Houses of Worship! With better audio, people will engage more because they will hear exactly what the pastor, preacher, rabbi, or other church leader is saying. A captivated audience is a focused audience. We’ve worked on small projects where they require analog, to huge live event production scale projects. No religious institution is the same, there’s certainly no size that fits all.
In houses of worship with impressive architecture, arched ceilings or more modern buildings, the narrow vertical coverage of K-array’s slim column speakers minimises the sound spill towards the ceiling and the floor, thus increasing the intelligibility in highly reverberant environments. We’ve rounded up some inspiration for those working on a #HoW project!
Guildford Cathedral, UK
To update the outdated 100v line loudspeaker system that was no longer fit for purpose. The Cathedral is also used quite extensively by the University of Surrey for concerts and ceremonies therefore requiring a full range system. As part of the upgrade it was also necessary from a health and safety perspective to remove the asbestos-based acoustic plaster that was lining the 22 metre high, 1,000 square metre ceiling, and as a result the building acoustics presented the installer with a sizable challenge.
DM Music chose our UK distributor 2BHeard and K-array. The Vyper KV50 column arrays installed in the nave consist of eight closely-spaced 1-inch drivers in an elegant stainless-steel chassis, providing focused listening from the inward-facing pillar locations. Their narrow vertical dispersion and wide horizontal coverage pattern ensure that sound is directed solely at the congregation and away from reflective surfaces. In addition to the sixteen KV50s covering the whole of the nave, eight KU44 colour-matched subwoofers are fixed on the outside of every other pillar, complementing the mid-high speakers to provide full range frequency response. In the crossing a pair of KV50s point back towards the Quire to fill in for the front few rows. Tornado KT2 spot monitors are installed under the choir pews; this location is also the control point for the whole system – equipped with a fixed iPad, a mobile iPad so the vergers can walk around and assess sound quality, a CD player, and a recorder. An additional pair of KV50 speakers fire up towards the presbytery. To complete the loudspeaker setup, there is another pair of KV50s with KU44 subs projecting sound to the high altar. They also installed a feed into the choristers’ practice space to allow them to hear what’s going on while they’re getting ready, while in the West Porch they’ve got KT2s to provide some in-fill, and in the West Gallery they’ve also installed KV50s. With Kommander amplifiers powering the system.
The Happy Customer
“As well as presenting a difficult acoustic environment, like many of our Grade I and Grade II listed churches aesthetics was also a major consideration. The advantage that K-array has over other speaker manufacturers is that not only do their installed products sound great in an environment such as this, they are also very discreet, and we were able to RAL colour-match to the stone work to make them virtually invisible.”
Graham Bennewith - Installations Director at DM Music
St Patrick’s Cathedral, USA
St. Patrick's Cathedral, located in midtown Manhattan, has been an iconic national landmark for more than 130 years and is one of the most visited churches in the US. Recently St. Pat’s underwent a massive, multi-year renovation that included extensive interior and exterior structural restorations while the audio system was in need of an overhaul as well. The church required a system with minimal visual profile and high intelligibility in a very reverberant environment. Ben Bausher, Senior Consultant at JaffeHolden, was brought in as the system design consultant and immediately selected K-array.
54 Kobra-KK102 line array elements in white were installed throughout the cathedral powered by 31 Kommander-KA10PC Class D power amplifiers. The loudspeakers amplify spoken voice and the occasional musical accompaniment that originates from the altar. Given the relative ease of the installation, the biggest challenge the installers encountered was commissioning the audio system between the hours of 10pm and 6am so as not to disrupt tourist traffic or the multiple daily masses that were performed in the Cathedral.
The Happy Customer
“The Kobra was chosen because it did not stand out and for other good reasons, including the extraordinary performance / size ratio and mounting hardware. The KK102 has adapted perfectly to the width of the grooves in the columns, with a total natural finish effect.”
Ben Bausher - Senior Consultant, JaffeHolden
Rey de Reyes
Founded in 1986 in Buenos Aires, the Rey de Reyes church arises from a remodelling of the original auditorium on Olazábal street, carried out in 2004, equipping it with line array systems and internal acoustic conditioning throughout the auditorium combined with an excellent general aesthetics, a capacity for up to 2000 people and a large stage. Rey de Reyes church needed more horizontal coverage, smaller system size, and equal or better audio quality.
Four units of the Mugello-KH2 model were chosen for their audio processing capacity, extensive connectivity options, wide coverage and small size. The system is installed as a stereo side fill system (2 Mugello-KH2 systems per side sweeping over the stage), using the AES/EBU inputs as audio connectivity and the RS485 inputs as control connectivity, connected to a computer through K-array's K-USB interface, being controlled by the K-framework software. The simulation for the positioning of the systems and the programming of the FIR filters was carried out through the EASE FOCUS software, being then levelled and adjusted in frequency and phase through the measurements made with FFT analyzers using the transfer function.
Despite having had to work a bit to avoid the excessive generation of the comb effect produced by mono signals in the system (given that for aesthetic and building reasons it had to be installed in an almost “crossfire” position), the result was highly satisfactory, achieving very even coverage both in level and frequency on and off axis, over the entire surface to be covered, as established through the simulation. As mentioned before, the audio processing power, extensive connectivity options, wide coverage and small size. A radical change occurred in the audio of the Rey de Reyes auditorium main stage in Buenos Aires. Replacing the side fill systems of a well-known brand with the surprising K-array Mugello-KH2 that generate a wide and very even coverage, an extraordinary tonal balance and excellent definition and clarity of audio. Moreover the ease of design for its positioning and angulations through the simulator and an effective adjustment of its DSP through the K-Framework, all covered by the magic of FIR filters. A true gem.