed during that interim period, including a new pastor coming on board, a new design/build construction company, new architects, new people all around. I am so blessed that Andrew and Tim kept the faith to let me stay on as their consultant for the project.
The design phase carried on from 2010 through 2012 before they finally had all the pieces together, permits in hand and were ready to break ground. Frankly there were times when we didn't think there would be any budget at all left for the AVL systems. Seriously. It was touch and go for over a year. Thankfully Andrew and Tim were relentless on ensuring that the budget for the room acoustics stayed intact. Our thought was that even if the church ultimately had to use their existing portable AVL systems for a season, that the room had to sound good on its own. And that it does!
It brought tears to my eyes to watch God move on the church's finances in ways no one could have foreseen, and in 2013 we started to see a budget for the AVL systems start to open up.
When the AVL systems were ready to go out for bid, we started considering who we would invite to the table. One of my concerns about hiring just any sound contractor was the fact that I was using a center cluster that had to be flown based on a Point of Geometric Origin (POGO). Not to diminish the qualifications or capabilities of lots of contractors, but based on firsthand experience, there are only a small handful of contractors in the country who actually understand how to hang a POGO cluster, why the precision matters, and can communicate that to their install crew. My client shouldn't have to worry about such things; it's my responsibility to make sure that the system gets installed according to my design intent. So having the right contractor to work with is crucial to the outcome.
There was only one choice to make it right, so we turned to my friend Blair McNair, Operations Manager for SAV located in Plano, Texas. It was Blair who originally taught me how to design and oversee the installation of a POGO cluster. In fact, he and I are one of the few people in the country who own a Crown POGO Laser that provides a precision way to hang the speakers correctly. It didn't take more than a few minutes of conversation with Andrew to decide to invite SAV to take on the project.
The installation went relatively smoothly. The LCR louspeaker system includes a cross-matrixed delay ring, three front-fill speakers and two huge subwoofers built into a custom solid bunker embedded into the front edge of the platform. Special thanks to Sean Shallenberger with Bosch who worked a minor miracle to make nine EV loudspeakers show up on schedule when some said it couldn't happen.
Their first service took place on September 15, 2013.
Worship Center Equipment
• Main Loudspeakers: Electro-Voice, Danley & Renkus-Heinz
• Subwoofers: Danley
• Floor Monitors: Owner's Existing JBL's
• DSP: BSS London
• Console: Allen & Heath GLD-80
• Power Amps: LAB.gruppen & Crown
• Video Equipment: Owner Furnished Video Gear for initial services
• Lighting: ETC dimming, control & fixtures
It took seven years to see this project come to life, so lighting up the sound system for the first time was music to our ears. And now they have a system that can deliver on the quality of music that Tim Ripley and his worship team offers up every week.