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A MISSION TO SUCCEED - Presbyterian Church of the Masters in Mission Viejo, CA, USA
By Mike Lethby
Iconyx provides unobtrusive solution for modern worship space

The picture above shows an unusual view of an ICONYX loudspeaker – in a rather unusual position.

Viewed from behind the drum kit on stage at the Presbyterian Church of the Masters in Miession Viejo, California, the slender IC16 column sits on a steel plate, which in turn rests on a 12 ft long rail. Its purpose? To allow the church’s audio team to physically reconfigure their ground level PA according to whether or not there’s a live band taking part in a service. And that’s not all that makes the modern, 60s-formed (but recently totally rebuilt) Mission Viejo church different from the norm.

The award-winning architects Dominy & Associates, hailing from San Diego, have worked with Church of the Masters on three major projects, the latest of which has seen a brand new sanctuary constructed. An attractive, asymmetrical design with a balcony to one side and the rear, it features pleasant acoustics and a modern pipe organ (donated by a member of the congregation). Weekly worship includes two conventional services and one that’s more contemporary. The church has a strong choral tradition, with a blend of choral music and praise singing.

The challenge? After the 750-seat room was designed, the church decided to install video screens which meant plans for loudspeaker locations and conduits had to be re-thought. Acoustician and AV designer Vance Breshears of Sound Technology Consulting provided the new system design, working with integrator Scott Oosthausen at Sound Image.

The church’s audio technician, Vince Pilar, takes up the story: “We were happy with the acoustics, and acoustically we do not need sound reinforcement to present music to the congregation. We have about 200 seats up in the balcony where the Yamaha DM2000 console is, 500 downstairs and 50 in the choir". The challenge we had was that the screens were not in the original design, which entailed putting loudspeakers into a new location. Vance was concerned about overpowering the room, which is why he started looking at ICONYX, with the TRX42 infill stair step speakers covering the seats closest to the centre.
He adds: “Shortly after the speakers were hung, our organist walked in and asked, “Where are the new speakers?’ He didn’t see ‘em.” Says Breshears: “The challenge was that the facility didn’t lend itself to sound reinforcement. One of the architects’ criteria was that the speakers could not impose on the facility architecturally. We considered a tradition cluster, but nobody really liked that idea, and then ICONYX, which gave us the option to make good sound in the balcony and on the floor. So we put that idea to the guys at the church and they liked the concept of it."

“ICONYX – and Sound Image – helped us overcome the challenge very well. We are very pleased with how it sounds; the guys from the church are as well.”

Vince Pilar, with Renkus-Heinz National
Sales Manager David Rahn

Presbyterian Church of the Masters.
Architects: Dominy & Associates

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