Myriad terms have been used to describe live audio systems, but rarely has anyone chosen the word “inspiring.” But that is exactly the word that JP Dutton, Worship Director for the Valley Bible Fellowship used to describe the VUE Audiotechnik system recently installed in the house of worship’s main sanctuary.
The church recently turned to H.A.S. Productions to install a new system based around the VUE al-Class and moved its full-scale Pennsylvania-based competitor’s rig that had been in the room into a separate youth room. “This new system is so clear and present that it has changed everything for the worship team,” Dutton explains. “There has not been a single service where I have not been stopped by members of the congregation and told not only how great it sounds, but how clearly they could hear each individual instrument. I was so inspired to sound as good as possible that I even went out and bought a new guitar.”
The VUE rig is doing an audio miracle in a room that is not audio friendly. The building that Valley Bible Fellowship occupies was not designed as a worship space, unless the devotion is focused on footwear. Before the congregation moved in, the building was home to the largest shoe store in the Las Vegas Valley. While some acoustic treatment has been done on the sidewalls, it is more like audio first-aid than starting with a space optimized for amplified sound.
The system itself is a novel approach that was designed by VUE’s Mike Adams and deployed at Valley Bible Fellowship for the first time. It combines a pair of al-4SB Ultra Compact Flyable Subwoofer boxes hung in an end-fire configuration above each of the 8-box hangs of VUE al-4 Subcompact Line Array Systems. These are supported by three powered, high performance hs-28 subs installed below the stage.
“The al-4 boxes are a lot bigger sounding than their size would imply,” said H.A.S.’s Jay Easley. “But when coupling them directly with the hs-28 subs, in some cases, it can feel like the middle is less present. The al-4SB boxes flown above the arrays really help fill that out. This system is about one-third the size of the one it replaced and provides all the impact they need, along with much more clarity.”
For Dutton it is about a full sound at a much lower volume. “The old system was made to sound best at about 110dB. So we were dealing with constant complaints about the volume. With the VUE system we get a sound that is really full and present but at a lot lower volume.”
Dutton reports that it is not just him and the worship team that have noticed the difference. Valley Bible Fellowship hosts regular concert performances by some of the biggest names in the Contemporary Christian music space including Audio Adrenaline, Phil Wickham and Trip Lee. “We have had performers come to us after their show raving about how great the room sounds and how much better it is now with the VUE system installed.”
While music is a crucial part of services at Valley Bible Fellowship, like most houses of worship, the most pressing audio need is for complete clarity and comprehension of the Message, which is mostly passed along through spoken word. The VUE system also shines in that capacity.
“We have had requests for things we were never able to do before since we had the VUE system put in,” reports Dutton. “Last Sunday, we had a speaker delivering a message and he asked if I could just play in the background behind him to kind of fill things out. We never could have done that with our old system. The music would have made the words impossible to understand for many people in the room. But with this new VUE system, it was not a problem. I played and he spoke and everything was crystal clear.
“My mom always told me, ‘The proof is in the pudding,'” Dutton continues. “We knew from the first demo that that this was a system that sounded great right out of the box and for a volunteer-bested house of worship like ours, that is really important. We have now been using the system for a few months and are very happy with everything about the new VUE system and the service from H.A.S. Productions.”
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