Burnsville, MN, Apr 2023 – Located in the northern suburb of Farmers Branch, Mar Thoma Church of Dallas realized they needed to upgrade their sound system during the pandemic. The church's need to quickly convert to virtual online worship services exposed the limitations of their aging analog sound system and, after 25 years of growth, the timing was right for the church to make a major change in its approach to A/V.
"That experience made us realize that we needed to upgrade to a modern digital system to meet both our virtual and in-person worship needs," explains Aby Thomas, executive committee member and sound upgrade convenor for the church. "We sourced several companies and made the decision to use Apex, who visited our facility, listened to our needs and presented us with a solution proposal that fit our approved budget."
Based in nearby Wylie, TX, Apex General Trading is a startup integration company that features the IT expertise required for optimizing digital A/V systems. Headed by friends and partners Dipu Harilal, a disabled U.S. veteran, and IT audio specialist Tinto Skaria, Apex was invited to bid on the Mar Thoma upgrade after the church heard another Dallas-Ft. Worth-area church audio installation that Skaria had designed and installed.
"I think the reason we won the job was our approach, which was to learn their legacy system and how it was used, then take a step back to assess their current needs," explains Harilal. "Between their need for streaming services and a move toward more contemporary music presentation, it was clear that they needed to go digital. There were a lot of options, but after consulting with our primary pro audio dealer, Sound Productions, we decided to work with Electro-Voice and Dynacord audio gear in putting our proposal together."
Armed with a solid knowledge of the church's needs and budget, Apex developed a proposal based around EASE models developed from blueprints of the 800-capacity facility. The sound system consists of twin EVH-1152D horn-loaded mains, backed by a pair of EVF-2151D subwoofers hidden above and behind the altar area. Additional coverage is handled by two EVC-1082 point-source loudspeakers as 100° x 100° fills to cover seating behind the choir area. All loudspeakers are in matching white EVCoat.
Inputs, levels, DSP and other tasks across the Dante-enabled system are handled via the Dynacord MXE5 Matrix Mix Engine, and the entire system is powered by two Dynacord DSP amplifiers – an IPX10:8 and an IPX5:4.
"Having the entire system networked is a very powerful approach," explains Tinto Skaria. "The system interface is Dynacord's SONICUE software, which we used to set up the MXE5, creating custom profiles for each audio zone and optimizing loudspeaker performance. Initially, the system levels and EQ settings are all programmed and locked into the MXE5, with a future goal of creating touchscreen access after the church staff is fully trained."
The new system was unveiled in autumn of 2022. Aby Thomas reports that the audio upgrade instantly proved to be well worth the wait: "The new EV sound system has made a huge impact on our worship," says Thomas. "The church choir is ecstatic over the quality of the sound, and several church members have made similar comments. All agree that this project has been a huge success, meeting all our needs within the approved budget. Moving forward, the Apex team continues to help us train new A/V Team users to meet both the in-person and virtual needs of our growing parish. We are extremely happy with the results."
2x EVH-1152D/96 two-way horn-loaded coaxial loudspeaker
2x EVF-2151D dual-15" front-loaded subwoofer
2x EVC-1082-00 two-way loudspeaker
1x MXE5 Matrix Mix Engine, 24 x 24
1x IPX10:8 DSP amplifier, 8x 1250 W
1x IPX5:4 DSP amplifier, 4x 1250 W
1x SONICUE Sound System Software
Photo credit: Brandon Jacob Photography