The Sanctuary of the New Life Community Church’s new Oxnard, California, home has recently been installed with new pro audio gear, including L-Acoustics loudspeakers, Allen & Heath console and custom sound control kit from Auralex.
The installation—undertaken by Northridge-based Rutherford Design—required an epic amount of design work in order to provide the best acoustic performance from the repurposed 50,000 square foot former industrial space.
Rurtherford Design were involved in the design of the build from the outset which allowed them to have a hand in the design of the building itself before construction began. They were thus able to suggest some small architectural details in order to dramatically improve the buildings acoustics.
Firstly, the two main walls were not parallel. In addition, the entrance hallway and doorways are slightly offset despite the fact that—to the eye at least—they look symmetrical. What is more, the rear wall is actually curved rather than straight. When put together these small adjustments allow the space to redirect reflections and sound energy fairly effectively.
Naturally, further improvements were needed. In this particular case Rutherford turned to Auralex ELiTE ProPanels and ProBaffles to absorb the additional sound energy.
“In a house of worship, I’m concerned more with the peripheral seats and the back half of the room,” explained Rutherford Design’s Richard Rutherford. “To communicate with those people intimately, the spoken word in this kind of environment needs a high level of intelligibility. In a space like this, regardless of the budget or loudness of the audio system, if you have a six-, seven- or eight-second overall reverb time, there’s just no way it’s going to be intelligible.”
It was therefore imperative that effective sound control kit was used to deliver as high intelligibility as possible.
Ultimately, Rutherford installed 51 custom Auralex ELiTE ProPanels on the walls around the 900-seat sanctuary worship area.
ELiTE ProPanels are fabric covered acoustic-absorptive panels; in the case of the community Church project they were 4 foot wide, 8 foot high and 2 inches thick. These are designed to absorb slap and flutter echoes.
Rutherford also installed 21 custom-built Auralex ProBaffles. These absorptive panels—20 foot wide, 4feet high and 2 inches thick—were hung from the ceiling above the line of sight of the light fixtures.
“The layout of the ceiling gave us an opportunity to do a fairly symmetrical array of hanging flags to baffle the low-mid frequencies getting toward the back of the room,” continued Rutherford. “After the installation of the Auralex products, the room now sits at about a second-and-a-half reverb, and it sounds great, regardless of where you are sitting in the sanctuary.”
In addition to the sanctuary the massive building includes offices, a children’s ministry, warehouse storage space and even an outdoor patio space.
The sanctuary also received L’Acoustics Kara line arrays with L’Acoustics 18 subwoofers beneath the stage.
In addition to this there is a pair of XTi 12’s providing fill in the severe left right seating locations. XTi 8’s provide an additional level of intelligibility for the first two rows of seats. The entire rig is powered by three LA8 and one LA4 amplified controllers.
To handle FOH duty, Rutherford decided upon the Allen & Heath iLive 122T. This includes a custom stage inputs panel which is handled by the A&H PL-6 wall station. This ensures that the system can be handled easily by inexperienced operators even for small events.
When combined with video kit , Oxnard’s New Life Community Church is ready prepared for almost any event coming its way.