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All-Purpose Auditorium at Bayside Chapel Uses Danley Sound Labs

From an acoustical standpoint, Bayside Chapel’s new worship center would prove to be a challenging environment. The multipurpose "gymnatorium" accommodated several groups throughout the week in addition to the Sunday worshippers

All-Purpose Auditorium at Bayside Chapel Uses Danley Sound Labs

Aug 3, 2006 8:00 AM

In 2000, when Bayside Chapel in Barnegat, N.J., was making plans for a new church building, Bayside’s technical director Bob Seibel put in a call to consultant Tom Young of Electroacoustic Design Services in Oxford, Conn. Six years later, the church completed the long journey of fundraising, breaking ground, and construction by installing a new sound system featuring Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers. The sound system went live in June 2006.

“When we first met, Bayside Chapel was renting a local high school auditorium, but were in the initial planning stages for their own church,” says Young. “Around the time, I had listened to several new loudspeakers designed by Tom Danley and was impressed with the pattern control, the phase response, and their very natural sound quality. I’ve kept tabs on his designs ever since.” Several years ago, Young was given the opportunity to design and commission his first church project using Danley’s loudspeakers, further cementing his impressions of the innovative designs.

Bayside Chapel is an independent, non-denominational Bible teaching church whose primary need for sound reinforcement was for the Sunday morning praise and worship service. The programs consisted of spoken word as well as a band playing live, contemporary Christian music onstage. From an acoustical standpoint, the new worship center would prove to be a challenging environment. The multipurpose “gymnatorium” accommodated several groups throughout the week in addition to the Sunday worshippers. “The room itself is used for worship on the weekend, but it is also used for basketball games, as well as other athletic and non-athletic events on weekdays,” says Young. “The peripheral classrooms are used for Bible study and other meeting purposes.”

The worship center/multipurpose room measures 100’x70’x30’. The reverberant steel-framed structure features highly reflective cinder block wall, which Young identified during the design phase as in need of acoustic treatment. Although these treatments were postponed due to construction budget restraints, Young was able to provide the church with specially designed carpeting that could withstand the wear-and-tear of sports games. And he also reviewed a selection of portable seating for its acoustic properties. The stage area and future baptismal are located in a recessed area on the long wall. For worship services, an 8ft. deep platform extension is added to the front of the stage. The 850-member congregation sits on the portable chairs for worship service in a fan shape surrounding the stage. During the design phase of the building, Young was also involved in reviewing the design of the air-handling systems in an effort to reduce audible noise.

Young’s electroacoustic design is based on a mono system split into three clusters flown over the stage. He added: “This ‘exploded’ configuration was chosen to minimize lobing that occurs with any loudspeaker product when you group so many boxes into a single, more tightly packed cluster. The specific Danley loudspeakers were selected and positioned to provide sound coverage to the floor without projecting onto and reflecting off the cinder block walls.”

The cluster hung at center stage features two Danley Sound Labs SH-50 full-range loudspeakers with 50×50 Synergy Horn configurations and 2×2 installation hardware. The SH-50 is suitable for applications with high SPL and low distortion sound reproduction such as Bayside Chapel. The outer two clusters feature one SH-50 in each, coupled with one Danley TH-112 tapped-horn subwoofer mounted above. The TH-112’s compact design allowed for the subs to be flown rather than stacked, thus saving precious floor space and eliminating the need to build soffits in order to hide them under or near the stage. Mounted underneath each of the three clusters is one Danley SH-50DF full-range downfill loudspeaker with 100×50 Synergy Horn configuration and 2×2 installation hardware.

The rigging system was fabricated and supplied by Mike Akrep at Polar Focus, who was also hired to conduct the actual cluster rigging on site. Loudspeaker system signal processing is handled by a Biamp AudiaFlex processing platform. To ensure against any power surges or spikes, the sound system uses a SurgeX sequential power and surge protection system.

After the system was hung and confirmed in early June, Young returned to the church to tune the system. He then visited in mid-June to further fine tune the listening experience, train the sound crew, conduct sound checks, and attend the first service held in Bayside’s new worship center. He recounted: “The opening service at Bayside Chapel went flawlessly. I received a large number of very positive reviews following this service. Many said it was the best church sound they have ever heard. In addition, the band and sound crew are continually raving about their new system.”

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