Case Study: Yonsei Central Baptist church, Korea
Hurrairah bin Sohail discovers how Yonsei Central Baptist church took the performance
of its main hall up a notch when it decided to upgrade AV systems.
It is no secret that the houses of worship
market in South Korea is lucrative.
Churches in the country more often than
not have extensive AV requirements and
discerning congregations. In addition,
they also have the means to invest in the best AV
manufacturers have to offer. It is not strange to
ﬁ nd churches in South Korea with audio systems
to rival concert halls and broadcast capabilities
that match modern TV studios.
Yonsei Central Baptist church is one of the
more established houses of worship in the city
of Seoul. When it decided to upgrade its AV
capabilities, Dream Sound came in to serve as the
integrator for the project while Klausys helped in
the capacity of distributor.
Park Pyong Jun, sound director and system
engineer at Yonsei Central Baptist church,
discusses the thought process behind the
upgrade: “There comes a time in the technology
lifecycle when old products become obsolete.
The requirements and needs of the space evolve
and your understanding of them also becomes
better. So we decided to upgrade the audio and
video systems at our church.”
The video component of the upgrade was
straightforward. Yonsei Central Baptist church
was previously using rear projection for its main
hall. However, these projectors were near the end
of their life cycle. The church also found that
the projected image was small. Taking this into
consideration, it chose to deploy an ESD Lumens
312-in LED 3mm tile display.
Upgrading the audio system was not as simple.
Yonsei Central Baptist church was previously using
an L-Acoustics Kudo line array speaker system
for sound in its main hall. While the church was
happy with the performance of the L-Acoustics
solution, it nevertheless went through an
extensive deliberation process. After performing
its due diligence, the church decided to upgrade
to the L-Acoustics K2 line array speakers.
A total of 16 units of the K2 speakers have
been deployed on the left and right side of the
LED display wall in the main hall. These are
powered by LA8 ampliﬁ ers which have been
ﬂ own up with the line array speakers. L-Acoustics
SB28 subwoofers are employed to handle the low
end of audio frequencies. L-Acoustics dV-Dosc
speakers act as the centre ﬁ ll while 5XT speakers
serve as side ﬁlls.
Park talks about the audio in the main hall:
“Sound for music has never been a problem in
the main hall, whether a big band or a small
ensemble is performing. The issue has always
been with speech. In addition, our pastor has
a small voice which makes matters worse. We
wanted to rectify this with the upgrade.”
Six L-Acoustics 8XT speakers were speciﬁ cally
deployed around the main hall to serve as delay
speakers. Park says: “The delay speakers are used
only for speech and not for music. The hall was
previously not good for speech. The space is actually
very non-reverberant. So the delay speakers were
chosen to rectify this. We also have a reﬂector to
provide a natural bounce for the audio.”
Korean churches believe in the adage ‘waste
not, want not’. The old Kudo speakers have been
repurposed to serve as stage monitors.
Yonsei Central Baptist church has a total of
128 Shure wired microphones and 48 Shure
wireless microphone systems. The large number of
microphones are necessary due to the large band
that performs at congregations along with a choir.
A Harrison Trion console along with a Yamaha
DM1000 mixer handles microphone inputs.
Audio transmission is via MADI.
On the back-end Lab.gruppen FP2600, FP3400
and FP6400 ampliﬁ ers are used. Processing is
handled by a BSS London Blu-80 and Blu-120 which
were retained from the old audio system. Two Blu-
800 DSPs were also added as part of the upgrade.
In the past houses of worship only concerned
themselves with delivering quality audio. The
increased consumption of video content by users
today has made churches change their tune.
Yonsei Central Baptist church is an excellent
example of the quality of broadcast systems
deployed at modern houses
of worship to engage with
its congregation via visual
Ikegami cameras are used
to record sermons in the main
hall. These can be controlled
remotely with the help of
Ikegami camera control units in
the control room. The Ikegami
cameras are connected to a
Canare patch system. From here
the video signal is fed into a
Sony MVS6000 broadcast grade
switcher and processor.
The video signal is then sent
forward to a Nevion VikinX
128 x 128 switcher which then
feeds the signal to Dongyang
TV modulators and video
recorders. The TV modulators
are used to broadcast content to internal TVs
found around the church. The VikinX switcher
is also connected to Nova Star Nova Pro LED
controllers which deliver content to be displayed
on the LED tile display in the main hall.
Park says: “Our broadcast system is very extensive,
which it needs to be to meet the demands of our
congregation. The content that we record and
process is sent out over digital platforms and can
be seen on screens in the church. We even make it
available for people on the internet.”
Regarding the outcome of the upgrade, Park
says: “We are very happy with the upgrade.
The whole process was undertaken bit by bit
and we intend to continue to improve the AV
systems. The audio portion of the upgrade is
completed and it has helped up solve the main
hall’s problem with speech reproduction. We’ll be
looking at updating our broadcasting capabilities
in the future. In particular we will be looking at
getting some more user friendly camera control
and production tools which will be easier for our
volunteers to operate.”