Case Study: Seungbok Central church, Korea

seungbok online use
Main hall at Seungbok Central church, Korea

Dasan SR talks about how it leveraged its experience from working in the houses of worship market to help Seungbok Central church upgrade its audio capabilities for the venue’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

A devoutly religious country, Korea has a large house of worship market and any systems integrator worth its mettle knows how to navigate audio and video deployments for churches.

Church projects fall into two broad categories – fresh installations done from scratch for new venues and upgrade projects for established churches. Seungbok Central church in Seoul falls into the latter category. Dasan SR, a prominent local integrator and distributor, was tasked with handling the project.

Noil Song from Dasan SR speaks about the project: “This church has a little more than 50 years of history behind it. Churches here in Korea can sometimes go between 20 years to 30 years between upgrades. Seungbok Central church wanted a new audio system in preparation for its 50th anniversary celebrations.”

Dasan SR’s familiarity and expertise when it comes to houses of worship projects put it in good stead from the start. Song says: “Church projects can sometimes be similar. They want AV systems to handle a big show, worship sessions, band performances and choir performances. But the most important aspect is speech. We understood this and went into the project with this mind-set.”

He continues: “The design process for the project was easy. I personally have a lot of experience designing systems for churches and leveraged that. The competition suggested an L-C-R [left-centre-right channel speakers] confi guration but the centre of the stage features a large LED display. Taking this into account, we differed and went with a simple L-R [left-right channel speaker] confi guration. In the end, I believe this was a crucial factor in our design being chosen.”

The church had previously been using point source speakers and now wanted to upgrade to line array speakers. But as Song mentions, the new configuration of the stage in the main auditorium featured a large LED display in the middle. This meant that having a centre speaker column would result in obstruction of the display.

Not obscuring the LED display was a challenge as Song details: “During planning and even during installation we had to change the rigging and the angles of the speakers. The client actually did not want a lot of speakers on stage and yet at the same time they wanted great sound.”

The selection of the speaker was done in a thorough manner. Song narrates: “The church went through a lot of due diligence when selecting the speakers. It began with an open invitation for different brands to come and demonstrate their capabilities at the church. Everyone was given three hours each to setup their speakers and we were among the few that met this requirement. We then conducted four worship sessions on Sunday to show the capabilities of our selected speaker brand, which was EAW.”

He continues: “Eventually EAW was chosen by the church after coming out on top in all their internal testing and scoring. The angle and direction of the EAW cabinets is extremely accurate and the sound is very flat.”

Han Man Suk, the elder at the church, says: “We considered a number of brands when it came to speakers. It was the demonstration that sealed it for EAW. It provided the best coverage and the best sound for the main auditorium of our church and that is why we selected EAW.”

EAW point source speakers are also used for sound reinforcement around the auditorium and also serve as monitor speakers on the stage.

Song says: “The main focus in the auditorium was on ‘voice’. The delay in the space at the start was around 2.6ms or 2.7ms. We had the back walls treated and brought the delay down. We kept the delay at 2.2ms which we thought was the sweet spot for voice and music, since the space will be used for both.”

The EAW speakers have been paired up with Powersoft X8 and K3 amplifi ers. Song says: “The Powersoft amplifi ers were the only choice for us. They provided all the power we needed and have clear sound. We are also very familiar with the Powersoft Armonia software which we used to tune the system.”

A Yamaha CL5 mixer has been chosen to manage live audio. Song says: “The Yamaha CL5 is simple to control and use. You can also easily train volunteers to use it and it also has enough higher level functions for engineers.”

Dasan SR went the extra mile to ensure that the mixer made the lives of the church operations staff easier. Song details: “The church has 11 different pastors. That means that there are 11 different styles of speech that we need account for. So we created different ‘scenes’ on the CL5 and the volunteers can easily switch between them as is needed.”

Audio transmission is achieved via Dante and the fact that the Powersoft amplifiers and the Yamaha mixer were Dante enabled was another plus point in their favour.

Shure ULXD wireless microphones have been provide for audio pickup. The pulpit on stage features a Schope microphone which was actually the source of trouble. Song says: “The Schope microphone is extremely sensitive and it was problematic to set it up properly and tune it.”

In conclusion, Song says: “The church is extremely satisfied with the sound and they have had no problems. We’ll be coming back in a couple of months times to do our own evaluation of how the system is performing and see if any changes need to be made.”