Auralex®Acoustics, Inc., the industry leader in innovative sound control solutions, is a critical element in the overall sound design at New Life Community Church in Oxnard, California. The church features custom Auralex ELiTE™ ProPanels™ and ProBaffles™ to help absorb additional sound energy and add aesthetic visual appeal throughout its cavernous interior, with the main goal of making speech intelligibility clearer and only slightly secondary goal of better music clarity
Richard Rutherford of Rutherford Design was posed to re-purpose the 50,000 square foot industrial space, which would be the new home for New Life Community Church. Since Rutherford was involved in the design process, before the walls were even up. This enabled him to suggest some basic acoustical layouts throughout the space to help with speech intelligibility. The two main walls are not parallel and the entrance hallway and doorways are slightly offset, even though they look symmetrical. Also, the rear main wall is not a straight line; it actually curves. These small architectural details, in terms of non-parallel walls and entrances, naturally help to redirect reflections and sound energy.
“In a house of worship, I’m concerned more with the peripheral seats and the back half of the room,” says Rutherford. “To communicate with those people intimately, the spoken word in this kind of environment needs a high level of intelligibility. In a space like this, regardless of the budget or loudness of the audio system, if you have a six-, seven- or eight-second overall reverb time, there’s just no way it’s going to be intelligible.”
Rutherford installed 51 custom ELiTE ProPanels (4′ x 8′ x 2″) on the walls around the 900-seat sanctuary worship area. ELiTE ProPanels are fabric-covered, acoustic-absorptive panels designed to absorb slap and flutter echoes, providing a more pleasing and accurate listening environment. Rutherford also specified 21 custom ProBaffles (4′ x 20′ x 2″), which were mounted above the light fixture’s line of sight and hang from the ceiling. ProBaffles are absorptive panels wrapped in a lightweight material and designed to be hung vertically from the ceilings in commercial facilities. The panels have a fiberglass core and carry a Class-A fire rating. The edges and corners are square and non-hardened.
“The layout of the ceiling gave us an opportunity to do a fairly symmetrical array of hanging flags to baffle the low-mid frequencies getting toward the back of the room,” continues Rutherford. “After the installation of the Auralex products, the room now sits at about a second-and-a-half reverb, and it sounds great, regardless of where you are sitting in the sanctuary.”
The installation also features several L-ACOUSTICS loudspeakers, Allen & Health front-of-house monitor/mix equipment, as well as several video and lighting products rounding out the acoustic treatment from Auralex for a multi-faceted, complete audio/video system.
For more information, visit http://www.rutherforddesign.com/portfolio/worship-facilities/new-life-church