Framingham, Massachusetts, August 4, 2014 – The First Wayne Street United Methodist Church in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, has a very traditional building with a very common problem: Terrazzo floors, brick walls, and drywall ceiling add up to a long reverb time and challenging speech intelligibility. At the same time, those same characteristics are what give choral music and the church’s pipe organ a special kind of warmth. In fact, they are what help draw crowds to the several organ and classical music events that the church hosts each year. It can be difficult to keep the church’s message clear and articulate without affecting the acoustical properties that are a key part of this kind of traditional ecclesiastical architecture. A RoomMatch® system from Bose® Professional Systems provided the answer. As it has done for scores of houses of worship with similar challenges, the RoomMatch system was able to precisely address the space’s exact acoustical characteristics and keep sonic energy off of reflective walls and floors, and direct the sound to the seating areas where it needs to go with enhanced clarity.
For this installation, the Mitchell Design Group, with offices in Kokomo and Carmel, Indiana, installed a center array design consisting of an RM7010 module atop an RM9010 module and two RM12020 modules, all powered by a Bose PowerMatch® PM8500N networked amplifier.
“The challenge is that they are a very traditional church with a pipe organ in the balcony, and they didn't want to compromise the acoustical environment that they believe is advantageous to that, but at the same time they weren't getting good speech articulation,” explains Phil Mitchell, Owner of the Mitchell Design Group. “The RoomMatch system allowed us to give them both the live acoustical environment and good speech reproduction.”
Working closely with Bose personnel, the Mitchell Design Group were able to specify the RoomMatch modules needed for the project based on drawings and field measurements. Mitchell’s crew had to first dismantle the church’s original custom sound system — a huge woofer box enclosed in 1.25-inch plywood that literally had to be cut out of its perch above the front of the sanctuary in order for hang points for the new Bose system to be established. Once that was accomplished, the RoomMatch system suited the space perfectly. “They are thrilled,” Mitchell says of the resulting sound clarity.
Supporting that, Barclay Hall, the Sound Team Leader at the church, adds, “I am loving the new system! I think Bose and Mitchell Design Group have done a great job in getting us the right system for our church, helping us make an almost seamless transition to the new system.”