Updating the Worship Center: Overview

Last year, we started talking about refreshing the look and feel of the worship center at Northshore Baptist Church. We had blonde maple paneling covering the side stage walls, purple throughout the room, and a tired blonde maple slatting across the front face of the stage. The worship center had a very 90’s look to it.

Since we were budgeted to replace carpet, paint, and chairs – all of which were 12 years old, and starting to show their respective ages – we wanted to take advantage of the time and do some needed updates in the room. We proposed redoing the acoustical treatment, which was all homemade rockwool panels, covering most of the wall surface of the room; bumping the stage out to replace the removable thrust; removing the wood paneling; and extending the black vinyl flooring on the main stage out to the wings. All of these projects were approved.

At the same time, I’m working on a couple of complementary audio projects in the room.

When our current PA was installed, the program material was more traditional – choir, orchestra, limited band. The mains and subs would handle that material at a moderate volume fairly well. However, our subs are floundering with our current indie rock material and higher volume. Also, with the subs installed under the stage flanking the thrust, we get substantial power alleys. So I’m working with an integrator to design a flown cardiod sub system, hopefully extending our low end in both power and frequency, while evening out the coverage in the room.

With the removal of the thrust, which is where all teaching occurred, we’re needing to implement a wireless front line, so we can move it as we transition between music and teaching. I’m taking advantage of this timing to move from our current Aviom v2 personal mixing system to a newer Allen & Heath ME-1 system. By driving the ME-1 with Dante, I’ll free up 16 auxes on our console, giving us the ability to mix 4 stereo wireless IEMs, plus additional FX mixes. Beefing up our Dante network to drive the personal mixers will also enable us to implement virtual soundcheck, as well as improve our live multitracking ability, which is currently limited to an aging Alesis HD24. We’ll also be adding distributed wireless antennas to minimize the antenna farm.