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Lake Contour Keeps Hillsong Church On Cutting Edge

Australia's largest church adds Pro26D digital loudspeaker processors. (May 24, 2004)

Australia's largest church, Hillsong Church in northwest Sydney, remains one of the most technologically advanced buildings of its kind in the country with the recent addition of three Lake Contour Pro26D digital loudspeaker processors in its convention center. Hillsong Convention Center, opened in late 2002, was designed to modern convention center standards and features state-of-the-art sound, lighting, and video infrastructures.

The original loudspeaker management in the center's 3,500-seat main auditorium was limited in DSP resources, according to audio systems designer Scott Willsallen, who recalls that he initially recommended Lake Contour to the church based on the precision and layering ability of its filters. Willsallen had previously utilized Lake Contours on the sound system for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Rugby World Cup during 2003.

"The limitless grouping available in Lake Contour adds a level of flexibility that no other device can offer, both from a tuning and a monitoring perspective," says Willsallen. Equalization may be applied to compensate for a speaker's phase response, then additional, multiple parametric and graphic curves may be overlaid to optimize the entire sound system, for example.

In the main auditorium audio system, two Lake Contour units control the main left and right flown clusters of 3-way EAW KF760 and KF761 line array speakers, powered by Crown amplifiers. The third unit provides management of the front and center fill systems and the subwoofers.

For Willsallen, Lake Contour's Mesa filter, which allows users to overlay a single, customized, asymmetrical curve to tailor a frequency response that would ordinarily require multiple channels of EQ, has been indispensable in optimizing the sub-bass loudspeaker arrays. "A Mesa filter was used above the low pass filter point to attenuate the out-of-band energy that the standard tuning passes," he elaborates. "This one filter, which was a rather dramatic one, made the greatest single improvement to the sound and feel of the sub-bass system."

"The Contours have one extra feature that for certain installations and events is reason enough to specify the product," observes Willsallen. "When fitted with the AES/EBU input option, Lake Contour can automatically switch between AES and analogue inputs, with AES as the priority, which introduces a level of redundancy that others processors do not."

Michael Cuthbertson, engineering director for Lifestyle Systems Pty Ltd, the company charged with overseeing the ongoing expansion of the audiovisual and communications systems at the rapidly growing church, agrees with Willsallen. "The deciding factor came down to filter quality and ease of operation to implement the desired filtering."

He continues, "We also required a redundancy plan, for which the AES/analogue auto-select function caught our attention." At Hillsong, the left, right, mono and subwoofer AES outputs of the Yamaha PM1D digital console feed the digital inputs of the Lake Contour units in parallel with analogue backup feeds.

Prior to the installation at the church, Cuthbertson also consulted with another major client, Steve Leroux at the Sydney Opera House, where 11 Lake Contour Pro26Ds are installed. Cuthbertson had already had a favorable experience with Lake Contour after installing it at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, where he was formerly the FOH engineer. "I felt that system performance tonally was the best we had ever achieved within that venue, which made my job much easier in achieving a great sound."

Cuthbertson reveals that there is a requirement for a fourth Lake Contour unit at the church. "We also have numerous other venues within the building as well as two additional major projects on the table where Contours are being considered," he adds.

The Hillsong Convention Center additionally houses an 800-seat auditorium, nine lecture theatres, two professional dance studios, Sunday school rooms and play areas, as well as a children's day care center. The church regularly produces a half-hour Christian television program featuring the teachings of Pastor Brian Houston that is broadcast in over 120 countries around the world, including the U.S. (For more information:

About Lake Technology Limited
Lake Technology Limited (ASX:LAK), an innovator in audio digital signal processing, is the creator of the technology behind "Dolby Headphone," a software solution enabling cinema-quality surround sound to be experienced over any pair of stereo headphones. Lake has strategic relationships with Dolby Laboratories and Clair Bros. Lake customers include major computer OEMs, commercial electronics OEMs, telecommunications companies, airlines, and research institutions. The company has offices in Sydney, Australia and San Francisco, CA.

For more information about Lake Technology and its patented digital audio technologies, please visit the new Lake Contour web site at and email us at [email protected].


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Related Keywords:Lake Technology, Lake Contour, Hillsong Church, Pro26D, Scott Willsallen, EAW KF760, KF761, Crown amplifiers, Mesa filter, Michael Cuthbertson, Lifestyle Systems Pty, Yamaha, PM1D, Steve Leroux, Sydney Opera House, Pastor Brian Houston,


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