Though founded decades earlier, the Midland Nazarene Church in Midland, Michigan moved to its present, 450-seat church in 1970. Although much changed in the four decades that followed, the church’s sound system didn’t change until only very recently. It bore the burden of the church’s increasing use of reinforced music, and equipment slowly succumbed to time and wear. When finally the only things that were still functioning as they had when they went in were a pair of Ashly FTX-1501 MOS-FET amplifiers (circa early 1980s), Midland Nazarene put its renovation out to bid. Nearby A/V integrator Center Line Technologies won the bid, scrapped everything except the perfectly functioning “vintage” Ashly amps, and added new Ashly amplifiers and processing to bring the sound system up to modern standards.
“This was the kind of church that likes to do things for themselves,” said Tony Rogalski, vice president at Center Line Technologies. “As their on-stage needs grew, they added four mini floor monitors for the praise team, two monitors for the pulpit, and two monitors for the musicians. All told, they had eight floor monitors on stage and only two small loudspeakers to cover the congregation. And they were the original two loudspeakers!”
Rogalski replaced those two loudspeakers with a new JBL system comprised of multiple flown loudspeakers and monitors, plus subwoofers. The new system called for vastly more channels, and while he was happy to keep the Ashly FTX-1501 MOS-FET amplifiers in service for monitors, he added an Ashly KLR 5000 to power the left/right loudspeakers and an Ashly KLR 4000 to power the center loudspeaker and the flown monitors. A new Ashly ne24.24M processor with modular I/O now replaces the scant analog processing of the original system. He increased its I/O count to 8×8 to handle all the new equipment. New Shure wireless microphones and an Aviom system provide a robust input set, which the church now mixes with a new Allen & Heath GLD-80 digital console. Rogalski repurposed several of the floor monitors for use in the classrooms that serve as overflow.
“We started working with Ashly processing over fifteen years ago, and it became our go-to processor,” said Rogalski. “Ashly processors never failed, and my field techs consistently reported that they were the easiest to program and gave them the most consistent results. Why mess with that track record? Ashly amplifiers won me over when we started specifying their combined amplifier/processor units. At their price point, it’s like buying an amplifier and getting a processor for free. Ashly amplifiers have proven to be every bit as robust as the Ashly processors that I’m more familiar with.”
He continued, “Midland, Michigan supposedly has more PhDs than anywhere else, and selling them on a system was a bit of challenge because they were all rocket scientists. Because their original Ashly amplifiers had proven themselves, they had no problem with our choice of Ashly for the new amps and processing. They’re very happy with the way things turned out. There is a clarity and naturalness to the sound, and the coverage, which had previously been spotty, is now even and seamless.”