St. Petersburg, FL | June, 2018 - Built in the late 1960s, Pasadena Community Church's multifaceted sanctuary presents numerous acoustical challenges. The room's unusual shape offers multiple reflective surfaces at assorted angles, plenty of concrete and glass, and a ceiling that peaks at about 75 feet above the floor. A recent renovation included reducing the seating from approximately 1,100 to about 800, updating the wooden flooring, and more, further altering the acoustics. Most of the seating area is in an expanded fan shape. Spoken word intelligibility and clarity for musical performances proved significant issues with which the church's outdated sound system couldn't cope.
The congregation enjoys traditional services featuring pipe organ, piano, and choir, as well as contemporary services featuring a praise band fronted by the talented Connect 3 vocal trio. Realizing a new sound system would be needed before Easter 2018 if the congregation were to fully enjoy the services, the church's leaders reached out to Chris Bertler, the owner of Pro Audio Services, in North Port, Florida. Bertler designed and installed a new sound system featuring Renkus-Heinz IC Live Gen5-series steerable arrays.
"I've driven by the church many times for many years, and I was curious about the inside," Bertler muses. "It's an oddly shaped space; all those angles you see from outside are there on the inside. When sound hits those surfaces, they throw the sound back at an angle down into the room. It's a tough room. Once I saw the inside, Renkus-Heinz IC Live steerable arrays immediately became the front runner. I can't see anything else getting the job done."
Bertler chose a pair of Renkus-Heinz IC Live ICL-F-DUAL-RN arrays, taking advantage of the Iconyx digital beam steering technology to put the sound on the audience and away from the room's complex reflective surfaces. The ICL-F-DUAL-RN can deliver up to eight separate beams, with software-definable opening angles and aiming, so Bertler could direct the sound with great precision. Output is flat from 80 Hz to 20 kHz, and the integrated Class D amplifiers provide more than enough muscle to easily support the Pasadena Community Church's praise band. "I have the ICL-F-DUAL-RNs running about 20 dB down from zero," Bertler notes. The speaker locations are white, so the slender, low-profile white ICL-F-DUAL-RN enclosures blend in without requiring custom paint work.
To manage the Renkus-Heinz arrays, Bertler installed a Symetrix Jupiter 8 DSP. "We were told to piggyback on the old wiring," he recounts, "and we didn't need Dante for this system. The Symetrix Jupiter 8 is a good, effective processor with analog outputs. We ran fresh wiring from there to the speaker locations, and we equipped each speaker with an RDL TX-AT1S isolation transformer. We also put in a couple of SurgeX FlatPack SA-82 surge protectors. The church already had a Behringer X32 digital console and Shure ULX-series wireless mics."
The entire process went very quickly because the church leaders wanted the system installed by Easter. "They placed the order on March 12," Bertler recalls. "The Renkus-Heinz speakers hit our shop on the March 27, and we installed them the next day. The system was tuned and ready in time for Easter on April 1. And it sounds great. They're really happy."