Based on Chad Rose’s recent use of Tannoy VQNET 60s at another Washington area house of worship, the owner of Poulsbo, WA, design/install firm, Rose Media, didn’t hesitate to specify a VQ NET LIVE system for Newlife Kitsap – A project that came to him virtually on the heels of his very first use of the innovative Tannoy ‘line array killers’.
Having worked as a creative arts pastor in the past, Rose knows the house of worship market extremely well, and takes care to find a solution for each project that is tailored specifically to his client’s gatherings and the demands of the facility itself. In contrast to that first project, at Washington’s Christian Life Center, this was a more unique situation. “They’re a large, ‘portable’ church,” Rose says, “looking to move their main flagship campus from a school auditorium they’d outgrown, to a larger space in the school’s gym.”
While only one of four Newlife campuses in the area, the church’s Central Campus at Klahowya Secondary School in Silverdale is the largest, holding over 500 people and hosting over a third of Newlife’s total weekend gatherings. “Newlife Kitsap started about six years ago,” says Adam Deardorff, creative arts director at Klahowya, Newlife’s Central Campus, who aids in the design of larger audio systems for the church. “It launched off from a church in Fallsville and was mobile immediately. Since then we’ve expanded. We have about 3,000 people per Sunday and have become one of the top one hundred fastest growing churches in America in 2010.”
Portable and mobile are words often used to describe Newlife, and with good reason. The infrastructure for their services – A/V, audio and staging – are all loaded into Klahowya each Sunday and loaded out when their services are over for the day. But those words also underscore Newlife’s assertion that a church is not simply ‘a building, or an organization’, but is embodied by a congregation of people worshipping together – mobile, but immovable. Their audio system, on the other hand, had to be tangibly portable and compact and powerful, as well as user friendly in terms of set up, tear down and operation.
Similar to Rose’s prior VQ NET install, the primary use of this system is for the reinforcement of music and speech in what is a decidedly contemporary worship setting. Here, however, it was also necessary for the system to be volunteer friendly and to work well within the venue where Newlife currently makes their home, as well as being adaptable to other potential spaces they might someday find themselves growing into.
Unlike the previous Christian Life Center build, here Rose was responsible only for selecting a loudspeaker component to replace Newlife’s previous cabinets and to integrate those new loudspeakers with other, pre-existing system elements; a Yamaha LS9 console, an Aviom Personal Monitoring system, a small lighting rig, two large video screens and a portable stage.
“They were looking for a more high-powered system, an install type system with good coverage and high SPL, but, at the same time, one that was very compact and could be set up and torn down quickly, put in a trailer and taken away.” With only four boxes, two VQNET 218DR LIVE subs, and two VQNET 60 LIVE three way cabinets stacked above them on the ground to either side of the stage, this certainly fit the bill.
The VQ NETs superior directivity was also a plus. “It’s a very large, very live space. The issue was trying to keep sound off the side walls while still adequately covering the room.”
Initially, Rose Media got the call for the build because Newlife was actually thinking of using an entirely different product Rose often specifies. Upon EASE modeling the gym, however, they found that the power of Tannoy’s VQ NET LIVE boxes would allow them to use fewer boxes than their first choice – Only half the amount, in fact, in order to achieve the same results.
Still, Deardorff was initially hesitant to purchase the Tannoys. But since the debut of the system on October 3rd, 2010, both he and Newlife’s techs are pleased. “We did not do any acoustic treatments here and these cabinets are working out for us. So far, I’m super-happy with them. We did all the EASE modeling and plugged in a lot of different cabinets and the Tannoy just looked perfect,” he adds. “And their portability – the wheel racks and so on – make them a lot easier for us to bring in and out.”
All the more so owing to the self-powered VQ NETs onboard DSP – “With the processing in the boxes there’s very little tuning needed,” Rose explains. “They’re all volunteers setting this up. With a passive system they could easily plug the wrong speaker into the wrong amp, or mess up the processing, but this being self-contained, there’s a lot less room for error.
Tannoy VQNET LIVEs were chosen, Rose says, “as an all inclusive package” complete with wheels and covers to protect the components in storage. “And the price point was cheaper,” he adds. “Less was definitely more in this situation.”
‘Less is more’ pretty much sums up the appeal of the Tannoy VQ line overall. With its onboard DSP, low power consumption and compact footprint, even with a small volunteer crew the system is far less unwieldy than either a line array solution or a comparable competitor’s system. “To put two ground stacks in every week and then just roll them out is great for them. Individually they may be more expensive than some products, but when you see what you can do with one box, it’s pretty economical, and they just sound really good. I’d definitely be comfortable speccing them again.”