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Solomon Awards 2019 – Corinth Reformed United Church (Design and Installation of AVL System – Major Technology Upgrade [existing building])

May 2019 marked the 150th anniversary celebration for Corinth Reformed United Church in Hickory, North Carolina. The traditional church features a beautiful sanctuary with large wood columns, high ceilings, slate floors and stained-glass windows. Pastor Bob Thompson and his team knew that they were ready to enhance the worship experience with an audio, video, and lighting upgrade both in their traditional space and in their contemporary worship center.

One of the first challenges for the engineers at AE Global Media was the four seconds of reverberation time. The intelligibility was exceptionally low, because of the outdated existing system. The church was also still running analog for front of house. The first design step was to take the church to digital. This made things easier to transition from traditional to contemporary services. An Allen & Heath SQ-6 console was installed at front of house.

The church wanted to keep the traditional style in the sanctuary and was very adamant concealing and hiding all technology gear. The AE team custom painted d&b audiotechnik column speakers and were installed to be virtually invisible within the columns. The speakers not only blended in with the integrity of the sanctuary, but they increased clarity and intelligibility of the pastor’s microphone; the congregation was able to understand the pastor. Projection and ETC LED lights were designed to be installed and concealed in the ceiling on the existing wooden beams. Three Panasonic projectors were installed: two Panasonic PT-RZ660 on the sides and a 12,000-lumen laser projector in the middle. This allows for the projection of lyrics on the wall.

The Bost Memorial Hall, Corinth Reformed Church’s contemporary worship space, also received some major technological upgrades. This room was set up to facilitate more modern worship with bands; a more modern vibe. The whole space was designed by CEO Donnie Haulk. The AE team installed d&b Audiotechnik V-Series with B22 subwoofers, with a point source system and an Allen & Health dLive C3500 console at front of house, along with an SQ-6 for broadcast audio.

A video room was also designed for the Bost Memorial Hall, with custom built desks and included a full video suite for Facebook Live and other future streaming outlets. Two PTZ robotic cameras with one Panasonic camera creates a professional look on live broadcast. Eight ETC ColorSource PAR Black Edison fixtures, and six ETC ColorSource Black Edison LED fixtures were incorporated to supplement their conventional lighting. An Allen & Heath ME in-ear monitoring system was incorporated for bands to be able to give them control of their own mix.

The worship experience in the sanctuary and the contemporary Bost Memorial Hall has been vastly updated and the better worship experience the church wanted has been achieved. The intelligibility in the sanctuary has significantly improved, all while keeping to the church’s wishes of integrating the technology equipment hidden within the traditional space.

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