When Michael Garrison Associates (MGA) was contracted to upgrade the existing loudspeaker system for Abundant Church’s 3,600-seat main auditorium at its East Campus (AC-East) in El Paso, Texas, President/Owner Michael Garrison and his team once again turned to Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW®) and its ADAPTive PA system.
MGA and Abundant Church have a long working history, as they partnered together back in 2004-07 to design and install the original loudspeaker system for the then new AC-East facility. Ten years later, MGA was on the team to develop plans for a new “satellite” campus on the west side of El Paso, featuring an 1,800-seat main auditorium. The Abundant Church leadership wanted to “raise the bar” for this project, so MGA presented an option to employ EAW’s ADAPTive technology in a true “left, center, right” system, where each of the three arrays individually cover the entire fan-shaped seating area.
“The unique ability of ADAPTive to be hung straight to smoothly cover wide seating areas, plus its stellar sonic performance made it a no brainer for the church to choose this product,” says Garrison. The final design for the West Campus (AC-West) consisted of 26 Anna main modules and 8 Otto subwoofers; it was commissioned in May 2017.
“I am impressed with this system’s imagery and coverage throughout the room – it’s beyond anything I’ve heard in a live setting,” says John Buntyn, Abundant Church’s Audio Director. “The systems’ ability to respond to minute adjustments makes it a joy to mix on. I appreciate that the mix from front of house translates throughout the room for the congregation’s listening experience.”
After hearing the outstanding sonic and spatial performance of AC-West’s Anna/Otto system, Abundant Church asked MGA to design a replacement EAW ADAPTive system for its 14-year-old AC-East system. This larger room required the coverage and “horsepower” provided by EAW’s ADAPTive flagship box, Anya, accompanied by its Otto subwoofers.
“The ideal lateral location and elevation for the outside Anya arrays (left and right) would interfere with the existing video projector paths to the projection screens,” says Garrison. “We designed an ‘Initial Installation’ with the left and right arrays four feet closer to the room’s centerline and all three main arrays one foot higher than they will be in the ‘Future Installation,’ once the projection screens are replaced with LED video panels.”
This design consists of a total of 29 Anya loudspeakers and eight Otto subwoofers. The center main array included nine Anya’s and the eight Otto subs, with 10 Anya’s used for the left and right main arrays, respectively. This system was installed in February 2021.
MGA worked with the project structural engineer to accommodate an easy, safe transition to the future deployment. “The unique steerability afforded by the ADAPTive technology is substantially responsible for making it feasible to nicely manage coverage to the seating area for the initial loudspeaker locations,” adds Garrison. “Spatial imaging and sonic quality are great but will be even better when the loudspeakers get moved to their intended ‘future’ placement.”
EAW’s Anya is a complete, self-contained, high-power sound reinforcement system that adapts all performance parameters electronically, allowing it to be used in virtually any application. Columns of Anya modules hang straight, without any vertical splay, and Resolution 2 software adapts total system performance to produce asymmetrical output that delivers coherent, full-frequency range response across the entire coverage area as defined by the user. It is extremely powerful and immensely scalable, making it suitable for anything from small venues to the largest stadiums.
“MGA is also working with Abundant Church on a Downtown El Paso Theater Renovation project that is currently in the works,” adds Garrison. “MGA will be utilizing EAW’s AC6 steerable column speakers – the newest member of the ADAPTive product line.”
“We have a great working relationship with MGA and are very pleased with EAW’s technology, products and support services across the different venues where we have their products installed,” says Stephen Webb, Abundant Church’s Production Director. “When we started talking about the downtown theater project, we knew we wanted EAW ADAPTive. With MGA’s guidance we decided on EAW’s new AC6 speakers with Otto subs, as that would be the best fit for this smaller room.”
For over four decades, MGA has partnered with faith-based organizations to create exciting, functional and cost-effective facilities. MGA’s scope of work includes consultation, design, integration, training and support services related to auditorium technical systems, including audio, video, lighting, stage, rigging and acoustics.