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Case Study: Golden Gate Cathedral, Tennessee

Unbalanced sound in a highly reverberant space motivated Golden Gate Cathedral to seek specialist advice to solve the problem. The church turned to integration specialist MC2Solutions, to control the large space and support a charismatic pastor.

Golden Gate Cathedral is a church located in Memphis, Tenn. With a membership of over 2000, the church’s main sanctuary has a seating capacity of 1,350. The church’s pastor, Bishop Edward H. Stephens, is described as a passionate and expressive preacher, so a sound system with a natural balanced sound and outstanding intelligibility is an essential element in delivering his sermons.

“The sound system is used for a wide range of services and productions, so it’s required to provide very high quality speech and full-range music, with the crucial focus being on frequency balance and intelligibility,” explains Carl Woodard II, owner and designer of MC2Solutions. “To avoid reflections, we designed the system using wide dispersion line arrays to ensure even coverage of the congregation.” The centerpiece is the IV6 modular vertical array system from Community Professional (now a Biamp company). IV6 is a cost-effective passive system. “Its multiple configuration and splay options gave me the tools to design a system with excellent SPL and frequency response consistency and seamless coverage,” Woodward says.

The system consists of left and right arrays, each comprising six IV6-1122 wide-dispersion 12-inch two-way array elements, with a pair of IV6-118S 18-inch subwoofers extending the low frequency and adding impressive bass impact. A further combination of Community I SERIES IP6-1122 12-inch two-way point-source, IC6- 2082 dual 8-inch compact loudspeakers, and IS6-218 dual 18-inch subwoofers provide additional fill and rear stage seating coverage.

Controlled by an Allen & Heath D-Live digital mixer, the system uses Lab.Gruppen amplification and Lake processing. AKG and Sennheiser wired microphones and Shure wireless were chosen to ensure vocal quality with the flexibility required by the church.

“It’s a dramatic improvement for the congregation,” Woodward says. “Members can now focus on the content of sermons and productions and the church is very satisfied with the sound quality we have achieved.”

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