The west coast's largest Presbyterian Church has upgraded its sanctuary with the installation of a new Meyer Sound system. As Director of Media Services at University Presbyterian Jeff Blackburn explains, the Seattle church's 1,400-seat sanctuary has a history of sonic challenges.
"This is a very tough, reflective room," says Blackburn. "And our old PA was directing the sound to all the wrong surfaces."
The owner of the second largest pipe organ west of the Mississippi, University Presbyterian has 7,000 pipes adorning the front walls. With different services running the gamut from traditional Christian music to a range of contemporary styles, the new system also had to address the needs of a diverse congregation.
Curt Hare of Seattle-based Point Source Inc. specified a center array of five MILO line array loudspeakers and one MILO 120, augmented with a delay hang of five M'elodie line array loudspeakers. A pair of 600-HP subwoofers are flown directly behind the MILO array.
"We flew the subs in a cardioid pattern to reduce low frequency buildup on the stage, as well as above it," says Hare, referring to a large resonant area between the room's ceiling and exterior roof.
Meyer Sound's Galileo loudspeaker management system handles the subs, as well as several zones of delay and processing. The room's reflectivity was addressed by acoustician Michael Yantis with a treatment of rear wall diffusers.
Blackburn reports the new system exceeds all expectations. "When I heard the system, my first reaction was: Change nothing," he says. "It sounds like a recording, everywhere in the room. If a better sound system exists, I haven't heard it."