Sound in the Glass Thorncrown Chapel, Part 2

Thorncrown Chapel is a huge glass building out in the Arkansas Ozarks and they haven’t had very good luck with their sound reinforcement. That all changed when they called in FBP Systems with a Bos 2/20/2014 5:51 AM Eastern

Sound in the Glass Thorncrown Chapel, Part 2

Feb 20, 2014 10:51 AM, With Bennett Liles | Posted by Jessaca Gutierrez

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Editor’s note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.

Thorncrown Chapel is a huge glass building out in the Arkansas Ozarks and they haven’t had very good luck with their sound reinforcement. That all changed when they called in FBP Systems with a Bose Panaray MA12EX system. Robert Coggins and Mark LaBouff are back to finish telling us about how it all worked out. That’s coming right up on the SVC Podcast.

Robert Coggins and Mark LaBouff from FBP Systems and the Thorncrown Chapel, an amazing place that’s almost all glass. You put in a Bose Panaray system for a solution to their sound problems. I know they had had problems in there. How long did this job take? Did you have to take out the previous sound system to get started on this one?

Robert: Yes we did. We had to take out the old system and also alter the insides of those enclosures to accommodate the MA’s. And I’d say that was probably – the first day was probably the tear out and it took two more days to install it, making sure that we did not alter that – the exterior of that architectural feature. [Timestamp: 1:30]

I know people are impressed when they first see this place, but now I figure they can also be impressed with the sound once they turn the system on. The reverberant nature of the chapel isn’t the only problem. Where are the speaker modules located in relation to the pulpit mics?

Robert: They are right behind the pulpit mic.

Okay, well if you’re going to make it difficult you might as well go all the way.

Robert: Exactly. And that really was probably the thing that really blew us away and the customer away, was the fact that he could get under that microphone and it would go all the way back to the back of the church and there was no feedback; not even a hint of feedback. [Timestamp: 2:09]

Did the solution require some substantial EQ that sort of thins out the response of the system pretty much?

Robert: No. Actually it didn’t require that much. There were a few bands that we had to address, but it was only because they had to be placed inside, you know, right up to those enclosures. And there was a little bit of resonance that I needed to address, but other than that, no, and it did not sound artificial. It didn’t sound like it was scooped out. It was very – it was natural. Very natural. [Timestamp: 2:38]

Sound in the Glass Thorncrown Chapel, Part 2

Feb 20, 2014 10:51 AM, With Bennett Liles | Posted by Jessaca Gutierrez

And what’s the sort of control philosophy in Thorncrown Chapel? Do they want to have a live operator? I think they have a little bit of live music in there. Or do they want to just put everything in a closet and have it all be automatic?

Robert: They do adjust it a little bit, but there aren’t that many permutations, so it really – they can get back there and adjust it quickly because it’s just right around the corner from the pulpit. But for the most part they kind of set it and forget it. Once it’s dialed in, it’s there, but if they need to plug something in they can. It’s fairly small as far as how many channels they’ve got, but they really don’t have the great need. It’s just mainly the challenge of location and acoustics. [Timestamp: 3:20]

Just a few simple things but just to be sure that those work. I think those amplifiers, let’s see, those are the Bose PowerMatch PM8500N amps.

Robert: Yes. Yes.

And they have onboard DSP?

Robert: Yes. I was able to use and do everything that I needed to do with the DSP that’s onboard the 8500N. And we experienced that on other installs that we’ve used that amplifier on. It’s fantastic. [Timestamp: 3:46]

And those have some remote control capability. Isn’t there an option for that?

Robert: Well, it is an option. In fact there’s the option to network that amplifier with other amplifiers and see that in your control space software. And then you can also add a card to link all those with the PM link and jump those amplifiers with an optical cable. At first I was a little reluctant because we were using optical cables, but it’s fantastic and I’ve used it ever since on every single install that we do, and we use the 8500’s. Typically we use 8500N’s with that link. [Timestamp: 4:28]

And technology marches on. There’s no telling what may be added later. And I think there’s an input expansion slot on there just in case they come up with something new for a source.

Robert: Well, yes you do and on the DSP side of it, using the Bose DSP, we just recently completed a project where we used a Dante input card and we were able to interface via the Dante network to the DSP unit. [Timestamp: 4:58]

Seeing a lot of that now and more to come, I’m sure. We talked a little about this in part one but what are they doing with this system? What kind of services have they got going on in Thorncrown Chapel? I believe you said they have a little bit of music involved.

Robert: It’s a traditional service; not really high impact. However, it does – they do have playback tracks and they have a piano and acoustic guitar. So it does need to provide musicality and speech. [Timestamp: 5:26]

Okay. Well, nothing like upping the degree of difficulty in that acoustic environment. But you guys got in there and how did things go when you rang it all out and tested it?

Robert: It was really good. The front to back was remarkable. In the immediate area around the pulpit, because of those enclosures, there was a little resonance. It was a little bit of a 500 thing that I didn’t really have to adjust too much, but just enough to – I was hearing it and we could see it a little bit, and just took that out and for the most part the rest of it was just – it was easy. It really didn’t require that much. [Timestamp: 6:02]

And in the show notes we’ll have some links to some very impressive pictures from just about every angle on their website. So you’ve got this one done now. What’s coming up next for FBP Systems?

Robert: We’re really excited. We just added a new office in Elgin, Illinois, so now we have three offices. And we’ve also got – we’ve got some church projects, we’ve got some training facility projects, we’ve got casinos, just a lot of things going on right now. We’re really excited about that new office that we just put in Illinois. [Timestamp: 6:35]

Keeping busy with more projects. Robert Coggins and Mark LaBouff. Mark was hiding in the background there. So we’re glad to have you on the SVC Podcast with the amazing Thorncrown Chapel. Thanks for being here.

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