The 1,900-capacity worship sanctuary at Glad Tidings Church in Vancouver, BC, was recently outfitted with a new sound reinfrocement system by production company and AV integrator Gearforce that utilizes new EM Acoustics HALO-C compact line arrays.
“This year Glad Tidings has a new pastor who was keen to revitalize the building and grow the congregation,” explains Rob Nevalainen, who heades up Gearforce and who’s served as Bryan Adams’ long-term monitor engineer. “One of his most important criteria was to ensure that his words could be heard clearly throughout the auditorium so that every member of the congregation could benefit from the same worship experience, regardless of where they were seated.”
Specifically, Nevalainen and co-designer Dakota Poncilius were looking for a system with a high level of predicatability and even propagation. “We looked at all of the major manufacturers, and EM Acoustics came out ahead,” says Nevalainen. “They were the only ones that matched all of the criteria, so it was an easy choice.”
The previous system was concealed behind a scrim above the stage, so for minimum disruption, the design team decided to maintain that design approach, meaning that the new system was also flown behind the scrim. Nevalainen: “We only had an aperture of six feet deep to work with, meaning that we had to use a system that allowed us to achieve sufficient vertical coverage through a small opening as well as even horizontal coverage. EM Acoustics’ HALO-C compact line array supported by EMS-129s and an S-18 subwoofer array allowed us to deliver a consistent audio experience from the near seats right to the upper balcony where previously there was no coverage at all.”
Gearforce designed a system based on a central hang of six HALO-C cabinets supplemented by a pair of EMS-129s in a column configuration per side, and a further EMS-129 per side to cover the outer sections. Low frequencies were handled by an array of six EM Acoustics S-18 compact reflex subwoofers. Six EMS-41 front fills and a further seven EMS-41 under-balcony fills complete the line-up. The system is powered and controlled entirely by EM Acoustics Advanced System Amplifiers – two DQ20s and a DQ6 – which also handle all system routing and processing.
“The sound clarity we have achieved with the new system is amazing,” states Glad Tidings sound director Bien Bernadino. “Properly tuned to the space, it delivers balanced sound throughout the spectrum. In particular, it eliminates the spikes in the high and mid-high frequencies which used to be a huge issue with our old system. It also delivers the punch on the low end without the congregation complaining that it’s too loud.
“Another major improvement is in coverage – we can now cover the sanctuary from end to end with no dead spots or uneven coverage. Coupled with the front fills and under-balcony system, we now have clear, intelligible audio throughout the room. Everybody benefits from the same audio experience at the same intensity, regardless of where they are seated. It’s made a huge difference to the worship experience.”