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Audio and Light: Install at St. Pius, Part 1

May 12, 2011 10:07 AM, with Bennett Liles


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Yeah, the architecture looks pretty interesting because I think you've got a glass separation there between the chapel and the nave?
Exactly, the chapel is set aside for small services or day chapel and also can be used as overflow for the nave for large services, and so the separation is a set of glass doors there that can be opened, once again, for overflow, and you can turn the seats the other way. And we of course set up the audio in that room to heard from either direction. [Timestamp: 5]

And I would think that with the church people there once you were called in and you got them, they probably had some concerns over how it was all going to look as well as how it was going sound.
Oh certainly. That was a…they expressed that in the very beginning—aesthetically this had to be pleasing, most notably to the monsignor, but to everyone else as well. And so we did…as we talk about the speakers of course the…we talk about Renkus-Heinz Iconyx of course they're pretty low-profile but we also went to the extent of having every speaker custom-colored to match the paint on the wall that it's on. That did a tremendous amount to help us with the blending in. [Timestamp: 5:38]

And you did an EASE analysis on this and what did that show you? What advantages did that give you?
The architect did do an acoustic study with a consultant as part of their architectural package so they gave us that copy of that report and our EASE model verified their findings. I'm sure they did EASE models well, and so we felt pretty good that we had a good handle on what the room was going to do since it correlated with their results. And of course then, that gave us the ability to start looking at different types of speaker face and direct coverage of the room to see what it was going to take to do it, because the ceilings were very high, of course, and the room was very wide and we had needed to look at several different options at first. The EASE report's a great way to do that right there in our model. [Timestamp: 6:21]

Now what point on the design of this did you decide to go with arrays and the particular type on the speakers?
What we wanted to achieve with that is very, very accurate vertical pattern control because we wanted to keep as much energy off of the walls and the ceiling as we could. And secondly the room is, like I said, very wide and so we knew we were going to need multiple arrays or something if we used the one main cluster—something very wide. And the steerable column arrays of course by nature have very wide horizontal pattern and give us tremendous control on the vertical direction so it was…for speech intelligibility…I think we were directed down that path. [Timestamp: 7]

And any particular reason you decided to go with the Renkus-Heinz IC-24R's on the steered array cabinets?
The 24 for the fact that we used two of those, which gave us the horizontal width to the room we needed without any major overlap and filtering in the middle. And the second reason is they're more of a full-range steerable array than some of the other ones that are on the market and so since the fact that we had music involved here we wanted to make sure that we could produce as much of those frequencies as possible and the IC-24 gave us that height of array…gave us the sound pressure level that we needed at the back of the room. [Timestamp: 7:43]

And of course, the look of the system is always a subjective thing. What looks perfect to one person might look a little too obtrusively techy to another. So what kind of speakers did you have on this? What other ones did you have? It seems like you had multiple monitoring locations set up.
Oh—tremendous number of other speakers. For the choir, so they could hear the priest speak, for speech monitoring of him, we used a couple of Renkus-Heinz TRX-81's that are tucked off to the side so that they can hear when they're seated in the choir area. There is a small Renkus-Heinz SGX-41 that sits underneath the monsignor's seat so when he's seated and someone else is speaking he can hear up on the sanctuary platform. In the day chapel we used four SGX-81's from Renkus-Heinz as well. Once again, two in front of the chapel for day chapel use and two in the rear for whenever you want to turn and face towards the sanctuary and use the chapel as a overflow. Let's see, we have two SGX-41's in the narthex, or lobby, entryway of the church so that when the glass doors are closed you can hear out there what's being said inside. In several of the sacristies there are some Tannoy ceiling speakers—CVS-6's I believe—and outside in the gathering space we have a total of four Tannoy DI 8's weatherproof speakers for outside and we did do some low-frequency reinforcement with two large bag-in subwoofers that are hidden on top on one of the sacristy rooms there in the nave. [Timestamp: 9:12]

Ok, that's a lot of sources and destinations and I would think that that would introduce a rather complex control situation and that's what we're going to get into in Part 2. Brian, I appreciate your taking time to be here and tell us about the new audio system you put into the new St. Pius Tenth Parish, and thanks for being here.



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