Case Study

Hitting the right note

Flipside installs audio solution to meet the livelier performance needs of Ashington Church

Renovated just over ten years ago, Ashington Church in Pulborough hosts an array of events, from prayer evenings to live band concerts and have been doing everything they can to keep the congregation’s spirits high during the uncertain lockdown period.

As the needs of the church have grown of the years, for both live and online services, a new audio installation was needed as the original speakers in the ceiling beams and down the aisle often resulted in ‘dead zones’ and delay issues during performances.

“While it did mean we had a better signal to noise ratio, those speakers just couldn’t reproduce the sound we wanted,” explains Simon Barrett, Sound Engineer and Consultant for Ashington Church. “I even had to bring in a sub from time to time just to balance everything out, which wasn’t ideal.”

Finding a permanent solution

After having several systems installed on a temporary basis, Barrett decided he needed something more permanent. AV professionals need to guide church leaders when considering how both spaces and AV equipment will be used differently, helping them to define suitable and flexible solutions. Flipside Soundsystem were ultimately chosen to organise a more permanent solution for the Ashington congregation and taking into account the narrow dispersion requirements, the team went for a TW Audio speaker installation which included; two T20is, two QBT20s, a B30i, a C5 and an M8i.

“It’s a friendly layout for a church,” says Flipside Managing Director, James Cooper. “It’s not a particularly reverberant room and with the audience capacity being around 300, you don’t need anything massive to fill up that type of space.”

A Truss length strapped to the spanning oak beam was also installed, providing a slick look to the aesthetic as well as an ease of installation for the T20 speakers. “That method of fixing was great as we left no permanent damage to the building,” Cooper adds. “It gave us a nice, safe and secure mounting of the T20s, and has ultimately given us structure for any future installations they might want to add. Simon has already mounted a couple of paddles and shotgun mics for recordings, which give it a nice bit of infrastructure to work with.”

Flexible sound

For the amplification set up, Flipside installed the Powersoft Quarrto and a Duecanali ranges which Barrett modified with a remote on-off switch that will ultimately come in handy during live performances. “I’m really looking forward to listening to a full band on this system as it’s great to have a set up that I know will work and that I can adjust if I need to. I’ve been learning how to use the PowerSoft system and I’m already enjoying the flexibility, so I can adjust things like the tops to sub-ratio, in terms of level, if and when I need to.”

Positive feedback from the church congregation

As well as approving the overall sound quality, Barrett also appreciated Flipside’s hands-on approach during the installation process. “The team said they would come and do an audio demo of the system, free of charge, which wasn’t part of our original agreement, so I really liked that extra level of support. They also ran some extra cables for me such as a DMX as well as a couple of mic and Ethernet cables and terminated the wireless ones, as they had time to spare. That was really kind of them, and it certainly helped the process.”

The result has seen positive feedback from the church congregation and visitors. “It’s such a smooth sounding system that is practically invisible and so all the comments have been really encouraging,” Barrett concludes. “Even the vicar has said it is a system worthy of his new acoustic guitar!”