Raleigh Sound Design

Every facility has unique acoustics, so sound systems need to be carefully designed to match. Certain facilities need to have spoken word understood clearly throughout, whereas other facilities need to accommodate amplified bands or orchestras. Regardless, having a feel for the acoustics ensures a successful sound design. Our Raleigh sound design experts understand the differences between these requirements and can give your building the correct profile to maximize its performance, comfort, and usability.

Wake Forest University – BB&T Field Sound System

Wake Forest University’s BB&T Field’s 125,000 watt sound system was designed and installed by Strategic Connections.


Strategic Connections does not only do sound design in Raleigh. We have a branch in Winston-Salem that worked on Wake Forest University’s football stadium, BB&T Field. This open-air field required unique professional sound design, as the acoustics of an open-air field are obviously different from those of a closed auditorium or presentation room. Our expertise and understanding of professional acoustics meant that our sound system provided Wake Forest with exactly what they needed.

UNC Charlotte – Football Stadium Sound System

UNC Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson Stadium’s sound system was designed and installed by Strategic Connections. With a capacity of 15,314 people, this horseshoe shaped stadium uses a lot of brick in its structure. This presented a unique acoustic challenge that we needed to keep in mind when we designed the sound system.


Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Arena

Wake Forest University’s LJVM basketball arena sound system was designed and installed by Strategic Connections. With a capacity of 14,407 seat closed arena, it presents yet another acoustic challenge compared to the open air football stadiums. Used for a variety of events including basketball and concerts, the sound system needed to be versatile.



Church On The Move, Tulsa Oklahoma

The following article appeared in Church Production Magazine online edition, June 2010.

“Already the largest church in the region, the 12,000-member Church on the Move in Tulsa, Oklahoma chose to remodel its existing main sanctuary by adding an additional 700 seats.

Raleigh, North Carolina-based system designer Strategic Connections handled the sound system upgrade. The video end of the project was led by Shawnee, Kansas-based Big Picture Productions.

At the heart of the new sound reinforcement system are 38 JBL VerTec VT4888 midsize line array elements flown in four arrays with 16 JBL ASB6128V subwoofers, 10 flown and six located under the stage. For front fills, seven JBL AC28/95 loudspeakers are housed behind the perimeter of the stage. “The goal was to provide rock and roll style PA without filling the space with tons of speakers,” says Brant Doell, system designer for Strategic Connections.

Doell says the decision to choose JBL was easy once the scope of the project became clear. “We did look at other vendors to start with until the number of boxes and racks were growing past our size limitations. JBL offers more for the dollar and size of their boxes than the competitors and they had all the gear in stock to ship that same week we ordered it.”

The system is powered by 49 Crown MA5000i amplifiers and 10 CTs 2000 and CTs 3000 amplifiers with control and routing handled by BSS Soundweb London BLU-160 processors, all networked via Harman HiQnet System Architect. “Having the entire system on the network from one location allows us to handle troubleshooting sessions from our office to help insure the customer has the best support possible,” adds Doell.

“The system sounds great and six months after the install was completed, no corrective equalization or system adjustments have been necessary. Pastor Willie George was excited that his voice could be heard clearly and dynamically throughout the room without hurting the front rows and Audio Director, Andrew Stone, has been quite pleased with the clarity, punch and consistency being delivered to every seat,” says Doell.


At Church on the Move services, the message is enhanced by lighting, stage sets, audio, and video that rivals big-name rock tours in design and effect. Like many concerts, “image magnification” video of the live performance, fed to large display screens, plays a big part in a Church on the Move service. This element is created by an in-house video system consisting of four standard-definition broadcast video cameras, several high-resolution computer graphics sources, and a Barco FSN 150 switcher feeding two 16×9 foot LED walls each comprised of 66 Barco iLite 6BK LED tiles.

The iLite 6BK tiles are designed to offer an ideal, cost-effective display solution that addresses the church’s needs for high image quality and solid reliability over many years. The LED display boasts a long life span, with low maintenance and power consumption. Additional flexibility is gained with the modular design. The displays can be moved to almost anywhere on a stage full of powerful concert lighting without creating conflicts with the existing stage lighting. In addition to a bright display, the Ilite 6BK provides a wider viewing angle. Members of the congregation positioned at an extreme off-axis angle to the screen can still see a clear and bright image.

Prior to the FSN switcher installation, Church on the Move used a switcher and external video special effects generator that introduced an unacceptable amount of delay into the output video. The audience saw events on screen about a half-second after they actually occurred on stage. When Church on the Move could not fix the delay problems caused by the existing switcher, they turned to Big Picture Productions who recommended the FSN switcher.

Barco’s FSN is a 3G-ready switcher that combines advanced, multi-format production and presentation switching in one highly integrated unit. By seamlessly integrating multiple video and computer graphics formats on a common platform, the FSN series provides a streamlined package that’s modular, easy to operate, and highly cost effective.

After the FSN’s installation, Church on the Move saw immediate improvement. “The FSN cut the delay down to almost nothing,” remarks Andrew Stone, production manager at Church on the Move. “There’s also no discernable added delay when we add effects like strobing and colorization to shots using the FSN’s built-in special effects package. It’s been a really slick way for us to go.”

The FSN’s flexible, input and output architecture makes it an ideal fit for a hybrid SD/HD environment like Church on the Move. The Church’s four existing standard definition-cameras are upscaled by the FSN to a 720p HD output with impressive results. “With the FSN switcher, we can’t believe how good our upscaled standard def cameras look,” Stone adds. “We’ve had pro video engineers come in here and swear that this is an all-HD house, but we’re not; we just run our SD cameras in 16×9 mode and scale up through this awesome switcher.” One secret behind the FSN’s ability to bridge the gap between SD and HD is Barco’s proprietary Athena scaler technology. The Athena scaling engine is at the heart of the FSN’s scaling and provides exceptionally clear, scaled images, with only one frame of delay.

Stone’s remarks are corroborated by Evan French, president of Big Picture Productions. “At Church on the Move we’re outputting everything in 720p and it looks phenomenal. I’ve done a lot of video in a lot of different venues over the years, but I’ve never experienced the quality that’s coming out of these Barco products, from the FSN, to the DX-700,to the iLite6XP LED walls,” French says.

With the FSN switcher, upgrading to full HD is simply a matter of changing to all HD sources; no extra hardware or software keys are required. As Jed Deame, VP of Image Processing for Barco says, “The FSN was designed with the house-of-worship market clearly in mind as a cost- effective switcher solution supporting SD, HD, and a variety of computer sources. Church on the Move was able to enhance the experience with a switcher that is designed to take them well into the future. Now they are able to take full advantage of their sources, as well as maximizing their LED display investment.”

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