The Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, in Hermitage, Tennessee, had a problem that many houses of worship face: they knew they needed a new sound system to accommodate their transition to a more contemporary worship style, but most of the proposed solutions involved a center cluster with left and right array hangs. This would require moving the church’s projection screens, risking potentially expensive architectural changes and still-impeded sightlines. “We needed a sound system solution that would work with the room as it was, and deliver great sound to every seat in the room — that’s where we had to start from,” explains Chris Orr, the church’s Worship Pastor since early 2014. And that’s what they got when Georgia-based firm Diversified (formerly Technical Innovation’s Blue Hat Design) came in and offered a single, elegant, cost-effective solution: a RoomMatch system from Bose Professional.
Orr notes, “It was painfully obvious that the existing sound system wasn’t working for the room, and when we set out to look for a new one, most of the solutions vendors were offering might have caused new issues,” including impinging on sightlines for the three projectors in the church’s 1,600-seat worship space. Diversified, a firm offering specialized expertise in worship technologies, church audio/video systems, theatrical lighting and complete systems design and integration for worship facilities, came back with a simple design that would cover the 1,600-seat worship space completely using only left and right arrays. The system design, based on extensive room modeling using Bose Modeler® software, called for each hang to consist of five RoomMatch array loudspeakers. The entire system is powered by three Bose PowerMatch® PM8500N networked amplifiers.
Scott Clark, Audio Design Engineer at Diversified, says Modeler is used on every Bose system installation he does, “In this case, Modeler really helped by giving us the correct balance of high-Q and low-Q speaker modules to let us achieve even, consistent coverage throughout the entire room.” He continues, “For instance, these particular models let us deliver less energy directly to the seats closest to the arrays, which means we don’t have to gain-shade the array, eliminating the other negative effects that can come with gain-shading. And you’ll see that there are no delay speakers for the balcony — the entire balcony gets wonderful stereo from just the two arrays.”
Chris Orr recalls, “Scott assured me that the Bose system was the absolute best solution for our situation and it would deliver everything we were looking to achieve.” Orr, who has had substantial experience with AV systems in churches, was understandably skeptical that the RoomMatch system could hit every note, but Diversified’s detailed room analysis and strong belief in the system’s capabilities convinced them to move forward.
After the installation was complete, “We were stunned — the RoomMatch did everything it was promised to and then some,” Orr declares. “I was expecting to at least need tweaks here and there, but we measured it and across 1,600 seats there was less than a half a decibel difference from one corner of the room to the other. Astounding. It was all we had asked for and more. The sound was magnificent at all volumes, clear for spoken word and powerful for music, and the sightlines for the screens were preserved. Bose RoomMatch was very much the right decision.”