Mount Paran Church
Next-Gen Sanctuary Audio Technology Inspires Paradigm-Changing Worship Experience
For more than half a century, Atlanta’s Mount Paran Church has been celebrated by the evangelical world as a beacon of effective ministry and engaged, growing membership, evidenced by its 13,000-plus-member congregation. In fact, it was this very community of faith that pioneered the “one church in two locations” concept in the late ’80s that eventually laid the groundwork for multiple satellite campuses, now a hallmark of many of today’s houses of worship. So, it should come as no surprise that Mount Paran is forward-thinking when it comes to the technology it uses to communicate its message, a point that was clearly underscored by its distinction as the world’s first house of worship to install a sanctuary audio technology system built upon L-ISA Hyperreal Sound technology.
“Good sound is one of the most essential elements in today’s churches, and achieving consistent, engaging audio throughout an entire worship space is mission-critical so that the congregation has a shared community experience,” says Tim Corder, Strategic Accounts Director – House of Worship for Diversified. “The previous loudspeaker system in Mount Paran’s main auditorium had been in place for many years, and as it aged, it began to have component failures that created erratic coverage—sonically ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ spots throughout the room—which was hampering the worship experience for many of their congregants.”
Although Diversified initially considered specifying a left/right array-based design for Mount Paran’s loudspeaker retrofit, the presence of large LED screens on either side of the stage meant that the array lengths necessary for providing optimal coverage would create sightline issues, particularly for those seated in the balcony. Furthermore, the church wanted to minimize the number of modifications made to the architecture, both for aesthetic and budgetary reasons.
“With so little space to work with above the screens, we chose to explore an L-ISA design, which offered us the ability to spread the system’s power out horizontally versus vertically,” says Nick Geiger, Account Executive and Audio Lead for Diversified. “This enabled us to achieve the SPL and coverage that we needed while keeping the speaker hangs compact enough to not cause visibility issues with the lighting and video facilities.”
“L-ISA is an incredible tool for Houses of Worship,” enthuses Geiger. “As an audience member, you don’t just want to feel as though you’re sitting in the room spectating something that’s happening onstage. Mount Paran has a large choir, orchestra and praise team, and L-ISA enables you to feel enveloped by their sound—like you’re a part of it—in every seat in the house.”
Corder agrees, adding that the audio imaging capabilities of the new system produce a very natural-sounding binaural listening experience. “When the left side of the choir has a solo, you feel it come from the left side,” he says. “I’ve heard them stagger vocal intros between the left, right and center sections, and you really feel that localization—and it’s stunning! You totally forget that you’re listening to a PA because it just feels like you’re listening to the choir. I’ve never had that experience before.”
“We at Diversified pride ourselves on being at the forefront of emerging technologies that are making an impact in our industry,” Corder adds. “You really must experience L-ISA as one of the several thousand people gathered in the room during a service to understand the full impact that this technology and loudspeaker system makes on the engagement of the congregation. Words do not do it justice. It is inspiring on a level that is quite literally paradigm-changing.”