When First Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church in North Chicago wanted to take their sound system from analog to digital, they had plenty of brands to choose from. After extensive research and guidance from their advisor, Tim Hill, owner of Sound Hill Technologies, they chose FBT. Derrick Moore, the church’s deacon and drummer, says it all came down to the brand’s ability to provide rich sound that supports the wide variety of speakers and performers that the house of worship features weekly – from passionate speeches of a single pastor to the sounds of a full gospel choir.
Hill, who has been in the business since the 70s, has been on both sides of the microphone, holding both vocal and engineering degrees, and being a minister himself.
“I’ve directed music and productions at my own church,” said Hill. “Houses of worship need great sound for their pastors and full choirs, but there are also children’s choirs and plays and everything in between. I recommended FBT as a brand because they have a high-priced sound at a mid-range price so, dollar-for-dollar, you can’t beat their affordability. They also offer a quality of voicing that’s pretty tough to beat. This all allows me to provide my clients with an exceptional product at a competitive price.”
The church had some challenges that Hill and his team had to contend with, including the fact that the space – located on the second floor of an existing building – had a 30-foot ceiling. There was no way to get a lift up the stairs, so he used scaffolding to install the required electrical support and all of the flyware (custom-made by Hill himself) from the beams.
To maximize sound in the 1,200-seat church, Hill installed 3 powered line arrays, left, center and right side of the pulpit, each consisting of one Muse 118FSA sub and 4 Muse 210LAV cells. He also used 2 Ventis 112As for choir foldback.
Moore, who was integral to his church’s sound upgrade, also has a unique perspective on sound. As a deacon and musician, he was looking for a product that would “hit all of the angles” he was looking for. He says the end result was exactly what the church needed, when asked about the system’s ability to support an annual gospel festival they were about to hold.
“It’s great to just be able to focus on our music,” said Hill. “[FBT] is kind of ‘plug and play.’ You get the equipment in there and it just becomes a question of how loud you want to get, because the sound is already so fine-tuned. They are some heavy-duty speakers.”
Sound Hill Technologies is a full-service audio, visual, lighting, and multi-media company that services houses of worship, schools and courthouses throughout the United States and across the world. Tim Hill, known to area bishops as “doctor thump,” has installed sound systems in over 2,000 churches during his career so far, teaches at the National Baptist Convention annually, and is the owner of Sound Hill Recording, a recording studio located in Holden, Louisiana. The studio is soon to be rebranded as “On the River Recording.”