Danley Crosses The Bridge
Feb 2, 2006 8:00 AM
Danley Sound Labs SH-50 three-range loudspeakers and TH-115 subwoofers handle the "portable" church audio for the contemporary worship services of The Bridge, located in Duluth, Ga.
Across the United States, there are a growing number of "portable" churches—houses of worship that hold services in rented facilities such as schools and community centers. Each week, the church staff and volunteers gather before the service to erect their temporary worship space, and then, when the worship is finished, they pack up.
"There is an enormous number of churches that are doing this. They are setting up and tearing down every week using an auditorium or a gymnasium," observes Mike Hedden, president of Gainesville, Ga.-based systems integrator dB Audio and Video and partner in loudspeaker manufacturer Danley Sound Labs. "Usually the bar is pretty low in terms of quality of audio, because they figure that since they are portable, there is only so much they can do."
Maintaining a portable church not only requires a considerable amount of dedication and coordination, but it also demands that the audiovisual systems used in these applications are relatively easy to set up and tear down. When The Bridge, a Duluth, Ga.-based portable church that seats approximately 400 and operates out of a local high school, sought an audio system, this was a primary concern. The church called upon dB Audio and Video to come up with a solution. "It couldn't take forever to set up, because time is of the essence," Hedden notes. "They wanted ease of setup."
Audio is an important focus for The Bridge, which features a worship style that Hedden describes as very contemporary. "It's rhythm-section driven. They are very creative with the way that they incorporate video," he notes. "The entire backdrop of the stage is a giant video display. The audio and the video—everything about this church—is about being excellent in the presentation." The teaching pastor is Chip Ingram, who is renowned in the Christian community for his syndicated radio show, "Living on the Edge," a broadcast ministry of "Walk Thru the Bible."
The church's main audio engineer, Scott Clark, had searched long and hard for the right loudspeakers. "We had used Mackie, Community, Renkus-Heinz, and Apogee with varying degrees of success, always finding ourselves fighting to get a good mix, but instead getting consistent complaints," he says.
dB Audio and Video provided The Bridge with a pair of SH-50 three-range loudspeakers by Danley Sound Labs, in addition to two of the manufacturer's TH-115 subwoofers. The SH-50 combines two patent-pending Danley technologies—the tapped horn and the synergy horn—which are designed to offer excellent low-frequency pattern control, seamless arrayability, and low-frequency extension. The TH-115 has been touted as being lightweight and compact, ideal for situations where setup and teardown occur within hours of one another. "I can't emphasize enough that there is nothing on the planet that will deliver better overall performance in a small package," Hedden states.
Clark remembers the first time the Danley system was put to the test. "We simply set them up with no equalization and got rave reviews. In fact we have been using the Danley product for several months, and after all this time I still get compliments regarding the audio system. Folks remark about how it doesn't feel loud, but rather sounds full. When the preaching starts you can understand Chip so easily."
The Danley product is ready to go in a matter of minutes, Hedden notes. "We have a four-way design that can be set up in minutes, because there are two cables involved," he explains. "With many products, you need to run, two, three, and sometimes four cables to each loudspeaker. Then you need to set it up with EQ and DSP, which takes time. With this, you can walk in, and all you need to do is set the boxes down, plug them in, and you're ready to go. There is no dialing in needed."
Remarkably, The Bridge has been praised for delivering higher quality audio than many of the other churches in the area, Hedden claims. "It's easy to set up, and the quality of sound is unparalleled. There are several large fellowships in Atlanta that are very well known. We have been told by a number of people that have attended the various fellowships that what The Bridge is doing is by far the best of the group," he says. "Here is a church that is portable, that has a quality of product that is surpassing most of the fellowships in Atlanta that have got 3,000-seat rooms and giant budgets. It's really pretty significant."