Holy Spirit Catholic Church
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Meyer Sound, USA, Yamaha Commercial Audio, Japan/USA, Shure, USA
JVC Architects, USA
Coherent Design, USA
Ford Audio Visual, USA
Project Submitted By:
The Meyer Sound split central cluster comprises three arrays of six-each LINA loudspeakers plus three 750-LFC low frequency control elements for deep bass. Two GALAXY™ network platforms – one 816 and one 408 – supply drive and optimization while an RMServer accesses comprehensive system monitoring.
Unlike many contemporary churches with interior architecture largely resembling a performance space which is largely darkened during worship services, Holy Spirit Catholic Church was designed to be filled with light, either natural sunlight during daytime or from lighting designed to mimic natural light at night, all reflecting off light-colored walls. This meant that loudspeaker arrays could not be suspended up in a darkened ceiling space. Even if color-matched they would be in plain view and distract from the effect intended by the architect, interior designer and contributing artists.
Further complicating matters was the circular design of the worship space, with parishioners seated around a ring that required nearly 300 degrees of coverage.
Working closely with the architects, the design-build team worked out a solution wherein three compact loudspeaker arrays would be concealed in a cylindrical soffit surrounding the central skylight. However, both space and weight allowances were severely restricted. The system also would have to incorporate subwoofers to enable full-bandwidth music reproduction; the architecture allowed no other placement options. In addition, lack of suitable space for amplifier racks dictated a self-powered solution.
After evaluating available options, Coherent Designs Principal David Starck drafted a system configuration based on three arrays of six-each Meyer Sound LINA line array loudspeakers bolstered by three 750-LFC low frequency control elements (subwoofers) for bass extension. This design provided ample power for the church’s contemporary music ensembles while ensuring precise clarity for the spoken word.
Mounting of the loudspeakers for proper orientation within the restricted space required careful fabrication of custom supports, with installation expertly accomplished by Ford AV under the supervision of Project Manager Randy Robbins.
By blending contemporary Southwestern architecture with a striking variety of modern and traditional inspirational art, Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Las Vegas immerses up to 1600 worshippers in an extraordinary visual experience. “The building design by JVC architects was truly extraordinary,” says AV systems designer David Starck, a principal of Las Vegas-based consulting firm Coherent Design. “It is visually stunning, with the feel of a traditional Catholic church, yet it’s also very contemporary.”
For an equally captivating aural experience, a concealed Meyer Sound reinforcement system – based on LINA™ very compact line array loudspeakers – supplies crisp speech intelligibility along with the power reserves and linear response needed to support a diverse music program
“Our worship music includes gospel, choir and worship songs,” says Ivan Diaz, the church’s IT and media director, “but our system must also accommodate anything from our baby grand piano to flutes, violins, saxophone and cajón along with other percussion instruments. At the end of the day, our purpose here is to worship and spread the Word of God. Having high quality sound that is intelligible, and can be loud when needed, is imperative. Our parishioners count on us to provide that. Everybody in the building needs to feel like they have ‘the best seat’.”
According to Diaz, after more than a decade of worshipping in temporary quarters in an adjacent high school, the sound quality in the church is a revelation. “People are blown away,” he relates. “Some tell me that they have been listening to the same singers for ten years and only now can they hear everyone’s voices.”
To complement the quality of the loudspeaker systems, Starck specified premium quality front-end audio components, including a Yamaha TF-5 digital mixing console and 12 channels of Shure ULX-D wireless microphones.