Calvary Temple Winnipeg
Calvary Temple presents a variety of services each week, ranging from traditional services with classical music, to more modern, contemporary services where the congregation worships with rock music at club volume levels. When the church made plans to host a contemporary, Sunday evening service in their large worship center, the staff decided that they needed to replace their previous system.

“Our new evening service required a bigger sound than our current system could provide,” says Calvary’s Young Adults Pastor/Pastor of Beyond, Trevor Meier. “So we began searching for a suitable replacement.” But before making a final decision, Calvary wanted to test the equipment live, rather than rely solely upon a computer model.

“Having a chance to listen to the system beforehand was very important,” says Richard Hale, Music Pastor for Calvary; “being able to listen to a PA system prior to purchasing shouldn't be like pulling teeth, and Sound Art gave us access to a system while other companies simply couldn’t accommodate our needs.”

Warren Hart, Technical Team/Board of Governors member at Calvary Temple, agrees it was important to test their equipment first-hand: “For any church, a new sound system is a big investment — you don't want to get it wrong. We needed to make an informed decision because we were spending the congregation’s money.”

“We tried a few different systems,” says Meier, “and EV’s XLD was clean, crisp, and punchy. It was the sound we wanted. You have to test drive a vehicle before you buy it, and this PA just felt right.”

Calvary came to Sound Art looking for a PA system capable of reproducing the delicate flavors of a classical string solo, but also able to approach the volume levels of a nightclub or concert venue. And they needed a system small enough to leave sight lines in the sanctuary unobstructed. But the sanctuary presented several challenges to installation in the form of a massive balcony that stretches 24 feet from top to bottom.

“The balcony stretches down 11 feet off the main floor, and nearly reaches the ceiling, says John Loewen, Technical Projects Manager – Sound Art Canada/Audio Dept. Head – Calvary Temple, “making it nearly impossible for linear array or point-source boxes to cover the entire area with single clusters.”

To solve the problems posed by such a large balcony, Sound Art designed a system with four short line arrays with four XLD281 boxes each. The arrays provide coverage to the entire room, with two arrays for the main floor and under the balcony, and two more covering the balcony. The system is powered with EV TG-5 and P-series amplifiers, with control and system performance monitoring via
IRIS-Net software.

“Though these are short arrays, they push the mid- to high-frequencies deeper beneath the balcony than a regular point-source block,” says Loewen, “and people walking directly beneath the boxes won’t be deafened by the proximity effect from point-source boxes. We’re still getting comments from the congregation about how close they can get to the speakers without getting their ears hurt, and how the volume level remains the same as they walk toward the back of the room.”

“The size of our system was very important to us,” adds Meier, “and hearing this huge sound coming out of those little XLD boxes really influenced our decision to choose EV. I already expected a lot from EV before we started this process, but hearing four short arrays deliver that much sound was very surprising. And they don’t obstruct any sight lines, which is fantastic.”

Another custom touch Sound Art provided? Making Calvary’s Electro-Voice Xsubs “invisible.” Though flying the four subs would have provided even coverage and removed them from sight lines, the church opted instead to couple the subs with the floor, in the hollow underneath their concrete stage.

“We decided to remove the riser portion of their stairs along the downstage edge,” says Loewen “Now Calvary has these great subs hidden in an acoustically optimal place. We had to be different for this installation, and thanks to a great line of products from Electro-Voice, Sound Art was able to provide an innovative, adaptable solution to exceed the customer’s expectations.”

Calvary’s new sound system impresses everyone who hears it, from performers and pastors to the congregation.

“Our sound is very full across the frequency spectrum,” says Hale; “there are no ranges lacking. And, as a performer, it brings a level of energy to the stage when we see the audience reacting to the dynamic sound reproduction our system provides. Our need for a system like this stems from what our congregation listens to at home, in their cars, or at the theater. If we can deliver our message in a way that our listeners are used to, it really helps us to impact their lives.”

Click here for a video with John Loewen describing the EV installation at Calvary Temple.

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