Living Water Bible Fellowship in Alamosa, Colorado had a pair of related problems that frustrated the staff’s ability to deliver a transparent, distraction-free service. First, the pastor could not get his microphone nearly loud enough before feedback threatened to overtake his voice, with predictable wincing among the assembled congregants. Second, even when feedback wasn’t a problem, lack of intelligibility and impact made it difficult for congregants to fully lose themselves in the music or the moment. Local AV integration firm Lambda Audio Visual, of Monument, Colorado, designed and installed a new Danley Sound Labs sound reinforcement system that did away with both issues via incredible pattern control and phase-coherent, point-source fidelity.
“Living Water Bible Fellowship contacted us looking for some ideas to help improve the sound system in their main worship room,” explained Ryan Durbin, owner of Lambda Audio Video. “We visited to check out their system and immediately noticed the unique shape and orientation of the room. It’s a rectangle with a peaked ceiling, with the stage set up on a long wall. There are balconies on both sides that look down on the stage from above. The space fits about 150 people. The orientation and loudspeaker placement created a ‘boomy’ reverberant sound in the main worship area. They were having a lot of difficulties producing defined sounds. Moreover, the room shape and a soffit area above the stage left no obvious place to put a loudspeaker for general coverage.”
Durbin worked with his CAD designer to model the best options given the unique circumstances. “We started looking for the right solutions with Danley, our favorite speaker manufacturer,” Durbin said. “Danley excels in pattern control across all of their designs, but the Danley SBH20LF column-form loudspeaker is especially appropriate for a situation like the one at Living Water. It has a thin profile and covers an area of 120 degrees horizontal by 20 degrees vertical. This allowed us to use a completely different location for speaker placement. Instead of going above the stage, we used the left and right sides of the stage. They cover the entire main level and nothing else.” As proof-of-concept, the Lambda AV team brought a Danley SBH20LF to Living Water and demonstrated its musicality, intelligibility, and vastly better gain-before-feedback. Lambda AV completed the installation with a pair of Danley THmini subwoofers with plenty of oomph for a room that size, along with a (slightly) delayed Danley SM100 loudspeaker on each side of the room to cover the balcony.
“Living Water was concerned about the look of the speakers to the room,” Durbin said. “We wanted the new system to visually fade away. We wanted it to be noticed by the quality of its sound, not by the distraction of the aesthetics. So, we got the room’s paint code and did a custom order with Danley. This is an especially neat service! Danley can do any custom paint color from Sherwin Williams so all the speakers will match the color of the room or its accents. They look amazing by not ‘looking’ much at all!” A new PreSonus 24SX 32-channel console with a PreSonus 24r rack mixer and a handful of acoustic panels against the back wall completed the installation.
“We have had many good comments on the system, from ‘no reverb in the corners like we had before,’ to ‘I can hear the guitar on the opposite side of the room for the first time,’ to ‘the sound from the stage is now more like a conversation than being talked down to,’” said Dale Myers at Living Water Bible Fellowship.