HALO-C Fits Perfectly at Reigate Baptist Church
Matt Kefford, the gathering pastor at Reigate Baptist Church, is an electrician by trade and also performs as a musician with experience as a sound engineer. It therefore goes without saying that he was driving force behind a recent audio system upgrade at the house of worship, personally overseeing the purchase and the installation.
‘One of the things we had always struggled with during services was audio clarity,’ Mr Kefford explains. ‘It was like the mix was always muddy no matter what we did, and we couldn’t have it very loud because the sound wasn’t pleasant. I found it so frustrating.’
The pastor explored his options, obtaining quotes for new solutions from a range of systems integrators, including Stage Electrics. ‘I got a call from Stage Electrics who told me they had the ideal person to help,’ remembers Mr Kefford. ‘They said he had done a lot of work in churches, so would be perfect as he could share his experience with us.
‘We were still paying the mortgage on the new property, so we didn’t have the money spare to buy anything,’ he continues. ‘But it’s my passion to do everything as well as I can, so I was inspired go away and try to write a grant application.’
The ‘ideal person’ at Stage Electrics was system designer Jamie Gosney, who kept in contact with Mr Kefford while he applied for grants, many of which were rejected. ‘Jamie actually came and recorded a live album of our church band for us, which we still use,’ says Mr Kefford. ‘Then, finally, late last year we were able to release the funds to do the project.’
While Reigate Baptist awaited funding, Stage Electrics demonstrated several systems at the church and by the time the money was available, the system had been designed. This comprised an EM Acoustics HALO-C line array loudspeaker setup, controlled by a DiGiCo S31 digital mixing console.
‘As well as its incredible clarity, we suggested HALO-C because it has a wide horizontal dispersion which suits the configuration of the auditorium, which is wide, but shallow in depth,’ explains Mr Gosney. ‘The previous system the church had was point source. It was very difficult to control in terms of coverage and tricky to keep off the hard surfaces of the building – the interior of the church has a lot of brickwork and glass which, along with its peculiar shape [the back wall of the auditorium is curved] were causing acoustic issues. Using HALO-C meant we could direct the sound into the congregation and keep it off the reflective surfaces as much as possible.’
The Stage Electrics team also worked to ensure that the system wasn’t too visually intrusive. ‘The church is very modern and its clean lines required a compact system, so the EM Acoustics solution was perfect and fits nicely with the aesthetics of the building,’ notes Paul Roughton, business development manager at Stage Electrics.
‘The process from initial enquiry to installation has taken several years for different reasons,’ the pastor concludes. ‘Jamie really impressed me with his professionalism; not only with his advice and experience but also because he valued us as customers; always making us feel like he wanted to spend time with us rather than just sell us a system and that same customer services goes for the manufacturers, too.’
Published by kind permission from Worship AVL
Photography by Sarah James