FELLOWSHIP CHURCH’S SOUND DECISION: FBT LOUDSPEAKERS
By Jason March
Fellowship Church runs a contemporary worship in a church that seats between 200-250 on Sunday, in an auditorium with a seating capacity of 300. We have a unique shape to our auditorium space, with a tall, central section that is vaulted 35’ high, and two smaller wings on either side with ceilings only 8’ high. Because of this design, our main sanctuary space is very open, with huge rectangular walls that are highly reverberant, combined with smaller, tighter areas that our sound system also needed to reach. Our main center area was really trapping our sound and bouncing it around the room, but the smaller wings with the lower ceilings weren’t really getting sound all that well – and what they did get was delayed, which only added to the confusion.
Our facility was built in the early 90s, so not only was our system over 20 years old, it wasn’t working for our space. In our side rooms, we had two speakers dropped from the already low ceiling and hanging literally just above our congregants’ heads. Half the time, when our pastor was speaking, he couldn’t be heard over the system and the rest of the time, when the worship band was playing, the speakers were too loud and blasted everyone sitting nearby. In the main sanctuary, a third speaker hung just above the pulpit in the main sanctuary, but the horn was blown. Not only did this contribute to the muddy sound, but the audio would bounce around the vaulted ceiling and wasn’t consistent at all – in some areas, it was like sitting in an echo chamber.
We knew we needed to fix our audio, so we contacted Jim Martin at Texas Systems Integration to configure the perfect solution for our facility. We didn’t have a lot of money to spend on speakers, and Jim knew that. He was able to recommend FBT speakers to us based not only on the price of the speakers, but also the quality of the sound from the speakers as well. Our new sound system consists of a single-hang Mitus 206LA line array in the center of the sanctuary and two Vertus CLA 604a columns in both of the side rooms. With the Mitus line array, Jim was able to angle the modules within the array to different areas of the sanctuary and use the built-in DSP to enable the sound to reach each different area of the room at the same time, without echoing or bouncing off the ceiling or walls. The two Vertus CLA 604a columns are also positioned properly on the walls in the side rooms, and zoned via DSP, to create a seamless, clear sound for all our congregants, regardless of where they are sitting.
Of course, making the switch from old, outdated speakers to brand new meant we had to completely change out our wiring, but it was well worth the effort for the quality of the sound we now have. After Jim and his team installed and balanced the system for us, we were good to go immediately. When we first made the change, the difference in the sound quality at our church was amazing – people were just blown away by the clarity of the sound. The fact that they could hear the message without straining their ears, or hear the worship team without being blown away by the loud sound, was a novelty.
Now that we’ve had the system for almost a year, no one even talks about the quality of the audio anymore, which is exactly what we wanted. We’ve gone from people complaining about what they were hearing to no complaints at all, and that silence for us is golden. I would not only highly recommend the FBT speakers to any HoW experiencing sound system issues, but also recommend Jim and the team at TSI as well – we wouldn’t have been able to put together our new top notch sound system without them.