Nexo, Yamaha revitalise Washington church facility

Overlake Christian Church (OCC) in Redmond, WA has recently installed a new Nexo STM line array system; the first to be installed in a house of worship in the U.S.

STM replaces the existing system that was installed in the 5,000-seat sanctuary when it originally opened 20 years ago. The system design and installation was performed by Morgan Sound (Lynnwood, WA) following a comprehensive study of the acoustical space and available rigging points.

The worship at OCC is contemporary with a typical setup consisting of seven or eight musicians and four or five additional vocalists. Because the space is large, it is also used for regional large-scale Christian concerts and conferences.

“The OCC technical staff is highly experienced in dealing with tours,” stated Stephen Weeks, A/V consultant at Morgan Sound. “Previously, when a tour came through, outside speaker systems and production would be brought in, necessitating a substantial investment of time and resources to fly the PA system. The STM installation is meant to provide a top-of-the-line tour grade audio system for the church, visiting production tours. and conferences.”

The main STM system consists of 10 Nexo M46 mid-high modules coupled with 10 B112 low-frequency modules per cluster in a Left+Right configuration. Three Nexo M28 down fill speakers per side are attached under the main arrays. Two each of a three-box Nexo Geo S1230 speaker cluster were installed for balcony outfill. 12 Nexo S118 subwoofers are flown in the centre of the church in cardioid mode to facilitate even subwoofer coverage throughout the whole space. The amplifier complement includes 13 Nexo NXAMP 4×4 and two each NXAMP 4×1 amplifiers for a total of 212,800 watts of power. All the amplifiers are connected via Dante for maximum flexibility.

“The Nexo STM really sounds extraordinary” remarked Weeks. “It is very linear in the vertical and horizontal planes, and this translates to an excellent experience, no matter where you are in the room. I would especially highlight the high frequency detail; you can hear every nuance. The new rigging system is very intuitive and made the speaker hang and angle adjustment very easy!”

Morgan Sound also installed a Yamaha CL5 Digital Audio console at front of house and a second on stage in the monitor position. Two Rio3224-D input/output boxes are used as the snake system. With Dante networking, the CLs are routinely used for multi-track recording and virtual sound check. Dante also connects to a DM1000 with a Dante MY card in the broadcast booth for additional recording capability. “Dante is really an amazing tool and OCC is taking full advantage of it,” Weeks commented.

A Yamaha DME64 Digital Mix Engine was installed to provide signal distribution and EQ. “OCC is heavily invested in Yamaha products,” Weeks continued. “The previous sanctuary console was the venerable PM1D. They also have an assortment of LS9 and M7CL Digital Audio Consoles within other areas of the church. Yamaha and Nexo’s design and technical expertise for this project was really stellar. It illustrates how good manufacturer and A/V contractor relationships can produce fantastic results!”

Charlie Morgan, president of Morgan Sound added: “The support from Yamaha and Nexo was extraordinary. Not only was product staged for an on-demand delivery date, we also benefited from the expertise of the Nexo training and technical staff during the final phases of commissioning. Our partnership with OCC and the Nexo staff at Yamaha ensured a compete and successful installation in the narrow time slot allotted.”

“We are extremely pleased with the stunning performance of the Nexo STM system,” concluded Marc Breda, technical arts director at the church. “It has surpassed our goal of making a 5000-seat room feel intimate for speaking and worship. Nexo, Yamaha, and Morgan Sound have provided remarkable support from the initial design to completion of the final installation.”