First Baptist Church Springfield

Beautiful architecture can co-exist with effective audio. First Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri, discovered this after Paragon 360 provided a new audio system that drastically improved speech intelligibility; while forgoing acoustic treatments to maintain the current level of musical performances, as well as the traditional integrity of the worship center.

Beautiful architecture can co-exist with effective audio. First Baptist Church of Springfield, Missouri, discovered this after Springfield, Missouri-based Paragon 360, a turn-key design firm with a national reputation for excellence in church renovations and new construction, designed and installed a new audio system that drastically improved speech intelligibility; while forgoing acoustic treatments to maintain the current level of choir & organ performances, as well as the traditional integrity of the worship center. Design work began in early 2016, and installation was completed in July of 2016.  When it comes to the traditional style church, upgrades and improvements should be met with reverence and a tempered design. Beautiful spaces built to awe and inspire in one decade, now find themselves walking a tight wire as the shifting of time brings new needs and demands. Even in the areas of Sound and Audio Design, great care must be taken to perpetuate integrity of the service and the space, yet still accommodate for improvements. Older churches were built according to the needs of their time and capabilities. Today, the elements of that same structure often work against the capabilities of newer technology. The challenge then becomes how to blend new technology needs with the traditional atmosphere.  With the help of Paragon 360, First Baptist Springfield discovered that beautiful, effective architecture and beautiful, effective audio can co-exist in the same space. As a traditional church, rich in historical architecture, the platform faces into the length of the sanctuary, and the area itself is quite reverberant. The choir assumes a significant role during services that, for the most part, are traditional in nature. During the holidays, the church also hosts large scale musical productions. Thus, it was crucial that the new loudspeaker system be capable of handling music reproduction, while also delivering a high level of speech intelligibility. Equally important, the loudspeakers had to blend aesthetically into the space so as not to be distracting. With long reverb times associated with a sanctuary built for choir and organ, it was important to keep the sound focused on the seats in order to offer the highest level of speech intelligibility. Paragon 360 was presented with the challenge to design and install a new audio system to address these speech intelligibility issues while forgoing acoustic treatments in order to maintain their current level of choir and organ performances in their services. Thus, the system design needed to be focused primarily on sound reinforcement, as opposed to a full concert environment.  However, the system also had to have the capacity to handle any praise band or guest artist scenario, if called upon.  Paragon 360 embraced this challenge. First, a digital 3D model of the room was meticulously created. Then, equipment from multiple manufacturers were installed and tested to establish which products would work best for that particular space, and for the client's budget. The Audio Team at Paragon 360 elected to deploy WorxAudio TrueLine XL1i-P 2-way, high efficiency, powered line array elements augmented by TL215S high excursion sub bass enclosures outfitted with dual 15-inch transducers. The system included a center flown loudspeaker cluster consisting of nine WorxAudio XL1i-P line array elements with one additional XL1i-P enclosure mounted to the rear of the suspended loudspeakers that serves as a monitor system for the choir. Two WorxAudio TL215S subwoofers reside hidden inside the existing cover behind the loudspeaker array.  The church has noted a dramatic difference since the installation. Personal Monitors for those that are hard of hearing have been returned. Complaints about the sound have been replaced with compliments. David MacLachlan, Audio Director for First Baptist Springfield, noted, "The spoken word has become much more clear since the new system has been put into our space Clarity has drastically improved for the spoken word, as well as music."  First Baptist Springfield's Steve Viehland summarized the end result of the project, stating "I am very impressed with Paragon 360. They were given the challenge of a very complex room acoustically, and they rose to the challenge. Good audio work is not about loudness. It is about clarity. I was also impressed with the ease of working with Paragon 360 during the installation process. It was a great experience!"  About Paragon 360 Paragon 360 is an award-winning, design leader in the professional AVL industry.  With an extensive client base, the company is dedicated to building highly effective and engaging environments for churches, businesses, schools, museums, live events, and others with requirements involving professional audio, video, lighting, rigging, scenic and staging in a design/build format. Representing hundreds of the world's finest and most reputable AVL brands, Paragon 360 is uniquely positioned to match every client's needs without compromise.  The brand is equally well-known for its turn-key project delivery and unparalleled dedication to excellence, pledging every project to be On Time, On Target, and On Budget.  For more information on the quality-driven expertise within Paragon 360 as well as its broad range of products and services, visit or call 417-823-7282.

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