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Trinity Lutheran Church

Waukesha, Wisconsin

With a history dating back to 1886, and a massive remodelling of their church underway, this very large congregation asked Lewis Sound & Video to engineer an all-new sound system.

Our design included front and rear ElectroVoice speaker pairs, wired and wireless mics, a 32 x 8 Mackie mixing console, Crown amplifiers and a choir monitor system, all controlled with a BSS SoundWeb Digital Signal Processor. The real story of this sound system, however, is in the programming of the DSP.

An important part of the system’s function is the reinforcement of a large, traditional choir, which might perform from the choir loft, chancel or even from both areas of the church simultaneously. We set up presets on the DSP to handle each situation.

If the choir is in the loft, the system sends their voices through the two speakers at the rear of the church. If they are performing from the chancel, another preset sends the sound through the speakers at the front. If the choir is split, then the choir director can choose a mixture of speakers.

We tuned each of the church’s existing wireless mics to the voice of each of the ministers on staff and set up another set of presets in the DSP. When a minister puts on a wireless mic, he simply goes to the SoundWeb’s LCD display and selects his own name and an I.D. number on the mic. The system automatically resets the parametric equalization to provide natural, optimized sound.

The sanctuary sound also spills over into the narthex and ten additional rooms including a meeting room, fellowship hall, sacristy, offices and Sunday school classrooms, each with its own volume control. The meeting room and fellowship hall utilize rooms combining functions from the DSP, so their sound components can be used separately for local meetings or services.

In the end, the secret to a good church sound system is to keep it simple. At Trinity, we programmed some exotic functions, yet allowed the church to operate them with a simple control panel. The result is a very real, very noticeable improvement in the sound quality, without regard to who the speaker or system operator happens to be that day.

Read more about AV systems for places of worship.