Florida-based Methodist Church installs QSC kit in revamped sanctuary

The Florida-based Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church has installed a QSC Audio WL2082-i installation line array (ILA) system and other QSC tech in the main sanctuary at its Fairpoint campus as part of a major audio-visual overhaul.

The church—which is near Pensacola, Florida—combined the WL2082-i system with QSC’s PLX series amplification and a 2 input, 8 output QSC SC28 DSP processor. The complete overhaul—undertaken by Alabama-based ALPHA Sound & Lighting—was very important to the church’s congregation with the current system striking many as lacklustre.

“In the contemporary service they use electronic drums, electronic keyboards, guitars, bass guitar and praise singers,” explained ALPHA’s Vice President, Michael Evans. “Bo Parker, the church’s director of worship, felt the current sound in the house lacked definition.”

Evans called upon the assistance of a Pensacola-based design-consulting firm, Walthall & Associates, to undertake the acoustical design. The company’s founder, Chuck Walthall, had installed the original sound system over 15 years ago and was thus already familiar with the church.

Walthall immediately recognised that the original system’s performance been adversely affected by the panoply of necessary modifications. Walthall thus advised that the whole system was removed.

“A single point source was definitely the choice for this room, which is rectangular-shaped with a balcony,” stated Walthall. “Mike and I were impressed with the performance of the QSC ILA system on another project and felt that this design called for it as well. We went with nine WL2082-i elements, four on top for the balcony and five below for the main sanctuary. Now the coverage is great, with maybe 2 dB of variation.”

In order to fly the cluster, ALPHA deployed an FB2082-i frame as well as other flying hardware. Despite much of the original rig being replaced, several older elements were still called into use in the new system which allowed the team to meet the church’s budget.

“We had to stay within a budget,” added Evans. “The church had quite a few of the older QSC MX Series amplifiers which were still working, so we left them in place for the monitors. But we replaced the main speaker amps with three PLX2502s and two PLX3102s, and installed an SC28 processor. They were also using some boxes for front fills, which we left in place.”

Overall, both Evans and Walthall are delighted with the end results.

“We performed a dual FFT tuning, and the ILA system responded with accuracy,” added Walthall. “The system is compact, it sounds great, the coverage is great and coupled with the controller it does what QSC says it’ll do. I like it when things just work!”

More importantly, the church is equally delighted by the new QSC-provided acoustics. The church used the system the first time on the Sunday after the installation was finalised and the performance clearly left an impression.

“The music minister shot me an email to say it was the best sounding service ever in his tenure there,” continued Walthall. “They’re just loving it.”