From 1 to 5,000- Shoreline Christian Center’s new audio system makes for spirited worship.
Founded in 1987, the tiny congregation of Shoreline Christian Center (originally known as Christian Faith Center) initially conducted worship in the Austin home of founders Reverend Robert Koke and his wife, Laura. At the time of its formation, the church boasted one member.
Late in 1987, however, the congregation began to grow. The church moved to a waiting room in a nearby doctor’s office, and then once again to a meeting room at a local Holiday Inn. By then, membership was up to 30. The following year, worship was held in a Presbyterian church equipped with 250 seats; by the early nineties, the congregation had increased to 500 members.
The church’s growth justified the need for its own home. In 1993, a lease was drawn up for a 35,000 square foot storefront. At this location, membership grew to include 2,000 worshippers.
Three years later, Christian Faith Center purchased 47 acres of land at 1325 Shoreline Drive, sparking the name change. Four thousand people attended the first service at the Shoreline Christian Center on May 3, 1998. Today, the facility has been expanded to seat 5,000 worshippers who take part in upbeat services that have been classified as a cross between high-energy worship and rock ‘n’ roll.
Dallas-based acoustical consultancy and A/V design firm Acoustic Dimensions specified a new audio system for Shoreline’s impressive sanctuary. Shoreline is in the process of installing wall treatments to reduce echoes within the space.
“They had a modest sound system installed previously,” recalled Robert Rose, senior consultant at Acoustic Dimensions. Shoreline’s contemporary worship, which includes a praise band and choir, in combination with the church’s practice of inviting touring acts in to perform, dictated the need for a more powerful system.
“We redesigned the loudspeaker systems, which included loudspeakers, amplification, and signal processing,” Rose explained. Acoustic Dimensions also supplied acoustical recommendations, which have not been implemented as of yet.
Shoreline’s sanctuary, which is configured in a wide fan-shape, presented a significant design challenge: “The wider the room, the more difficult it is to implement a multi-channel system that provides imaging throughout most of the room,” Rose explained.
To address this issue, Acoustic Dimensions specified an EAW loudspeaker system flown in a left-center-right (LCR) configuration. The center cluster, which handles speech, is comprised of three MQ3464d 2-way, biamped mid/high long throw speakers, two MQV2364e and two MQV1394e full-range three-way loudspeakers, an MQ1394 long-throw speaker and three MQTD415 dipolar array low frequency loudspeakers. The left and right clusters, designed for music, each hold two EAW KF760 and four KF761 three-way, full range loudspeakers, and one MQM1394e.
For side fills, Acoustic Dimensions specified one pair of EAW MQM1364e’s, and two pairs of EAW MQH1344e full-range, three-way loudspeakers. The delay ring is made up of 14 EAW MK2294 two-way, full range loudspeakers, and six Bag End D18AD dual 18-inch subwoofers. Eleven EAW SL-52’s are used as front fills.
EAW MQ1394’s are positioned above the three main entrances to the sanctuary. During productions, these speakers can be used for special effects and voice reinforcement.
ASC Companies, a systems integration firm based in Dallas, installed the new system. For this team, rigging proved to be the ultimate challenge. “One of the factors was that we were integrating into an existing building,” said Dan Waltens, project manager at ASC. “Although they had tried to lay a bit of groundwork during the initial construction of the building, you can never fully think of how big or how much you are going to do later. When the catwalk area is 70 feet, 80 feet or 100 feet off of the main floor, it’s difficult to run conduit and wire to the speaker cabinets.”
Frank Kline, ASC’s senior systems designer, pointed to the exacting task of positioning each loudspeaker. “With line arrays, you must get the angles right or there will be gaps in the coverage pattern,” he explained. “At Shoreline, we didn’t have the ability to go back and move a speaker here or there in order to get proper coverage. This portion of the installation was a bit trickier, because the center cluster was not a line array, but the left and right clusters were. It’s not something that is normally done, and we had to pull a few neat tricks in order to get it to work the way it should.”
The loudspeaker system is driven by a combination of products by QSC Audio, including PowerLight Series and CX Series amplifiers.
“The wrap of the room was really the most difficult factor to deal with; because it is so wide and has a fairly low ceiling, it meant that the loudspeakers had to have a lot of punch,” Rose said. “The placement of the speakers is fairly low.”
David Cherry, Shoreline’s director of technical ministries, expressed the church’s satisfaction with the new set-up. “Hiring Acoustic Dimensions was a good decision,” he said. “The transition from the old system to this new system was seamless.”
Rose noted that line array loudspeaker technology helps to achieve the demands of churches like Shoreline Christian Center, which require hard-driving systems to cover a vast amount of space.
Shoreline’s website is http://www.shorelineonline.com