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Two very different churches - One very capable line array

In the space of just over a month, Salem, Oregon‐based church sound specialists Alpha Sound have designed and installed NEXO GEO M6 line array systems in two houses of worship: Salem Heights, a gospel‐centred church with music at the heart of the celebration and, on the other side of the country, St. Catherine of Siena in Wake Forest, North Carolina, a traditional Catholic church.

“GEO M6 proved to be the perfect solution for both, even though the worship spaces and requirements for the systems were very different” says Alpha Sound’s lead engineer Devin Sheets. “In fact, we put 36 boxes of GEO M6 in both churches, within 36 days.”

At Salem Heights, the significant expansion of an existing Alpha Sound installed NEXO system coincided with a major building renovation, with the new system required to perform with the punch and SPL required for a live band, alongside the very clear and natural sound that the pastor had come to value. “They didn’t want a ‘rock PA’ sound, although the power of the GEO M6 astonishes everyone who hears it” reports Devin. “What’s more, the compact size of the M6 enabled us to have a lot of boxes – 9 each in four hangs flown high across what is quite a wide space – with the angles necessary to achieve excellent coverage from the front right up to the top of the balcony.”

Amplification and processing at Salem Heights come from NEXO’s NXAMP4X1Mk2 4‐channel powered TD Controllers, with LF extension from 3 x NEXO RS18 subs flown in a cardioid configuration and a single, central NEXO P8 providing down fill coverage right at the front.

Meanwhile in Wake Forest, NC, Alpha Sound challenged the conventional wisdom of installing a system of distributed column speakers in traditional churches, proving that left and right hangs of 12 x GEO M6 firing down the 200‐foot nave delivered the clarity and intelligibility of spoken word and choral performances demanded by St. Catherine of Siena Catholic church.

“It feels somewhat counter‐intuitive, but in fact the time‐alignment between the direct and reflected sound of a single stereo line array source was so close that the clarity throughout the space was much better and more consistent, without the hot spots and dropouts that come from distributed columns” says Devin.

A second, smaller pair of 6 x GEO M6 arrays cover the organ and choir, with LF extension from a NEXO L18 sub, and numerous speakers from NEXO’s compact ID Series fill in other areas of the church. Outside on the portico, 4 x NEXO P8 point source speakers are available for outdoor services, such as an Easter celebration at which 1000+ worshippers start outside before moving inside the church. “The church auditioned a lot of systems, with the comparison of the amplified and unamplified sound of the voices, choir and organ central to the process” says Devin in conclusion. “It was no surprise to me that the NEXO GEO M6 came out a clear winner. It’s an incredible speaker.”



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