Electro-Voice XLCi line-arrays win praise at Elevate Life Church
On the outside, the Elevate Life Church's new 100-foot-tall Cathedral of Frisco takes its inspiration from the Gothic architecture of Medieval Europe. But inside, the Frisco, Texas church is a thoroughly modern creation, especially in terms of the state-of-the-art technology that supports contemporary worship at the 3,000-seat facility. Designed and installed by the Irving, Texas office of AV solutions provider Whitlock, the technical systems are joined by more than 11 miles of installed AV cables and include uniformly top-notch gear for sound reinforcement, intercom, video production, lighting, projection, routing, and remote control. Equipment from Bosch Communications Systems is featured prominently, including PA systems from Electro-Voice and production intercom from RTS.
The spoken word and music at the heart of the cathedral's services are handled by a massive 55-element center cluster comprised of five hangs of Electro-Voice (EV) XLCi line-array loudspeakers. "EV boxes have always provided the punch I am looking for in live venues," says David Rizzo, Whitlock's lead designer on the project. "In this situation, the accuracy of the EV arrays, combined with the choice to move to a single point of origin, produced truly outstanding results. The client's top priorities were perfect coverage and consistent operation, and the consistency of this system is very high."
The full-range component of the cluster is made up of three hangs, with a front-facing 15-element center line array flanked on either side by 12-element arrays that are angled outward to form a wide arc of coverage. "In each full-range array we use the EV XLCi127DVX for the bottom three cabinets, which gives us 120-degree horizontal coverage. The rest of the elements are XLCi907DVXs for a 90-degree pattern. The XLCis are extremely accurate, but can also handle very high output levels. In addition, they work particularly well in this room because of their compact overall size and clean look."
For lows, the cluster uses XLCi215 high-output dual 15-inch subwoofer line-array elements flown behind the center full-range array in two hangs of eight each. "The XLCi215s are tight and accurate," Rizzo says, "and of course they compliment the three-way XLCi boxes in terms of their sound and their physical footprint, which is the same as the XLCi127DVX."
The coverage of the flown system is enhanced with a set of six Xi-1082 8-inch two-way full-range loudspeakers that are built into the stage lip for front fill. "We wanted something compact that uses a passive crossover," Rizzo says. "We chose the Xi-1082s because they have quite a bit of punch for their physical size."
Power for the mains is provided by amplifiers from Electro-Voice's Tour Grade line. 20 TG5 amps cover the full-range speakers in the left, center, and right arrays, with another pair of TG5s used for the front fills. Eight TG7s, meanwhile, handle the subwoofers. Each of the Tour Grade amps is equipped with an RCM-26 IRIS-Net remote control module, which enables powerful DSP functionality including load impedance supervision and advanced FIR-Drive loudspeaker optimization. "The RCM-26 modules allow you to apply DSP processing locally," Rizzo says. "And I also really like the onboard diagnostics, the ability to select the current of the power circuit, and the fantastic reliability."
NetMax routing and control
The Cathedral of Frisco PA system is controlled by a set of four Electro-Voice NetMax N8000-1500 digital matrix controllers, which provide full IRIS-Net supervision and 32-channel routing and mixing. "The NetMax handles all of the system's ins and outs," Rizzo says. "With several NetMaxs on the CobraNet network, we are able to ingest signals at different points and keep the cabling clean and tight. Plus we really like the tools that the NetMax offers for managing the system. And the DSP is of course a great match for the loudspeaker systems."
In addition to the mains, six loudspeakers, three on each side, are also installed into the ceiling of the narthex sitting area, where they can be time-aligned to the main PA or fed from local inputs. For this application, Rizzo chose the Electro-Voice EVID C8.2HC, an 8-inch pattern-control two-way coaxial ceiling loudspeaker with a special horn design optimized for high-ceiling installations. The speakers are powered by a pair of Contractor Precision Series CPS2.12 amplifiers.
Stage monitoring, meanwhile, is provided via eight Electro-Voice TX1122FM 12-inch two-way full-range wedges powered by four Q99 Class-H power amplifiers. "We chose them for their smooth sound and the time alignment detail in their physical construction," Rizzo says. "We originally included them for guest performers, because this team doesn't normally use stage monitors. But the band and vocalists got a taste of them, and they really like the sound, so now they are on the stage lip full time for the vocalists."
Services at the cathedral can be fairly involved productions, sometimes requiring a technical crew of some 20 volunteers running audio, video, and lighting systems. Communication is enabled by an RTS intercom system. Built around a 32-port Zeus III digital matrix, the intercom connects six wireless and 18 wired positions, all using RTS base stations, beltpacks, and headsets. "The Zeus III is a good fit for customers like Elevate," Rizzo says. "Though it’s an affordably priced package, it gives them intercom capabilities that they had not even imagined. With other intercom systems, we often have difficulty interfacing to a camera CCU; we experience level issues and have to use interfaces. But with the RTS system the interface is perfect without doing anything special."
Bosch personnel, including Ron Grant, Stu Schatz, and George Georgallis, worked closely with Rizzo to help ensure the suitability of the RTS and Electro-Voice systems and to facilitate the installation. "We had a tight commissioning schedule—we handed the system over just two days before their first service," Rizzo says. "But everything lined up like ducks in a row, smooth and on schedule. The sound staff is able to focus on the services without worrying too much about operating the technology, and we've heard nothing but praise from Elevate ever since."
Note: photos taken during installation.